Ameropa, a chamber music festival, was launched in summer 1993. Professional musicians from N. America and Europe collaborated in performance and instruction to students in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Prague, Czech republic. The festival has grown steadily in size and scope and has evolved into its current form, which is an international festival for musicians from all over the globe, and students who travel long distances to be able to participate in it.
At Ameropa, a participant has the opportunity to study music with an international group of experienced professionals, which includes some of the best musicians in the Czech Republic. Ameropa welcomes students of different ages and abilities, from the professional track college and older students, to younger students that don’t yet have that ability or experience, to the adult “music lovers” who can take a break from their daily routine and come to Prague for this special experience. All Ameropa participants share the love of music and want to collaborate with colleagues of similar abilities. Students and faculty members also participate in concerts at different locations in Prague and vicinity, including some of the most celebrated halls available.
Prague is a natural site for such a festival. One of the most picturesque towns in Europe, it has always been a major center for musical creativity, and still attracts tourists from all over the world who want to hear Mozart’s “Don Giovani” where it was created and premiered, and attend performances of music written by the great nationalistic Czech composers Dvorak, Smetana, Janacek, Suk, Martinu, etc…
The Czech music conservatories and Academies are filled with gifted students and great faculty, many string quartets that have thriving international careers, and a supporting public.
To the potential participant, Ameropa offers an exciting experience, where one can make music with colleagues from many countries of rich and diverse culture, one can work with experienced international faculty group dedicated to the love of music and to passing their knowledge to the students. Many of the faculty members keep returning each year because they value and enjoy Ameropa.
Ameropa can be as intense as one wants it to be. Some students (especially the professional Track) are expected to take advantage of the two chamber music weeks, rehearse and practice every unscheduled hour in order to maximize their learning experience. Others may want an easier experience, not diving into each work so deeply, and having the possibility to explore more pieces, with more ensembles. Even allowing time for some sightseeing.
It is important for the future participants to express what they hope to get out of their time in Prague, and how intensely they want to work so that the faculty can match them with others of similar objectives and wishes. This way, when they leave Ameropa, they will feel that they had exactly the experience they hoped to have.
Participants are also encouraged to get in touch with their potential teacher or coach prior to their arrival in Prague, and discuss in more details some of these issues.
Below are some details that may help clarify the schedule for Ameropa:
Ameropa, first of all, is designed to offer a special, positive experience for all participants. The first week at Ameropa is Solo Week. During this time the emphasis is on individual development, including technique, solo repertoire, and time dedicated to preparation of chamber music parts for the two weeks of Chamber Music festival at a beautiful historic castle in the town of Brandis nad Labem, not far from Prague. Participation in this week is highly recommended but not compulsory, so one has the option of registering for two or three weeks in total.
Next, Ameropa activities move to Prague, for the main body of the festival, concentrating on chamber music. During this time, there are daily coachings, orchestral activities, master classes, lectures, and performance opportunities. Typically, a participant is involved with several ensembles, which offers the opportunity to work with more coaches and fellow students. Ameropa also offers an intense track for serious advanced players who want to concentrate on one work, and study it in depth.
For the future participant:
1) Please feel free to suggest in your application what you would like to study at Ameropa, from specific repertoire choices, to the kind of ensemble that interests you particularly, etc. Ameropa faculty as a team will do their best to fit you with participants of similar ability and wishes.
2) As you fill the application, the software responds right away telling you if everything is complete, or something is still missing. Please make sure to fill in your Ameropa contact, if any. This helps the administration and faculty to keep track of the students, identifying who is the faculty member responsible for the specific student and acting as their advocate. Feel free to address special needs, requests, etc., to that faculty as well.
3) Prague is a very special city, scenic and full of history. Still, since the Euro has not been established yet as the official monetary system, Prague is more reasonable cost wise than many comparable towns in size and stature. The accommodations for Ameropa participants are clean, safe, and comfortable. They are within a short walk from the school where most activities take place. Transportation from Solo week, plus travel to and from concerts, including out of town, is included in your tuition. Please note: Airfare/ train fare to or from Ameropa plus airport or train station pick-up is not included. You can make arrangements with Ameropa office for pick-up at Prague airport or train station.
4) The school is quite spacious with large studios, good number of grand pianos, and a good number of practice rooms. The practice rooms are available all day and need to be shared.
5) The performances take place in some of the most special halls in Prague, plus there are out of town concerts, and performances at the school (it has a very nice performance hall)
6) The program consists of students of different ages and needs. Students on a professional track come to work very intensively. Some younger students have less experience and use Ameropa to “get their feet wet” with chamber music in a very friendly environment. There are some adult music lovers who come to Ameropa to make beautiful music and “have fun”. In order to find a perfect match for you, to fit with colleagues of similar ability and experience it is very important you fill the part in the application addressing experience and ability, plus send us a CD/MP3. This is required to guarantee everybody will have the best experience.
One more thing:
As hard as we want to work and also encourage you to work in Ameropa, we strongly recommend that you don’t miss the opportunity to experience the beauty of this magnificent city.
Your Faculty and Administration