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"Both creativity and the capacity to innovate are key human qualities – they are inherent to all of us, and we make use of them in many situations and places, whether knowingly or not."

Ján Figel’, European Commissioner for Culture

News & Media

This news section is the place to find the latest news and press releases both from EFA and its members. Remember to come back frequently to find the updates here!

Space for beautiful experiences: National Forum of Music to open on 4 September in Wrocław

03 September 2015

The National Forum of Music in Wroclaw is the most significant cultural development in Poland and the centre of music performance in Wroclaw. Acting also as the home of 11 ensembles and numerous festivals, including the International Festival Wratislavia Cantans, this complex symbolises and celebrates the historic and ongoing importance of music performance in the city. For both residents and visitors, this facility offers an exciting platform to experience music at its best. The venue will open on 4 September. - more...

Apply until 30 September for new Festival Production Management Training

02 September 2015

The Festival Production Management Training is a new format of The Festival Academy, an initiative of the European Festivals Association (EFA). It focuses especially on production management in terms of realising and implementing the vision of the artistic director. The training looks at the practical side of this process, with special attention given to working with artists. Participants will meet and exchange with experienced production managers and artists, including set designers, light designers, conductors, choir leaders etc. The training is set up as a long-term programme which explores all phases of producing an artistic work: a programme with 3 modules spread over a period of one or more year(s). Application deadline: 30 September 2015. - more...

Atelier in Gwangju kicked off: “The Atelier is about sharing ideas, knowledge, dreams”

01 September 2015

On 31 August 2015 in Gwangju, South Korea at the Convention Hall of the Chonnam National University, the Atelier for Young Festival Managers of The Festival Academy (initiative of the European Festivals Association) kicked off. The opening ceremony was hosted by Professor InSul Kim. Jee Byung-moon, President of the Chonnam National University (CNU), and Jongman Choi, President of the Institute of Asian Culture Development, welcomed the 35 participants from 20 countries and 7 mentors to the second Atelier in Asia. Inge Ceustermans, Managing Director of The Festival Academy, introduced the Atelier, and Hugo De Greef set the tone for the discussions during the seven days to come based on his experience as General Coordinator of The Festival Academy and Mentor of the Atelier. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: The hidden music theatre boom in Finland

31 August 2015

“How well do we really know ourselves? How confident can we be in predicting what we would or would not do in novel situations that we have never encountered? Could we like God’s favorite angel, Lucifer, ever be led into the temptation to do the unthinkable to others?” Philip Zimbardo raises these questions in the foreword of his book entitled The Lucifer Effect. As the leading professor of The Stanford Prison Experiment, one of the much-debated and shocking researches of contemporary psychology, Zimbardo is undoubtedly not alone with his thoughts. We all are curious to know… What if I told you a murder that took place in Finland in 1881? A tragic story about Arndt Hofström, respected priest, murdered with a mallet by his brother Oskar Hofström, who was also a priest. Oskar, who acclaimed his act meant to bless his brother, remained calm at the trial and was sure that God was pleased. His blood-curling story stayed as a mystery among pages of history. The secret motivation arising from his religious vision were unveiled. Today, a century later, it became a fundamental inspiration for Autuus (Bliss) – an interesting and strong music theatre work, world premiered at the Helsinki Festival. Read the full blog by Ceyda Söderblom on Festival Bytes. - more...

Atelier goes to Gwangju, public invited to opening and closing sessions

27 August 2015

The 9th edition of the Atelier for Young Festival Managers will start next Monday, 31 August in the vibrant city of Gwangju, South Korea. The training programme of The Festival Academy is organised in cooperation with the Chonnam National University and the Asia Culture Center, which will be opened with a festival on 4 September. 36 participants from 20 countries will meet for the first time during the public opening ceremony at Chonnam National University, which will kick off 7 days of exchanges, networking and discovering cultural Gwangju. The public is invited to the opening and closing sessions. - more...

Inge Ceustermans on The Festival Academy, its goals, and ambition for the future

25 August 2015

The European Festivals Association plays a key role in developing the festival managers of tomorrow. The success of its Atelier for Young Festival Managers programme led to the foundation of The Festival Academy in 2013, offering various training formats and networking opportunities to young, dynamic and passionate festival makers worldwide. Managing director Inge Ceustermans told Mark Powell from the International Arts Manager more about its work. - more...

Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Budapest - Apply by 15 September 2015!

25 August 2015

The Festival Academy, an initiative of the European Festivals Association (EFA), is calling for applications for the Atelier for Young Festival Managers to take place from 2 to 8 June 2016 in Budapest, Hungary, in collaboration with the Armel Opera Festival. Ten renowned festival directors will guide 45 participants through the 7-day training programme. Young festival managers from all over the world are invited to apply until 15 September 2015. - more...

