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European Academy for Choral Conductors

Main Organiser: Chorverband Österreich

 

September 2012

The European Academy for Choral Conductors that took place in Graz, Austria, in September 2012 gathered 19 promising young conductors from 14 countries under the supervision of Johannes Prinz and Franz Jochum, two experienced pedagogues. For a week, the conductors took turns conducting their peers and additional singers, introducing them to a wide range of repertoire from Brahms to Honegger or Britten. EACC12 Choral Composition Award-winning compositions were also prepared and premièred during the final concert. Thanks to the careful selection of the participants and the demanding but supportive guidance of Prinz and Jochum, the magic happened, and a friendly group was born in which emulation became more important than competition. A rich program of visits and activities also helped to build this team spirit. A wide array of conducting techniques and musical analysis was covered, building new approaches from the ways and means of the participants themselves. No magisterial lecturing, no top-down approach, but rather an energetic and feisty shake-down of what the conductors took for granted. Each active participant was put in the position of making musical and conducting choices in front of his/her peers, and everyone was able to share ideas and points of view. If anything, the participants discovered how diverse approaches to conducting can be, and how enriching it can be to learn from this diversity. The resulting final concert was a highly successful event, and the tension of conducting demanding pieces was turned into a joyful force.

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