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The 15th International Academic Music Competition in Jūrmala 2014

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Competition takes place in three different categories:

  1. Piano duet (four hands (one or two pianos)
  2. Chamber ensemble (ensemble with pianos: duet, trio, quartet and quintet)
  3. Mix ensemble (combination till eight participants)

Age limit:

  • Group A – 15 to 19 year olds (inclusive)
  • Group B – 20 to 25 year olds (inclusive)

Duration of the programme:

  • Group A – from 20 to 30 minutes
  • Group B – from 30 to 40 minutes

More information & application form >>

Festari in Tartu

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festari-2012November 8.-10. 2012, the Tartu H.Elleri NIM. School of Music organised FESTARI, an International chamber music festival. It is long-term collaborative project, which began in 2006, between three music schools: Espoo Music Institute (Finland), Tartu Heino Eller Music School (Estonia) and Jazep Medinši Music School No.1. Riga (Latvia). The Festival was attended by students aged 8 to 25. The main goal of the festival is to increase the appreciation of chamber music among young people, but it also aims to improve pedagogical experience and music education for teachers.

62 students participated in the festival, and in addition to the schools in Espoo, Tartu, Riga, students from other music schools in Tallinn also attended (Tallinn G. Ots Music School). There were four full-length concert in Tartu concert halls and master classes with Natalya Sakkos (Estonian Music and Theatre Academy) and Professor Petras Kunca (Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre). Prof. Kunca also gave a lecture entitled "Chamber Music Teaching: Communication Psychology aspects of the concept of empathy and chamber music teaching and learning. " FESTARI has become an important international chamber music event and over the years has proven to be a sustainable part of the pedagogical landscape in the Baltic region.

For photos, see Photo Gallery.

The Savonlinna Music Academy, Artistic Director professor Ralf Gothóni announces its summer 2013 masterclass calendar

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More information + applications:

  • Opera I June 24 – July 2
    Kammersänger, professor Tom Krause (Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain)
  • Opera II June 28 – July 4
    The Artistic Director of Savonlinna Opera Festival, tenor Jorma Silvasti (Finland)
  • Contrabass July 8 – July 15
    Jiri Parviainen (Sibelius Academy, Finland)
  • Chamber Music, Violin, Viola & Cello July 16 – July 26
    Members of Orpheus String Quartet:
    Mark Gothóni, Timothy Summers, Emile Cantor & Laurentiu Sbarcea
  • Violin July 19 – July 26
    Professor Mi-kyung Lee (Hochschule für Musik und Theater München, Germany)
  • Music Technology and Recording July 20 – July 26
    Professor Malte Kob (Hochschule für Musik Detmold, Germany)
    Markku Veijonsuo (Sibelius Academy, Finland)
  • German Lied July 28 – August 3
    Professor Hartmut Höll (Hochschule für Musik Karlsruhe, Germany)
  • Piano August 9 – August 13
    Paavali Jumppanen (Finland)

The pedagogical activities of the Debussy Quartet

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I. Debussy quartet courses in the conservatory of Lyon: After the November audition, they are honoured to announce the ensembles chosen for the second cycle are: the Sendrez Quartet and the Eode Quartet. These young musicians begin this cycle who will benefits from exceptional opportunities, that continue the Varèse Quartet for the second year.

II. The Debussy Workshop: As a prelude of the Epau festival, May 17th to 20th, the Debussy Quartet proposes 3 days of intensive practice for experienced quartets, students from high-level conservatoires, or already young musicians preparing international competitions.

III. The Summer academy: The Debussy Quartet’s summer academy will be from 6th to 14th July 2013 in Ardeche (France). This academy is an inseperable part of the Festival “Cordes en Ballade”. This is an opportunity to discover other pre-formed quartets, as well as other musicians, and to learn with Debussy Quartet or other invited artists.

Home Pit(ch): Chamber Music Competition for Amateur Musicians

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With support from the Deutsche Mozart Gesellschaft, the first Home pit(ch) competition for Music Amateurs was organized Oct 18-22 in Augsburg. Vice-Chairman Keijo Aho served in the jury, and the ECMTA was an official partner for the competition.

17 ensembles from Germany, Austria, Belgium, and China participated, ranging in age from 7 to 73. Contestants

Read Vice-Chairman Keijo Aho’s report of the event >>

Kamermuziek Atelier Delft

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Around 70 participants (from amateurs of all ages, conservatorystudents and professional musicians) joined the last Kamermuziek Atelier Delft in the Netherlands. This intensive chambermusic workshop takes place every year in the unique ambiance of the International Delft Chamber Music Festival. Next year the fifth edition will take place from 31th July to 4th August.