Second Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Asia to kick off 31 August in Gwangju

18 August 2015

[PRESS RELEASE - Brussels, Belgium/Gwangju, South Korea, 18 August 2015] The next Atelier for Young Festival Managers, an international training programme run by The Festival Academy and initiated by the European Festivals Association (EFA), will take place in Gwangju, South Korea, from 31 August to 6 September. Hosted by Chonnam National University and Asia Culture Center, the Atelier GWANGJU 2015 will gather 35 young festival managers from 20 countries. During the Atelier participants broaden their programming skills, join a network of future festival leaders worldwide, and are inspired by seven renowned festival directors from all over the world who share their experiences. A public opening session will kick off the Atelier GWANGJU 2015 on 31 August at Chonnam National University’s Convention Hall. The Atelier will end with a public closing ceremony on 6 September at the Asia Culture Center. - more...

Baltic Sea Youth Philharmonic tours Germany in September and October, marking 25th anniversary

18 August 2015

[Seaside Resort Ahlbeck / 18 August] Concerts in Heiden, Hanover and in Peenemünde, Island of Usedom • International newcomer soloists: Heigo Rosin, Hyeyoon Park and Pauli Kari • World premiere of ‘Green’ Piano Concerto by Finn Severi Pyysalo at the 22nd Usedom Music Festival • European Cultural Award 2015 for BYP on 2 October in Dresden • In the 25th anniversary year of the reunification of Germany, Baltic Sea Youth Philharmonic (BYP) undertakes a tour of the country, from west to east. The multinational orchestra of talented music students from all the countries around the Baltic Sea will bring their shared values of community, innovation and passion concern to Germany’s concert halls. Under the baton of Estonian Kristjan Järvi, BYP presents the world premiere of the ‘Green’ Piano Concerto by Finnish composer Severi Pyysalo. It also performs with three rising young soloists: Heigo Rosin, Hyeyoon Park and Pauli Kari. The orchestra’s year comes to an exciting climax on 2 October as it collects the prestigious European Cultural Award and performs at a star-studded event at Dresden’s Frauenkirche, the Church of our Lady. - more...

Monique Veaute to share her broad experience managing arts

17 August 2015

Monique Veaute, President of the Fondazione Romaeuropa in Italy, will also guide the participants of the next edition of the Atelier for Young Festival Managers that will take place in Gwangju from 31 August to 6 September 2015. They will have the opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences with her during this intensive week of training on festival management. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: For heaven’s sake

13 August 2015

“For heaven’s sake” is what my colleagues Piotr Turkiewicz, Renata Puczyńska, both working for the newly built National Forum of Music, and myself came up with when we met in Wroclaw last week to work out a concept for the 65th General Assembly of the European Festivals Association (EFA) which will be held in Wroclaw, Poland from 14 to 17 April 2016. We were still under full impression of our visit of the National Forum the previous evening; I had the unique opportunity to be taken on a tour of this impressive building with its Director, inventor and motor behind its realisation, Andrzej Kosendiak. The National Forum of Music will be officially opened at the beginning of September. Read the full blog by Kathrin Deventer on Festival Bytes. - more...

Marie-Hélène Falcon explores the ever-shifting frontiers where art and ideas meet

12 August 2015

Marie-Hélène Falcon, former Director Festival TransAmériques Montréal (Canada), with more than 30 years working in the field of festivals, will participate as a mentor in the next edition of the Atelier for Young Festival Managers that will take place in Gwangju from 31 August to 6 September 2015. She will share her insights and experience with the 36 participants from 20 countries all around the world. - more...

Batumi MusicFest to bring classical music to Georgian Black Sea coast

11 August 2015

Dedicated to classical music and flamboyant Georgian folklore, the third edition of Batumi MusicFest will be held in Batumi, a magical city at the shore of the Black Sea, 10-15 September 2015. In the very heart of the magnificent region of Adjara, the Batumi MusicFest takes place within the enchanting surrounding of the Batumi Music Center Concert Hall and Piazza. - more...

Seonghee Kim to share her experience in arts and festivals in Asia

10 August 2015

The participants of the upcoming Atelier for Young Festival Managers will have the opportunity to meet Seonghee Kim, Artistic Director of the Asian Arts Theater/ACC, during the 7-day training taking place from 31 August to 6 September in Gwangju. As the Atelier’s host that will kick off the Asian Arts Theatre Opening Festival during the same week, she will offer the 36 festival managers first-hand insights into the Korean arts and festival sectors.   - more...

