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Solsona’s International Academy of Music opens its doors focusing on improvisation

65 students with 22 different nationalities participate in a music festival in Solsona, Central Catalonia. It is the 10th edition of this International Academy which, this year, focuses on improvisation and music popularization.


19 August 2011 10:42 PM


ACN / Laura Busquets

Solsona (ACN).- The International Academy of Music of Solsona, in Central Catalonia, opened its doors this year, to focus on improvisation and musical popularization. The Organ and Improvisation professor of Cologne\u2019s University of Music, Johannes Geffert is the man in charge of teaching the improvisation classes. The Music History Professor of the ESCAC (Cinema and Audiovisual University School of Catalonia), Joan Vives, is to give two lectures on music popularization. According to the Academy Executive Director Robert Brufau, the goal "is to offer 65 students the chance to develop their future profession in an environment that brings together different professional points of view." This is the tenth edition of the festival ending on August 22nd with an organ concert in the Basilica of Montserrat.

The International Music Academy of Solsona (AIMS) was created by the German cellist Peter Thiemann with the intention of providing students with an education which covered various musical instruments and musical movements and was delivered by teachers of international renown. The Academy can be distinguished from other summer music schools as, in addition to studying at the Academy, the 65 students will also be the stars of the festival offering 26 performances in eleven towns in Catalonia. The finale is an organ concert that will take place on August 22nd at the Basilica of Montserrat, a very symbolic place in the Catalan imaginary. Students are therefore given the opportunity, in addition to receiving classes from 'first class' teachers such as Alexander Anissimov and Roel Dieltien, to practice their concert performances.

Robert Brufau said this year that "the school welcomes 65 students from 22 different nationalities who come from Chile, Mexico, Taiwan, Japan, Russia, Germany and Switzerland." According to the Academy\u2019s Executive Director, "the diversity of our pupils shows our commitment to strengthening our international presence"

Improvisation classes and dissemination of music

Brufau explained that from an educational point of view, they thought it more interesting to include multidisciplinary subjects, which all the students can take. In this sense, improvisation is a scheduled class, taught by the Professor of Organ and Improvisation at the University of Music in Cologne, Johannes Geffert. Brufau describes him as "a well known organist" who teaches individuals and groups "giving students a range of tools to develop their own musical language when improvising."

In addition, Professor of Music History and the ESCAC Music director and radio presenter at Catalonia\u2019s National Radio, Joan Vives, will give two lectures to the students of AIMS. The first will examine the history of instrumental music in Catalonia until the Civil War period. According to Robert Brufau, this conference seeks to raise awareness of Catalan musical heritage, "considering there are so many foreign students." The second lecture-discussion will be "a reflection on classical music\u2019s path in this century 21st century," the Director said.

Different aspects of the AIMS

The festival is divided into different areas including "AIMS at the Street" and "Social AIMS". AIMS at the Street is a series of street concerts in Solsona offered by the students and the teachers that are designed to reach a new audience who are either not used to classical music or who do not attend concerts due to the price.

According to Robert Brufau the social side of the festival "comes from the idea that we should repay Solsona and the Catalan society for their hospitality and for all it has given us". In this spirit, teachers and students travel to shelters, hospitals and social homes to give concerts to those who often find it hard to attend them.

65 students, 22 nationalities

One of the students this year, Anna-Karen Rodríguez explained that one of the things that she likes the most about the Academy is the exchange between nationalities and cultures, as well as methods and techniques of playing that you can learn. The Mexican who plays the cello is already is her second year at the Academy and said she has come back especially because of the teachers. According to Rodriguez, "a day here is very intense, but there is time for everything.\u201D


  • A cello class at the AIMS (by L. Busquets)

  • A cello class at the AIMS (by L. Busquets)