9-12 young musicians (instruments: Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello) meet after a successful audition at Gut Hornegg together and during the Master Classes prepare for an international concert tour.
Generally speaking they have not known each other or played together beforehand – they come from all parts of Europe. Only 3 ensembles are formed, either as Piano Trio, Piano Quartet or Piano Quintet.
“The colluvio Chamber Music Academy is more than a Masterclass.”
“The European Chamber Music Project colluvio follows up an intensive rehearsal phase with an international concert tour.”
The 10-days’ Master Classes at Gut Hornegg, Austria form the basis for a successful concert tour. Inclusive of the tour, the whole project lasts slightly over 3 weeks.
From the first day onwards the focus lies on the concert tour; always with reference to stage presence. All participants perform the works they have rehearsed in each of the 8 concerts.
Our musicians value the fact that with colluvio they can immediately put their talents into practice.
„Focus on the concert platform!“
The Masterclasses are directed by our team of experienced teachers, who have worked together for many years:
Yuri Kot, Ukraine, Piano, Professor at the Tchaikovsky Music Academy, Kiev
Olivera Milić-Hirscher, Serbia, Violin, Professor at the Special School for Music Talents in Ćuprija (Serbia)
Meinhard Holler, Austria, Cello, private cello teacher in Munich, founder of the colluvio Chamber Music Academy
Over the years this team has developed the traditional “colluvio Method”.
The artistic care given is very intensive, as each year only three ensembles take part (3-5 players per ensemble).
Each ensemble prepares all movements of a specific Master work, which is studied in detail, played in internal house concerts, before being publicly performed in all of the concerts during the ensuing tour.
The number of young musicians accepted on the project is limited to 9-12, for the reason that the Credo of the colluvio Chamber Music Academy is to offer each participant intensive, individual care.
During the whole project, 4 tutors are available for only three ensembles.
That enables the most wonderful chamber music literature to be studied with the necessary detail.
“Our aim is to work with musical depth.”
Lessons take place daily from 10.00 till 13.30, after which students and teachers enjoy a communal lunch. After a break, further study sessions recommence from 16:00 till 19:00. On every 2nd evening at 8 pm all ensembles play in a house concert in preparation for the concert tour.
The three tutors for Piano, Violin and Cello alternate with one another every third day, so that during the first 8 days each ensemble is taught by all three. During the breaks and in the evening the tutors discuss progress at rehearsals, and each continues working on matters where the previous teacher has left off.
On the last two days our Guest Teacher Claus-Christian Schuster gives all 3 ensembles final advice. All participants are invited to listen and the workshop is also open to passive guests.
The three main tutors are present and although they do not give lessons any longer, are always available for any queries. That way towards the end, the students are confronted with only one artistic opinion immediately before they embark on the Dress Rehearsal and the Concert Tour.
Claus-Christian Schuster was the pianist of the Vienna Schubert Trio and the Altenberg Trio, Vienna between 1984 and 2012. Our young musicians profit from his 40 years of performing experience.
On the 2nd, 4th, 6th and 8th days of the course, internal House Concerts take place at 8 pm.
All three ensembles play in front of students, teachers and sporadic guests at Gut Hornegg. On each occasion a different hall is used (variable acoustics, different pianos…..). Already at the first concert one or two movements of the chosen works are performed, then later the complete opus.
This ensures that – under changing aspects – the musicians are equipped with the experience to deal with different conditions they will be confronted with at each concert venue on the tour.
Because each ensemble is only focussed on one single work, they get together in the evenings to sight-read other literature for fun. – There is always the possibility in periods of free-time to explore the natural beauty of Gut Hornegg’s surrounding countryside: its own lake for bathing, woods, meadows …..
The 11th day is free, and in the evening the Dress Rehearsal takes place (again all participants and some private guests make up the audience).
Before the start of the tour on the 12th day, it is the tradition for an initial public concert to be held in the acoustically optimal former cow sheds of Gut Hornegg. This is always a well-visited event with local tradition, bringing the rural community together.
