News from France

The Debussy Quartet Academy/Festival “Cordes en Ballades” - An opportunity to come in France for the summer, July 6-14!

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Every summer the Debussy String Quartet organizes a chamber music academy during the Festival “Cordes en Ballade”. It could be an opportunity for you to come and work with them in France. We offer one scholarship for a foreign string quartet, why not you?

If you are interested, contact us by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


  • Time: 10 days
  • Place: Ardèche (south of France)

This chamberacademy is open to anyone wishing to learn or improve its string quartet skill. The academy and the festival “Cordes en Ballade” are deeply connected.

The participants have exceptional working conditions: each string quartet can have access to a personal practicing room all day long.

Beyond the lessons for the pre-professional string quartets, the academy allows students to acquire meaningful professional and scenic experience, while taking part in rehearsals and concerts of the festival by two configurations:

  • 2 concerts with the chamber orchestra of the festival,
  • And for the best and the most determined string quartets are offered by the Debussy quartet the possibility to perform in the official festival programming.

Further more, the students will have the opportunity to meet the invited artists and attend master classes organized for them.

More information:

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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.

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 >>

Pedagogical Activities of the Debussy Quartet

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In Lyon, a new string quartet class will open early December with the collaboration of the Conservatoire de Lyon (Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional). The auditions took place November 7th 2011. Four quartets auditioned and two of them were chosen: the Varèse Quartet and the Quatuor opus 80.

The selected quartets will benefit from exceptional opportunities: seven sessions of two days during the year, participation in one final concert and invitations to two intensive academies/festivals.

  • The Debussy Session: prelude of the Epau Festival from 16 to 20 May.

Those five days of intensive practice destined to five experienced quartets, students at the best musical institutions, or already preparing international competitions include two daily classes with the members of the Debussy Quartet and one concert per evening: an intensive program intended for young professionals!

  • The Summer Academy, from 6 to 15 July, inseparable of the Festival “Cordes en Ballade”

During ten days, experienced young quartets as well as ensembles constituted for the occasion join the Debussy Quartet, thirsty for chamber music knowledge; everyone is welcome, aged 10 to 90.

Other quartets wishing to deepen their knowledge may still apply for participation in one or both of the academies separately, and without being part of the quartet program at the conservatory:

In résumé:

  • Programme reserved for pre-formed quartets upon audition
  • 2-year course, which 7 sessions each year of 1-2 days
  • Invitation to two academy/workshops with the Quatuor Debussy

Debussy Quartet Courses 2011-2012 >>

Pedagogical Activity of the Debussy Quartet

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The 13th edition of the Cordes en Ballade Festival brightly ended with the students’ concert on July 17th. This year, quartets of all levels and horizons immersed themselves completely in the festival’s atmosphere, learning to work together, deepening their chamber music knowledge Quartets. And of course everyone could attend concerts of the festival’s renowned guest artists such as Marielle Nordmann, Emmanuel Rossfelder, Laurent Stewart….

Emotion, sharing, and fun were the key words of this edition.

In the continuity of this desire of transmission, a string quartet class will open early January with the collaboration of the “Conservatoire de Lyon – CRR”. Important project to the Debussy Quartet, this new step will provide regular gatherings throughout the year.

Summing up the pedagogical activity of the Debussy Quartet, there will be three meetings this year :

The 5th Sforzando Competition for university amateur chamber ensembles took place in Paris April 8-9

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14 excellent ensembles from France and Germany participated in the finals at the magnificent College des Bernadins in the center of Paris. The competition is co-organized by Aurélien Bernard (France) and Benedikt Strauss (Germany) with a team of enthusiastic volunteers, and offers non-monetary prizes of concerts, CDs, and workshops. 1st prize was awarded to the duo Stephenson-Barbin, 2nd prize to a piano quartet performing Dohnanyi’s Quartet in F-sharp minor, and 3rd prize was awarded to a young German string trio which played Reger’s Trio op. 77b. The finals, presented as a formal concert, drew an exceptionally supportive full house, about 400 listeners. President of the jury, ECMTA Chairman Evan Rothstein was joined by pianist Simon Zaoui, clarinetist Franck Amet, violinists Eva and Emmanuel Hahn from the Arnon Quartet, and Veronique de Boisséson, musical artistic director for the College des Bernardins.

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Program >>

FNAPEC has announced the 2011 winners of its international chamber music competition

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The Fédération nationale des associations de parents d’élèves de conservatoires (FNAPEC) has announced the 2011 winners of its international chamber music competition Musique d’ensembles:


Sforzando Chamber Music Competition for Student Amateur Musicians in Higher Education

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Thursday 7 
Saturday 9 April 2011 

The Sforzando Competition is the European chamber music competition for universities, Grandes Ecoles and similar institutions of higher education. It is open to students playing to a high amateur standard who are members of ensembles comprising between two and five instruments. The competition seeks to demonstrate the frequently outstanding musical quality attained by these students, who are pursuing their studies in tandem with their shared passion for classical music. As an exception to the general regulations, the competition is also open to recent graduates. ECMTA is proud to be an official partner of the Concours Sforzando.

The official deadline was February 1, but it is still possible to submit applications. Applications and information:

25e European Ensemble Competition

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25e European Ensemble Competition, April 1st, 2nd and 3rd, 2011, 
organized by the National federation of Associations of Conservatory Parents (FNAPEC)
 Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional de Paris, 14 rue de Madrid - 75008  Paris.

Open competition for all genres of music (classical, contemporary, jazz, traditional, etc). 2 to 15 musicians (not including conductor), and aged between 18-30 years.
One 20-minute performance in front of a jury, all groups to play consecutively. Free program selection, No compulsory piece. Grants from 1000 to 5000 € (depending on sponsor support).

Closing date for applications inscriptions: February 28th, 2011

E.mail : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Site :

New Chamber Music Diploma at the Regional Conservatory in Lyon

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As part of the reflection on the creation of an undergraduate level, and parallel to the recent establishment of the course; orchestra as a career, the Conservatoire de Lyon in March 2010 launched a specialised training course in chamber music (initially for strings and piano).

This course is designed for string musicians or pianists grouped into fixed ensembles holding a diploma in specialist courses from conservatoires (or an equivalent), and having substantial experience in chamber music. The goal is to further the development of this discipline and help students be prepared for further training towards a professional career.