The European Chamber Music Teachers´Association has a tradition to meet twice a year in different music institutes around Europe. This time the host for our Autumn Gathering was (already for a second time) the European University Cyprus in Nicosia, and our colleague and ECMTA Board member prof Yiannis Miralis.
The meeting had around 40 participants from ECMTA, including 3 student ensembles. As a tradition, the host had invited guest speakers from Cyprus and performers from the EUC to our Gathering. During a tour to the local History Museum, the ECMTA family was also introduced to the history and way of life in Cyprus.
Besides that, the meeting contained Members Forum, masterclasses and concerts and wonderful evenings with Cypriot music and food.
First day (Thursday 2 November) begun with masterclasses.
During 3 days, the Cypriot students - Missoua al Tawil, Maria Antoniou, Christos Rotsakis, Natalie Apeitou, Elina Chimonidou (European University Cyprus), as well as guest students - Eva Lotta Lepp, Liisa-Maria Marrandi (The Heino Eller Tartu Music College (Estonia)), Hanna Taube, Kerstin Laanemets, Piret Mikalai, Arko Narits (Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre) and Argo Jentson (Tallinn Music High School (Estonia)) participated in several chamber music lessons given by more than 10 professors European Music education institutes.
The evening continued with a concert in the EUC. Two groups from Cyprus performed: first, Natasa Hadjiandreou (marimba), Andri Hadjiandreou (piano) and Eva Stavrou (flute) with the program of Koppel Toccata for marimba and piano and Piazzolla Histoire du Tango for flute and marimba and a string quartet of the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra: Wolfgang Schroeder (1st violin), Sorin Horlea (2nd violin), Vladimir Tkatchenko (viola) and Jakub Otčenášek (cello) with the quartets of Debussy (op 10 G Minor) and Mendelssohn (No 2 op 13 A Minor).
Second day (3 November) was filled with more masterclass lessons followed by the Members´ Forum – a platform for all the ECMTA delegates to introduce their creative projects, festivals, competitions etc.
First, Prof. Paulo Pacheco from the Escola Superior de Music de Lisboa gave a short presentation about upcoming ECMTA Spring meeting in Lisbon (April 2019). The institution has Erasmus mobility. There are 33 chamber music groups in the school, very good conditions and venues. In preparation of this event, the Escola Superior and other institutions have been engaged, including the Gulbenkian Centre.
Jakub Tchorzewski spoke about the chamber music of René de Boisdeffre (1838-1906) who appeared to be completely forgotten Polish composer but is now going through a personal renaissance, gaining more and more recognition in the world.
During his time, Paris was interesting place with modern composers like Debussy. However, Boisdeffre was composing in a conservative way – but was very popular. Chamber music creation of Boisdeffre is significant, including considerable amount of large ensembles - quintets, sextets and a septet.
The CD with his music has been released under the label of Acte Préalable. The company has released also less known French composers. Boisdeffres´s works are available in the Petrucci music Library (IMSLP).
Jakub´s presentation was illustrated by the
Chanson arabe for piano and violin and Scherzo for cello and piano.
Gregorz Mania, Piotr Rozanski - “Youth under the Polar Circle. Polish music in Finland”
In relation of Poland regaining independence 100 years ago there are financial mechanisms that allowed Polish Chamber Music Society to organise a large project for promoting Polish music in Finland. In the frames of the tour orchestral concerts and Chamber music concerts – four of them – took place. Performers were: 3 pianists, 1 cello player, one violinist. The main goal was to introduce Polish music that is less known. But also the famous pieces like trio by A. Panufnik were performed.
Galina Dimova Georgieva spoke about Nicolas Economou, a Cypriot composer who was born 1953, and died 1992. He studied in Moscow as a pianist, later moved to Munich. He was a friend of Martha Argerich and collaborated wit Chick Corea and Friedrich Gulda.
Economou has also made arrangements for 2 and 4 pianos of famous works, among them Vivaldi Four Seasons and Tchaikovsky Nutcracker.