On the following day is the departure for the tour.
Participation in the Workshop in its Entity
In accordance with the colluvio method, three groups of musicians grow together in the space of ten days to become accomplished ensembles. During this time and – thanks to the regular house concerts – they gather not only personal performing experience, but benefit from listening to the progress of the others.
All participants listen to each other at the internal concerts and moreover get to know the other master works on the programme. There are always enough scores to follow.
“Each ensemble motivates the others.”
The three ensembles motivate each other, naturally, with the wish to be the best, but do not consider themselves to be in competition with the other two – quite the opposite – at the internal concerts and later on the tour experience shows that they are always supportive of their colleagues. In the space of over three weeks they have spent all their time together and shared all their experiences.
They form close friendships and grow into a community, considering themselves to be almost a family. In challenging moments on Gut Hornegg and later on the tour they share their communal destiny.
Many famous composers (Brahms, Mahler…) were lured in the summer months to the country side to find peace for creating new works. There they have re-discovered their roots, and, inspired by the beautiful nature in the vicinity, have often brought their major works to fruition.
The intact countryside around Gut Hornegg allows the young colluvio musicians to completely concentrate on their thing. There is no disruption from civilisation (the nearest village of Preding is a few kilometres away and can only be reached on foot).
In these secluded, idyllic surroundings really good results can be attained, without the musicians feeling constricted. Quite the opposite – the extensive manor grounds with the castle, the lakes, vineyards, meadows and woods give everyone a feeling of freedom and fresh air and invite all to enjoy excursions in their free time. (Don’t forget bathing costumes!).
The Alumni send reports every year that the 12 days spent at Gut Hornegg fly by with the wind. Although the itinerary of the Master Classes is very concentrated, the lasting memory of ease and fulfilment is foremost.
Some of the teachers accompany the students while on tour. Each concert hall has its own characteristic acoustics, which require flexibility from the musicians. The teachers help the ensembles at acoustic trials to find the right balance at each new venue.
All concerts are recorded and immediately afterwards downloaded into the Internet (internal link).
During the journey to the following concert this enables the students to analyse and learn from their previous performance. This sometimes proves more advantageous than an extra rehearsal.
The accompanying teachers are available for musical (organisatory and personal) matters throughout the whole tour. Generally speaking no further rehearsals take place. Sometimes a short discussion is all that is needed in preparation for the next concert.
“Being every day in a different town with new impressions, in a different country with strange customs – that incites fantasy and brings the music to life.”
Seemingly from concert to concert the quality of the performances improves of its own accord, without further instruction and only very few opportunities to practise and rehearse. – Being every day in a different town with new impressions, in a different country with strange customs – that incites fantasy and brings the music to life.
Usually the final concert in Belgrade is the culmination. It is the tradition to have it recorded professionally in Video and Audio and it is broadcast either in the radio or on TV. Other concerts are also recorded professionally by radio stations.
Our audiences do not only attend a concert with good music and good artists – they are also attracted by the history of colluvio. Often one can hear a pin falling, so concentrated and benevolent is the atmosphere.
The young people greatly enjoy their concert tour through Europe, and above all the possibility to experience different countries, towns, languages and cultures. A small bus transports everybody from venue to venue. During the tour there are one or two completely free days; we enjoy stays in either a European metropole, or sometimes at the seaside or near a lake.
Parting from one another at the end of more than three weeks is no easy thing – one has shared many facets of life for a long time.
Many participants from all the years since 2001, the time of colluvio’s inauguration, have let us know that – thanks to the intensive workshop and ensuing long concert tour – they have not suffered from too great nervous tension at auditions. The expectations at colluvio were of such a high standard that they felt themselves to have grown in a musical sense and thereafter never felt over-taxed.
Apart from musical skills, human openness as well as high motivation are indispensable prerequisites for participation in this work-intensive project.