For more information visit the website: or contact artistic director Sidonie Riha: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Rubens Quartet

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nl12_Mozart-CD-cover-previewOver the past seasons, the Rubens Quartet has enjoyed many performances full of inspiration with flutist Marieke Schneemann and therefore they have recorded the four Mozart flute quartets together in Schiedam in May 2012, in two special live recording sessions/concerts. Go to to order your very own copy today and read more about the collaboration (click on 'News').  The CD is also available for download via itunes and

Chamber Music activities at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama

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The start of 2012/13 at Guildhall School of Music and Drama has been brimming with chamber music activity. Alongside our regular visiting quartets, Belcea and Endellion, improvisation workshops with David Dolan and performance presentation work with our drama school, the students have had some incredibly inspiring and thought-provoking masterclasses with guest artists Erich Hobarth, Ferenc Rados, and new permanent faculty member Levon Chilingirian. Last year’s brilliant Fellowship ensemble, the Heath Quartet, also continued to visit the school to give masterclass sessions as part of their professional development scheme.

Two very successful teaching and coaching exchange trips have taken place. Our school of WBP sent a wind Quintet to Gottenburg to receive coaching. In Strings, Alasdair Tait and Louise Hopkins accompanied the Trio Isimsiz to Mozarteum in Salzburg. While they gave masterclass, the trio received a week of inspiring teaching from Mozarteum faculty, including Wolfgang Redik and Thomas Riebl.

There are more than fifty regular groups ranging from the more traditional String Quartets and Piano Trios to mixed ensembles such as Clarinet Trios, 'Schubert Octet' groups and ensembles with harp, in addition to a number of project-based ensembles. Much emphasis is placed on the challenges of organisation within groups and the importance of efficient rehearsal techniques, since the demands on the individual while studying are inevitably high and multi-faceted.

The first in a series of annual "Viola Days" at the Guildhall resulted in the creation of a dozen viola ensembles, from duos to octets, providing not only a chance to showcase the versatility of the viola students at the GSMD but also to highlight the strength and depth of repertoire for viola ensemble. Such works also offered the chance for students and coaches to work both on instrument-specific issues as well as chamber music skills in a way that is not normally possible with mixed ensembles.

With an average of two days per week of visiting chamber music coaching and masterclasses, the term proved one of the busiest ever; it also marked a new level of intensity of chamber music provision for double bassists at the Guildhall, with the formation of a number of bass ensembles and coaching sessions with bass emphasis working on chamber reductions of Haydn Symphonies.

Student performances have included three high-profile concerts in the Barbican Centre main hall – wind music of Mozart and string/piano music of Dvorak and Schumann – and a full day devoted to the vocal and chamber music of Catalan composers (Montsalvatge, Toldra, Mompou)

Overall, the most intensive and exciting term yet!

The Fidelio Trio (violinist Darragh Morgan and pianist Mary Dullea, ECMTA members)

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Our recording of Michael Nyman’s piano trios has just been released, launching The Michael Nyman Chamber Music series on MNR.

Included on the album, Piano Trios 1992-2010, are the premiere recordings of Poczatek and The Photography of Chance as well as performances of Yellow Beach and the Joseph Brodsky inspired Time Will Pronounce.

Concerts have taken us on a South African tour including a recital for the Johannesburg Music Society, a London recital of American trios by John Harbison, Bright Sheng, Charles Wuorinen and Evan Ziporyn described as ‘a ‘brilliant performance’ in The Sunday Times and the commencement of our residency at St. Patrick’s College Drumcondra, Dublin.  The December visit includes a composition forum and workshops on pieces selected from the ‘call for scores’, a presentation of John Cage’s Musicircus and a lunchtime concert with Schoenberg’s (arr. Steurmann) Verklärte Nacht and Stephen Gardner’s The Mayfly.

Looking ahead to the New Year, we have concerts in Cardiff (with Patricia Rozario, soprano) on 5th February and Manchester, 28th February.  In March we feature trios by Pascal Dusapin, Johannes Maria Staud, David Fennessy, Luke Bedford and Salvatore Sciarrino in a special New Music Festival at the National Concert Hall Dublin.  We travel to Queens University Belfast with Robert Plane (clarinet) on 20th March for a short residency featuring two recitals and new works by Queens’ composers.  In April we perform in Prague and continue our residency in St. Patrick’s College with visits in February, March and April.  We are looking forward to recording a CD of Robert Fokkens’ music in January including his piano trio, Mammals of Southern Africa.

And summer 2013 includes a City of London Festival recital featuring the world premiere performance of The River Still Sings, a multimedia work by Frank Lyons and visuals by Paul Moore, featuring the voice of actor James Nesbitt, which will be repeated at the Walled City Music Festival, Derry, celebrating UK City of Culture in July.

