The Annual meeting in Tallinn was a vibrant testament to the purpose of the ECMTA: building bridges between pedagogical traditions, opening up new horizons for reflection and continuing personal and artistic development, creating new networks for cooperation, enhancing the visibility of chamber music training and practice on a national and international level. 31 professors and 6 guest speakers from 12 different countries came together for three days of dialogue and exchanges in the form of student concerts, masterclasses, conferences and Members' forum presentations. The whole weekend started with a board meeting that defined the new activity plan and essential changes to the Constitution of the Association, and ended with a General Assembly that confirmed these orientations, more masterclasses, a final concert, and then, or course, a dinner in the old city.
In between meetings, classes, and concerts, there were delicious buffets, meals, and coffee breaks which were part of a social time of highly convivial networking. The presence of many new members attending for the first time brought a new energy as well – bravo to the membership drive this winter! - and one can easily imagine that the contacts established over this weekend will lead to many further exchanges over the summer months.
Our Members' forum showed once again the incredible range and depth of our members' activities. Presentations went from the essentially concrete information concerning competitions, curricula, and workshops to questions of arrangements and improvisation as teaching tools, which led to the addition of a special session in creativity in classical music interpretation led by David Dolan from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.
One of the main themes of the meeting, developed during the round table on The Psychology of Chamber Music, led to some very lively discussion, focusing on the question of decision-making, personal motivation, empathy between teacher and student or between colleagues, and the creation of a team spirit in chamber music making that goes beyond purely musical considerations. This tied directly into the keynote speech of Martin Tröndle (Orchestra21), who gave fascinating historical background on the nature and purpose of the concert throughout history, and showed that tremendous energy and intelligence is currently being put to work to redefine the relationship between musician, the score, and his public. The conference by Tero-Pekka Henell (IWon mental coaching) on mental coaching also led to the addition an extra work session with a student ensemble to see how his ideas could be put into practice.
Thanks to our coordination of the event with the International Student Chamber Music Festival, 12 professors were present teaching over 33 coaching sessions (8 of the professors were themselves ECMTA delegates), all of which were freely attended by the non-teaching delegates to the ECMTA meeting. This generous sharing of experience and pedagogy is precisely what distinguishes an ECMTA meeting from most festivals and workshops: without hierarchy, we are all here to learn from each other.
A special thought for our colleague Professor Natalia Sakkos, who was to be one of our hosts at the EAMT, but who was prevented from joining us because of a serious automobile accident. Our best wishes to her for the fastest and most complete recovery possible. We hope to see her at the next meeting in November.
Many thanks to all of the fantastic student ensembles - from Rostock, Gdansk, Moscow, Vilnius, Riga, and Tallinn - who provided passionate and brilliant performances in three monumental concerts.
- Concert program (May 4)
- Concert program (May 5)
- Concert program (May 6)
- Festival brochure
- Festival poster
Thanks to Rektor Prof. Peep Lassmann and Vice-Rektor for International relations Marje Lohuaru for welcoming ECMTA to the Estonian Academy of Music with such generosity and enthusiasm. Special thanks must go as well to International relations project manager Kai Kiiv, who worked with ECMTA on an almost daily basis since September in order to prepare every detail of the meeting. Thanks as well to Peeter Veltmann, whose technical assistance and stage management allowed both speakers and musicians to focus on content without worry.
Thanks to masterclass teachers Anna Prabucka-Firlej and Krzysztof Sperski (S Moniuszko Academy of Music, Gdansk), Maxim Purzhinskiy (Moscow State Conservatory), David Dolan (Guildhall School of Music & Drama), Filippo Faes (Conservatorio di Castelfranco Veneto), Roberto Galletto (Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia, Rome), Maja Nosowka (F. Chopin University of Music, Warsaw), Gunta Sproge (Latvian Academy of Music, Riga), Dalia Balsyte and Petras Kunca (Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, Vilnius).
An extra lesson was arranged as well with guest lecturer Tero-Pekka Henell, who afterwards decided to join ECMTA himself!
Thanks to our guest lecturers, whose conferences were highly inspirational and informative: Dr George Tovstiga (University of Reading, UK), Stephan Goerner (Carmina Quartet), Dr. Remigijus Vitkauskas (Lithuanian University of Education, Academia String Quartet), Petras Kunca (Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre), Tero-Pekka Henell (IWons, Mental coach), Martin Tröndle (Orchestra21), and Urve Lippus (Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre).
Many thanks to all Members' forum presenters, who managed to fit years of experience and information into 10-minute summaries: Marje Lohuaru (Vice-Rektor, Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre), Jana Peäske (Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre/In Corpore), Piret Väinmaa (Tallinn Georg Ots Music School, Estonia/ In Corpore), Dinara Galeeva (Kazan Conservatory), Roberto Galletto (Conservatorio Santa Cecilia di Roma), Matti Makkonen (Executive Director, Savonlinna Music Academy), Dalia Balsyte and Petras Kunca (Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre), Cristina Cavalli, Dr David Dolan (Centre for Creative Performance & Classical Improvisation, Guildhall School of Music & Drama), Maja Nosowska (F.Chopin University of Music, Warsaw), Gunta Melbarde (Foundation We Play Music with Friends/Jāzeps Mediņš Riga 1st Music school, Riga), Maxim Puryzhinskiy (Moscow State Conservatory)
Thanks at last to Vice-Chairman Keijo Aho for securing the financial stability of our association through careful control of the membership fees and the scrupulous respect of Finnish association laws, and to our ECMTA board which is meeting twice a year in order to keep all projects on track.
Media coverage – In addition to an interview on Estonian Classical Radio with Board member Filippo Faes and Chairman Evan Rothstein, an article in Sirp, the principal Estonian cultural journal, should be published at the end of May, as well as reports in Teater.Muusika.Kino and another monthly, Muusika/Music. The festival and conference press release were published on 23.04.12 in the biggest daily paper Postimees.
Photos by Petras Kunca, Roberto Galletto, and Keijo Aho.