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Solsona’s International Music Academy welcomes 65 young talents from 20 different nationalities

Solsona's International Music Academy (AIMS) is a high level international project, which is also the first and only pedagogical music festival in Catalonia. It was created by the German cellist Peter Thiemann in order to bring together classical music students and professors of acknowledged international prestige who play in Europe's main orchestras. It is an intensive education project which takes place in a beautiful rural environment in Solsona, a town near the Pyrenees in Central Catalonia. This year, the 13th edition of the AIMS festival is held from the 6th to the 17th of August, and includes the participation of 65 students from 20 different nationalities. 30 concerts have been scheduled in ten municipalities of Western and Central Catalonia.

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12 August 2014 08:52 PM

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ACN / Neringa Sinkeviciute

Solsona (ACN).- Solsona's International Music Academy (Acadèmia Internacional de Música de Solsona, AIMS) is a high level international project which is the first and the only pedagogical festival in Catalonia. It was created by the German cellist Peter Thiemann in order to bring together classical music students who play different musical instruments, and professors of acknowledged international prestige who are soloists in Europe's main orchestras. It is an intensive education project which takes place in a beautiful rural environment in Solsona, a town near the Pyrenees in Central Catalonia. This is the 3rd consecutive year that a 22-year-old violinist Sarah Eaton, has decided to cross the Atlantic from Philadelphia to attend the International Music Academy of Solsona. For Eaton, the AIMS is a "unique opportunity" to improve her style of violin playing and "a chance to work closely with internationally renowned professors." "The AIMS is short and intensive. We have concerts every day, and this is what I like about this festival," she explained. This year, the 13th edition of the AIMS Festival is held from the 6th to the 17th of August, and includes the participation of 65 students of 20 different nationalities. 30 concerts have already been scheduled in ten municipalities of Western and Central Catalonia.


The AIMS is a project created by the German cellist Peter Thiemann, who plays in Barcelona's Gran Teatre del Liceu's orchestra, in order to bring together students who play different musical instruments and internationally recognized teachers. The academy can be distinguished from other summer music schools as, in addition to studying, the students are also the stars of the festival, offering performances each day in different towns throughout Catalonia and in Solsona itself.

Thiemann explained to the ACN that the AIMS's students share the stage with their teachers. It "is a big challenge for the students since it makes them nervous, and it is a great experience because the students have to be prepared when walking up to the stage," he said.

Professors ofacknowledged international prestige and excellence

One of the reasons for the success of the AIMS is the internationally recognised professors who are soloists from major European orchestras. Among the eight teachers who are participating in the AIMS this year, some are senior musicians, such as the first concertmaster of the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in Geneva, Sergey Ostrovsky; the concertmaster of the Basel Sinfonietta, Simone Zgraggen; the principal viola player of the Convent Garden Opera House in London, Andruy Viytovych; cello professor at the School of Music and Theatre in Zurich, Roel Dieltiens: or double bass soloist of  Barcelona Symphony and Catalonia National Orchestra (OBC), Christoph Rahn.

The AIMS, an excellent opportunity for students

According to Thiemann, there is a high percentage of the same students attending the Academy year after year. "We are happy because it means that people are pleased with the event, they see it is a really intense festival offering many opportunities to learn."

For two weeks, students do intensive courses in the violin, viola, cello, double bass, chamber music and chamber orchestra. In addition, during the festival there are different concerts held every day.

The double bass player, Guillermo Nasarre from Barcelona, is attending the AIMS for the second consecutive year and is appreciating the opportunity to spend ''24 hours per day making music non-stop.'' The American violinist Sarah Eaton explained that the AIMS is a unique opportunity to improve your musical style and one of the things that she likes the most about this festival is the variety of concerts offered every day during the event.

La Seu d'Urgell joined the festival

During the 13 days of the festival, 30 performances will be held in 10 municipalities of Western and Central Catalonia, with many concerts taking place in different venues and in the streets of Solsona. This year the festival includes La Seu d'Urgell, whilst at the same time maintaining its presence in small villages near Solsona, as well as in Lleida, Mollerussa, Cardona, Igualada and El Bruc. Thus, the AIMS is continuing its initial goal to become a project of "cultural decentralization and democratization" and a meeting point for young talents worldwide.

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  • A student of the 2014 Solsona's International Music Academy (by E. Escolà)

  • A student of the 2014 Solsona's International Music Academy (by E. Escolà)