He wrote music scores for 15 films. Galina concentrated on two pieces - Cyprus pictures for octet, Cyprus dances for septet. Economou´s compositions have roots in the Cypriot folk music and they have an experimental and improvisational character.
Lithuania is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the restauration of the state. Besides the Dance and Song celebrations in the summer, spreading the musical message home and abroad has continued throughout the year.
Friendship has been established between Tartu Heino Eller Music College and Kaunas Juozas Naujalis Music Gymnasium, visits of the students and teachers were organised, concerts of Estonian and Lithuanian music were performed this year in both cities. Cooperation agreement has been signed on organising events together and the directors have been ideological engines to this enterprise. Biggest advantages: teachers and students spend more time together, in the contrast of everyday busy lives. We try to attract the students by painting them a picture of the life of a musician that is interesting, exciting and appealing.
Daiva´s presentation was illustrated by the excerpts of the concerts in Tartu and Kaunas.
Changes in the LMTA.
Gave an overview of changes on the the chamber music education field in Lithuania, mainly about the change of chamber music department leadership at the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre. He stressed out the inportance of maintaining the strong ties between ECMTA and LMTA - as Vilnius will be hosting ECMTA meeting in 2020.
Audronė Žigaitytė-Nekrošienė, President of The Lithuanian Musicians’ Union, made a presentation about Birštonas Summer Art Academy 2019.
where the exceptionally inspiring environment of Biršai gives good results. This year, the summercourses will implement chamber music classes – a new development fro this course.
The presentation of the duo Hermes - Eftihia Veniota and Giorgios Lygeridis – raised important questions about saxophone repertoire: classical saxophone in the chamber music – how does it blend with other instruments? For many saxophone players, it is important to stay in contact with the composition department. It is still a long way to go until saxophone is considered to be a normal instrument...
The talk of Dr Evan Rothstein was a poetic rendition of methodical memories, shaped as an excerpt of prose in a book. It was called “Visitors in the room”: Reflections on the notions of transmission and heritage
In his talk, Dr Rothstein remembered teachers, important role models of musicianship, who have left an extraordinary print on young musicians´ minds and have contributed to music world with their wisdom, perceptiveness and sometimes, humour.
After Members Forum, the word was given to the first Key speaker.
Yvonne Georgiadou has worked in the Pharos Foundation for many years since it was founded in 1998. The Foundation has worked successfully, organises a festival (18th edition this year) and the Foundation has gained recognition in the world. Y. Georgiadou spoke of challenges that are familiar to every festival organiser – stereotypes about chamber music and classical music in general, lack of knowlegde on the field, organisational defects and state-caused shortcomings that lead to compromised quality. As a cure, The Pharos foundation has engaged in music education programs and is supporting composers. The Foundation has also restored a new venue for artistic events – The Shoe Factory. This old house was renovated to become a place for art and music.
After the talk of Ms Georgiadou, the ECMTA audience was privileged to hear a concert in the Shoe Factory. The evening was devoted to piano duos: first, Cypriot piano duo Leoni Hadjithoma & Borislav Alexandrov with the program of Debussy, Gluck-Anderson, Say, Bezzi, Papapetrou and Atanasov. They were followed by Michael Tsalka & Jakub Tchorzewski, with the immortal Schubert Fantasy F minor. The Zarebski piano duo - Piotr Rozanski & Grzegorz Mania
ended the concert with the music of Barber, Corigliano, Zarebski and Wojtacki.
The third day (4 November), second keynote speaker Nenad Bogdanovic, Cultural Management Expert (Cyprus)
gave his talk on a very important topic "Status of Artists: the case Freelance Musician", raising important questions about musicians´ life, fate and challenges in our modern world. The talk provoked a lively discussion and exchange of different experiences.
The country and its people left an unforgettable impression to all the delegates and students. The warmth both inside and outside (the hot wheather in Nicosia!) stays freshly in my mind even now when winter holidays are approaching and I am back in my Northern reality.
The ECMTA gathering is going to be in Portugal. These meetings are keeping the music alive.
hosted by the European University Cyprus (EUC).
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