Clare Ghigo: mezzo-soprano

Abbaye aux Dames de Saintes – FRANCE

The Abbaye aux Dames is a monastic historic monument, a magnificent example of 11th, 14th and 17th century Romanesque architecture. Having been neglected until the end of the Second World War, the Abbaye aux Dames de Saintes was resurrected during the 70’s thanks to the mobilisation of the local population. A non-profit organisation was established to safeguard the monument and the first initiative of this new association was an early music festival in 1973, one of the first of its kind in France. With the support of the French Ministry for Culture, the Poitou-Charentes region, the Charente-Maritime district and the city of Saintes, the association Abbaye aux Dames de Saintes has lead a musical project based on the interpretation of classical and romantic repertoires on period instruments since 2003. It also organises musical activities all year long, dedicated to the local audience. The Abbaye aux Dames contributes to the local economic and cultural life through: i) the Festival de Saintes, one of the most important festivals in Europe for historical informed performances with music from the Middle Ages to contemporary; ii) the Jeune Orchestre Atlantique, a unique training programme dedicated to young musicians, specialising in classical and romantic repertoires on period instruments. The Abbaye aux Dames is a member of Francefestivals, the Réseau Européen de Musique Ancienne (REMA-EEMN). It is also an associated member of the Association Européenne des Conservatoires (AEC) and the European Federation of National Youth Orchestras (EFNYO).

Soundscapes – MALTA

Soundscapes is a major stakeholder on a Euro-Mediterranean platform committed to contemporary music and Maltese folk music. Since 2006 Soundscapes has presented performances and projects on the international festival network all over Europe as well as in the USA, Egypt, Tunisia, India and Hong Kong. Soundscapes is also developing its own brand of heritage gifts: publications, CDs and Maltese traditional instruments. The design concept of this catalogue promotes Maltese heritage on a high production value. Soundscapes is also committed to develop educational programmes for schools which foster the awareness of contemporary music and Maltese folk music amongst the younger generations.

Malta Association for Contemporary Music – MALTA

The Malta Association for Contemporary Music (MACM) is committed to establish new heights in its goal to promote the performance and understanding of contemporary music in Malta. The objectives of MACM are: to promote contemporary music – particularly that of Malta; to connect composers and musicians to promote the performance of contemporary music – especially the music of living composers; to organise concerts, conferences, workshops and events of any other kind designed to promote contemporary music; to facilitate Malta’s involvement in the international music scene; to facilitate exchanges and cooperation with national and international groups or organisations; to compile and disseminate information within and outside Malta.

Strzemińského Akademie umění v Lodži – POLAND

The Strzemiński Academy of Art Łódź (ASP Łódź) was established in 1945 as the ultimate achievement the pre-war commitments of avant-garde artists Władysław Strzemiński and Stefan Wegner. The academy was set to educate students in the areas of applied arts and fine arts with strong references to the Bauhaus tradition. ASP Łódź is divided into four faculties: Graphics & Painting, Textile & Fashion, Industrial Design & Interior Design and Visual Arts, along with 17 departments, 110 studios, 179 teaching staff members and 1117 students at B.A. and M.A. level. The monumental headquarters of the academy were inaugurated in 1976 and it is Poland’s only architectural complex specially conceived for a modern, multi-departmental school of arts. Last year ASP Łódź inaugurated one of Poland’s best equipped computer studios with 64 state-of-the-art workstations. Till 2013, the ongoing ambitious expansion project will transfer the library with over 40,000 volumes to the new wing of the academy, along with the archives and the newly created institutions of the Fashion Promotion Centre and Centre for Arts and Science.

Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno (JAMU) – CZECH REPUBLIC

The Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno (JAMU) is one of the two academies of music and the dramatic arts in the Czech Republic. It is named after Leoš Janáček, one of the most distinguished composers in modern European music, who was its spiritual father. JAMU was founded in 1947. At present JAMU has more than 500 students at its two faculties of Music and Theatre. Today the Music Faculty has access to considerable artistic potential which is augmented by a range of activities extending beyond the school and internationally. Each year the Music Faculty hosts many excellent foreign teachers who contribute significantly to the innovation its pedagogy. The International Music Master Classes, the international Double Bass Convention and the renowned Leoš Janáček International Competition are all held at JAMU. Its contribution to the rich concert scene of Brno is also significant. Every year the faculty organises almost 200 concerts; worthy noting are the Chamber Opera performances which have recently been very successful, as well as the up-coming international festival Encountering New Music Plus.