On 16 April 2016, the Fondation Louis Vuitton will be again playing host to the Seiji Ozawa International Academy Switzerland. On the agenda is a masterclass open to the public featuring a string quartet directed by Sadao Harada and an open orchestra rehearsal conducted by Seiji Ozawa.
Seiji Ozawa International Academy of Switzerland
"It is fascinating to see how young artists progress in such little time.”
Seiji Ozawa's passion for teaching inspired him to found the International Music Academy – Switzerland in 2004, in Rolle, near Geneva. Since 2011 it has been known as the Seiji Ozawa International Academy Switzerland.
Seiji Ozawa's approach
Seiji Ozawa believes that playing chamber music, particularly in a string quartet, is essential. He sees the string quartet as the very essence of music. Composers give the best of themselves, with nothing superfluous or florid. Working with a string quartet means going into the finest details of the style and intentions of the music's composer. This learning process is an essential step for young virtuosos who wish to become high profile artists.
There is a very strict selection process for these musicians, who are called upon to practice their art at the highest level. Under the stewardship of Blanche d’Harcourt, the Academy's director, and with the participation of Julien Szulman and Agata Szymczewska, former students at the Academy, the selection committee seeks out new young talents from the major European conservatories and international competitions to take part in auditions throughout the year. Then the final group of students is named by Seiji Ozawa, the artistic directors and the teachers.
The goal of the Academy is to hone the skills of the most talented young instrumentalists, which can only be achieved by working together and respecting the high standards of the very best teachers. In order to do this, the Academy employs teachers, all of them performers, whose international reputations come hand in hand with many years of musical teaching experience. They include Pamela Frank, Nobuko Imai and Sadao Harada.
The quartets are formed based on mutual affinity, as a result of discussions among Seiji Ozawa, the teachers, the instrumentalists and the artistic department, taking into account the style, tone and temperament of each musician. Students work with each of the teachers in turn, in the presence of Seiji Ozawa, in conditions that foster the transmission of unique expertise.
Seiji Ozawa leads all the students for open rehearsals, to which he invites the public from Rolle as well as guests of the Academy. A series of concerts given in prestigious venues such as Victoria Hall in Geneva or the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris and the “Seiji Ozawa Hall” in Tanglewood, MA, USA completes the work of the Academy. A concert is also presented for residents of the Fondation Aigues-Vertes.
During the year
The artistic team shows outstanding commitment and advises young musicians, while the Geneva office oversees the organization and management of the Academy.