The Con stages its first international music school in Europe

18 March 2014

The Sydney Conservatorium of Music, the Music Faculty of the University of Sydney, will stage its first international music school and festival in Italy this July. A cohort of 46 tertiary students will participate in an intensive, two-week program of chamber music concerts across Verona, Mantova and Venice, whilst they are taught by some of Europe's finest music teachers.

The inaugural Estivo: European Chamber Music Summer School from 7-19 July is the first music program of its kind offered by a tertiary institution in Australia.

The initiative is in collaboration with the Conservatorio di Verona, where the students will be based, and the Conservatorio di Musica in Mantova. It will coincide with Verona's world-renowned summer festival of opera, the Arena di Verona Festival, where students will attend rehearsals and performances.

Sydney Conservatorium of Music Dean, Dr Karl Kramer, said: "Estivo will give our students an intensive two-week forum in the heart of Western Europe, where they will study and perform with colleagues and mentors.

"At the Sydney Conservatorium, we are fortunate to have many international musicians and teachers both in residence and visiting us. But by taking our students to Italy, we open numerous new opportunities with artists based in Europe.

"We have collaborations with leading music conservatories and universities overseas. This puts us in a great position to give our students the opportunity to perform in major cities and music hubs around the world," he said.

During the two-week program, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music will present daily concerts in piazzas, churches, conservatories, palaces and official government offices across Northern Italy. From prestigious venues such as the iconic Bibiena Theatre where Mozart gave his first performance, the Palazzo Te also in Mantova and La Pieta in Venice, it will be a unique and highly memorable event for the students.
In the European tradition, the students will perform chamber music in both orchestral and small ensembles. A form of classical music, chamber music was originally composed for instrumental groups that could fit into a palace chamber.

"Chamber music requires a different set of skills to performing solo or symphony works. The smaller ensemble of musicians must work closely together to deliver a unified performance.

"We want our students to learn to work and perform with other musicians, as this is a crucial part of our teaching and the music experience at the Con," said Dr Kramer.

Some of Europe's finest musicians including Klaus Marx and Lella Cuberli will run a rigorous program of tutorials with students. Klaus Marx is a cellist who specialised in chamber music throughout his career. He was a founding member of the Kolisch Piano Trio and the Leonardo Quartet Cologne. While Lella Cuberli, an American soprano, made her professional debut in Siena in 1973 and for some years pursued a career in Italy, making her mark in Rossini, Donizetti and Bellini operas. Klaus and Lella will be joined by more than a dozen tutors from Italy and other parts of Europe.

Estivo is open to undergraduate and postgraduate Con students who are part of an ensemble. A range of ensembles including a piano trio, wind quintet, brass quintet, saxophone quartet, six vocalists and six pianists, and three string quartets will be chosen.

Students will take part in Estivo auditions at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music during March. The successful students will be announced at the end of the month. Travel, accommodation and all tuition will be provided by the Sydney Conservatorium of Music to the students.

To find out more about the Estivo: European Chamber Music Summer School visit the Con's website.

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Estivo: European Chamber Music Summer School will be staged thanks to the generous support of Il Conservatorio Statale di Musica 'Evaristo Felice Dall' Abaco' di Verona and Conservatorio di Musica 'Lucio Campiani' Mantova.