Founded in 2004, the ECMA – European Chamber Music Academy has established itself as the leading further education program for young professional chamber music ensembles in Europe: educational institutions and festivals from all over Europe and beyond cooperate in promoting young formations on their way to artistic independence. At the heart of ECMA are the ECMA Sessions, international coaching sessions lasting several days for young ensembles from all over Europe, which take place alternately at the various partner institutions.
The ECMA Pro cooperation project aims to take the existing ECMA work to another level by adding and proving new formats and activities. Twelve partner institutions from nine European countries realize this project cooperatively from September 2020 to August 2024.
ECMA Pro will enhance the TRANSNATIONAL MOBILITY OF ARTISTS within the field of chamber music by testing and organizing “show cases” – concerts for a “professional” audience such as concert and festival organizers and agencies – in order to support young ensembles in their international career development.
The project will strengthen the SOCIAL RELEVANCE and raise the awareness of the SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY of musicians as individuals. It aims to deepen the relationship between musicians and their audience by addressing audience development in both traditional and non-traditional performance venues.
CAPACITY-BUILDING in the field of chamber music will be fostered: beside artistic training and education it tackles career-skills training, audience development and societal outreach.
ECMA Pro will ENHANCE DIGITIZATION and encourage students and teachers to use new technologies. Activities will include developing formats of blended mobility; creating an online learning platform for career-skills training and an openly accessible bank of exercises of educational material for chamber music education; and finally building a digital switchboard to facilitate contacts between concert operators and chamber music ensembles.
ECMA Pro is a cooperation project involving 12 partner institutions and festivals from 9 European countries:
mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (AT)
Royal Conservatoire The Hague (NL)
Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris (FR)
Norges musikkhøgskole, Oslo (NOR)
Scuola di Musica di Fiesole – Fondazione Onlus (IT)
Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music, Budapest (HU)
Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre, Vilnius (LT)
ECMA – European Chamber Music Academy (AT)++
Grafenegg Festival (AT)
AEC – Association Européenne des Conservatoires, Académies de Musique et Musikhochschulen, Brussels (BE)
The situation in Europe in professional chamber music has changed over recent decades: the quality of chamber music ensembles has risen considerably due to better training in higher music education institutions.
For some young musicians forming a chamber ensemble has become a part of their “portfolio career” and therefore plays an important role in securing their economic stability.
As an equivalent to (small) band formations in other genres of music (jazz, rock, pop, world music, etc.), chamber music has acquired a different general appeal to young people. Audiences can relate to the intimacy of small group performances and to the strong individuality of the presentations.
Digital distribution plays an increasingly important role in the dissemination of artistic content as well as in marketing and for booking itself.
Young chamber-music ensembles are still faced with obstacles when starting an international career, primarily having difficulties in making professional connections in other countries.
To avoid an even bigger gap between offer and demand, and to work towards a realistic employability situation for qualified ensembles, it is essential to enhance international co-operation between musicians and “professional partners”, i.e. concert venues, agencies, festivals and organizers of cultural events and social activities.
It is this situation that ECMA PRO wants to address.
The mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna is the coordinator of the ECMA Pro project and responsible for its overall implementation. The project partners develop the concrete implementation of the project cooperatively in working groups and realize it both individually as well as collectively. The project, which will be evaluated by an external evaluator, runs from 1 September 2020 to 31 August 2024.
The project ECMA Pro – International Career Development and Socially Engaged Outreach in Chamber Music has been
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