Manuscripts of Sibelius thought to be lost are located in collections in the United States

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Thanks to some effective ECMTA networking, ECMTA member Pekka Helasvuo, co-editor of the Jean Sibelius Works, sent a call for information to the Music Library Association through Dr David Lasocki, former reference Librarian at the Cook Music Library of Indiana University. The search has revealed several manuscripts thought to be lost. Mr Helasvuo has authorized the posting of the following exchange. 

The Debussy Quartet reports on its pedagogical activities, the Quatuors en Ballade Festival, and the Quartet course at the Conservatoire in Lyon

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A few weeks after the end of the 13th edition of the Cordes en Ballade Festival, it seems that time is flying by. One again, it was a real pleasure for the Debussy Quartet to be on the road to the Ardeche region! This year’s theme was “Welcome to America”. 10 days, 9 cities, beautiful landscapes and a lot of great artists - the Debussy Quartet, Franck Tortiller Trio, and Percussions Claviers de Lyon - brought life to this adventure and provided a vision of the American dream to the public, along with the collaboration of Marc Mellits, the American resident composer.

A perfect combination of elements!

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At the same time, the summer academy of Debussy Quartet welcomed quartets young and less young, amateur or experienced, pre-formed or not. During 10 days, they learned, rehearsed and evolved with and alongside the Debussy Quartet and the other artists. A rich experience for all!

The dates for next year are already set:

  • Festival Cordes en Ballade 2013: from 5 to 14 July 2013

The Quartet course at the Conservatoire de Lyon:

  • After a first year successful, the Debussy Quartet will continue their string quartet class with the collaboration of the Conservatoire de Lyon (Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional).
    More information >>

Cristina Cavalli reports on the first edition of Chamber Music in Italy, the workshop in Forio d’Ischia which she presented at the ECMTA meeting in Tallinn

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ischia1-previewJust ended in Italy the first edition of Chamber Music in Italy, chamber music workshop that took place in Forio d'Ischia, a small island in front of Naples. Teachers were Serguei Mesropian, Claudio Cavallaro, Giuseppe Devastato and Cristina Cavalli (also artistic director), coming from Armenia, Spain and Italy. The workshop had the moral support of italian Regione Campania and spanish Fundacion Eutherpe, presided by Margarita Morais.

During two weeks, from August 1st to 14th, professors and students worked closely to prepare the evening concerts. On a terrace with an magnificent view of the Mediterranean Sea (thanks to the beautiful location of our host Hotel Providence) they played many chamber works, from Mozart to Baermann, from Granados to some contemporary music.

One of the main features of Chamber Music in Italy is the renaissance and diffusion of Neapolitan Masters' music, from Leo, Scarlatti, Pergolesi to the present. The last concert closed with a world première, "Tarantella Criptica", by the Neapolitan composer Giuseppe Devastato. "Tarantella Criptica" was played by the American clarinetist Joseph Rosen (who the composition is dedicated to), the Armenian cellist Serguei Mesropian, and the italian pianist Cristina Cavalli. Tarantella is a typical Neapolitan dance, also very common in the south of Italy; the composer intention was a homage to the performers' nationalities. There are Armenian, American and Neapolitan themes used throughout the composition, to suggest a musical message about peace and collaboration between different countries and cultures.

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Full report on the The 10th International Latvian Young Musicians’ Masterclasses in Sigulda (Latvia) by Dace Aperāne

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Sigulda-previewThe main theme of this 10th edition of the Internaitonal Latvian Young Musicians’ Masterclasses was New Dimensions in Music, and took place from July 14 – 23 in the spacious and welcoming Sigulda Arts School. To celebrate the tenth anniversary of the master classes, which have taken place biannually in Latvia since 1994, 16 concerts took place in Riga, the Sigulda Castle chamber music hall and the beautiful White Grand Piano Concert Hall. Dr. Ingrīda Gutberga (USA) and Normunds Vīksne (vice-rector of Academic Work at the Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music) were the directors of the master classes. Dace Aperāne (USA) was the artistic director and Guntars Zvejnieks (director of the Sigulda Arts School) was the administrator of the master classes.

A preliminary report on the 2nd Musikuokime Drauge Festival/Workshop in at the V. Jakubenas Music School in Birzhai, Sept 6-8

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22 mixed ensembles (duos to septets) of children from children’s music schools across Lithuania gathered at the V. Jakubenas music school in Birzhai for an intensive chamber music workshop and festival September 6-8, 2012. The workshop/festival included teachers not only from important music schools in Lithuania, but also included representatives from Latvia and the United Kingdom. The project received support from the Lithuanian Musicians’ Union, which was represented by its dynamic and creative President, the composer Audronė ŽIGAITYTĖ-NEKROŠIENĖ. The Musicians’ Union presented gifts to participating ensembles and their teachers, and demonstrated the commitment of musicians to the development of a love of chamber music in young people. The significance of the event was also underlined by the presence of local and national television filming both recorded and live interviews and lessons during the weekend.