BUILDING MUSICAL BRIDGES FOR 28 YEARS
“Ameropa” was established in 1993 by Prof. Vadim Mazo with the idea to help musicians from the USA to meet Czech artists and to enable the artists from both countries to teach young musicians, making “musical bridges”.
After 5 years, Vadim Mazo and his American colleagues decided to ask some Czech organizers for help, to allow Ameropa to grow. Ada Slivanska was recommended by Prof. Vaclav Riedlbauch (at that time Head of Concert Department at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, currently Director of Czech Philharmonic Orchestra) to lead Ameropa organizationally, chiefly for her wide experience in the field of artistic management and organization, not mentioning her artistic career as a violinist.
Ada Slivanská invited into the project her colleague and friend Jiri Havlik, member of Czech Philharmonic (French horn) because of his wide organizational experience (Jiri Havlik is a member of Horn Music Agency which has been managing international French horn courses HORNCLASS in Nove Straseci since 1991). Trade Mark “Ameropa” was registered and Ameropa was professionalized.
In 1998, Ameropa was extended from one to 2 weeks. The first week was held in Brandýs nad Labem, 30 km outside from Prague, in local Music School, where the participants concentrated on detailed studying. The second week, in the Academy of Music, was meant to finalize the work on chamber music, prepare concert programs and present the concerts to Prague’s audience in prestigious concert halls. Very soon AMEROPA moved to Prague for both weeks, because the number of participants increased from less than 30 to almost 100 people, and the capacity of Brandýs facilities (school and students hostel) was not sufficient. Ameropa moved to Gymnasium of Jan Neruda – Music school of the City of Prague. Later, from 2009, is Ameropa was hosted at the renovated Music School od Jan Hanuš at Prague 6, Břevnov.
In 2003, AMEROPA o. s. was established as a non-profit-making organization. More improvements has been seen in many areas – from the increasing level of participants to the scope of instrument combination (strings, woodwinds, horn, piano, harp, vocalists) and ensemble combination, which opens wide repertory possibility.
In 2005, Ameropa Master Class was added to Chamber program. One “solo week”, devoted to individual lessons, is optional for students and allows each of them to work on their artistic progress with the faculty, and to study the chamber music parts. Solo lectures are devoted not only to solving the technical problems specific to each instrument, but to developing the musician’s personality, speaking about professional carrier, practicing and relaxing, artistic creation, etc. Two participant concerts are organized in the end of “solo week” in Brandys castle where also faculty concert is held at the opening of the courses. Brandys castle host AMEROPA once again for presenting chamber music – it is interesting to the audience to see our “solo participants” in chamber ensembles. Main emphasis is put on chamber music classes and concerts, which presents faculty ensembles and participants groups.
Web site was created in 2001; since then, www.ameropa.org was visited by quite 50 000 readers. The URL www.ameropa.cz is also registered for Ameropa. Ameropa regularly advertise in local and international magazines. From 1998 to 2007 AMEROPA was organized by the board of three directors, since 2008 the festival is lead by Vadim Mazo and Ada Slivanska, with the help of international faculty team.
About 50 – 100 participants and 20 – 30 faculties are coming to Prague every year. The repertory presented in AMEROPA concerts consists of approximately 60 – 80 chamber music pieces studied and performed by student (or student + faculty) ensembles, and some 20 works presented by faculty groups. This wide music experience allows for wide knowledge of chamber music from lot of countries. The rehearsals are lead by highly professional faculties and chamber players. International musical collaboration establishes new friendships, makes musical and social bridges between different ages, various levels of musical education, professionals and “music lovers”, people of various nationalities, and even from different continents. In AMEROPA, faculties come from USA, Czech, France, Israel, Germany, Taiwan, China, Holland, Japan, and participants arrive from more than 15 countries.
The main purpose of Ameropa remains to gain wide knowledge about global and regional musical cultural traditions and to develop these traditions, to provide information to the professional and lay public, and to develop contacts (build “musical bridges”) between artists and supporters of chamber music, and between professional and amateur musicians and music lovers, regardless of their age, profession and nationality. This objective shall be achieved through organizing and supporting educational programs and projects concerned with playing and teaching music, particularly chamber playing, under direction of top artists, and through organizing concerts, festivals, seminars, lectures and workshops