2015 Gstaad Menuhin Festival & Academy: Irony & Music

07 August 2015

Humour and irony have their fixed place in classical music but all too often it seems that the world of classical music comes off too serious and too stiff. The Gstaad Menuhin Festival & Academy 2015 seek to demonstrate not only how entertaining classical music can be, but also its qualities of irony and intelligence. Therefore, the motto of the 59th Gstaad Menuhin Festival & Academy (16 July – 5 September 2015) is “Irony & Music”. - more...

Chiaki Soma: eager to improve dialogue between art and society

06 August 2015

One of the mentors joining the Atelier for Young Festival Managers for the first time and who will be sharing her experience with the 36 selected festival managers during the week in Gwangju is Chiaki Soma, Art Producer, Representative Director Arts Commons Tokyo, and former Artistic Director Tokyo Festival. - more...

Robyn Archer: “Your mission is not just entertainment”

04 August 2015

One of the presenters who will participate in the Atelier Gwangju, taking place from 31 August to 6 September 2015, and exchange with 35 young artistic festival directors from all over the world is Robyn Archer, Artistic Director of The Light in Winter in Melbourne, Deputy Chair of the Australia Council for the Arts and Strategic Advisor Gold Coast Arts and Culture in Queensland and Member of the European House for Culture. She has participated in the Atelier Varna (2009), Singapor (May 2011), Izmir (October 2011), Ljubljana (2012) and POZNAN (2014). - more...

2015 Stresa Festival with diverse programme of high artistic quality

03 August 2015

The 2015 Settimane Musicali di Stresa e del Lago Maggiore – the Stresa Festival – is about to start, with 24 not-to-be-missed concerts on the banks of stunning Lake Maggiore and its magnificent surroundings. The 54th Stresa Festival opened with the fourth edition of the Midsummer Jazz Concerts, which were held from 22 to 26 July on the Lungolago La Palazzola promenade in Stresa, a natural open-air lakeside venue looking out toward the Borromeo Islands. The Stresa Festival will take off on 18 August with Musical Meditations, when Bach’s Six Cello Suites will be played at the marvellous Santa Caterina del Sasso hermitage. The solo cellist this year is the German Jan Vogler. On 20 August the violinist Federico Guglielmo will be partnered by Andrea Coen on the fortepiano at the Chiesa Vecchia in Belgirate. The Festival, whose 2015 title is Open, starts on Saturday 22 August and runs to Saturday 5 September.  - more...

New on Festival Bytes: What I Heard About The (Arts) World* live

30 July 2015

There is a saying: “You are what you eat.” We think artistic creation is food for the soul, so what better way to tell others about who you are and what you hold dear than through the artistic objects that make you be glad to be part of the world. At the 2015 General Assembly of the European Festivals Association (EFA) in Ostrava we decided to use this idea to trigger EFA members to get to know each other better. Read the full blog by Eva Nunes on Festival Bytes. - more...

Nele Hertling: “You are the one to enable the artist to create something”

29 July 2015

Nele Hertling, former Vice President of the Academy of Arts Berlin in Germany, is one of the presenters who will participate in the upcoming Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Gwangju taking place from 31 August to 6 September 2015 to exchange with 35 young artistic festival directors from all over the world. She has participated in each Atelier since 2006: GOERLITZ 2006, VARNA 2009, SINGAPORE, IZMIR 2011, LJUBLJANA 2012, EDINBURGH, POZNAN 2014, and BEIRUT 2015. In the run-up to the Gwangju Atelier all presenters will be introduced. - more...

Hugo De Greef: “The Atelier is about exchanging experiences”

28 July 2015

In the run-up to the Atelier for Young Festival Managers inGwangju taking place from 31 August to 6 September, all presenters who will participate to exchange with 35 young artistic festival directors from all over the world will be introduced. A high-level group of renowned festival directors will guide the participants throughout the seven days of the Atelier GWANGJU 2015. One of them is Hugo De Greef, General Coordinator of the Atelier, Co-founder and Board member of The Festival Academy and former EFA Secretary General. - more...

EFA attends opening of 30th Mosel Musikfestival

23 July 2015

On Friday, 17 July, the Mosel Musikfestival opened its 30th edition,  kicking off 3 months of festivities and special artistic encounters along the Mosel river. In the Basilica of Trier, Ludwig van Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis came to life and showed its full brilliance. But, also in front of the Basilica on the Basilica Square, hundreds of people enjoyed the live-stream of the concert: a very special atmosphere on a late-night summer evening bringing the festival’s voice far beyond the concert hall walls. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: Almada International Theatre Festival is a letter from Portugal to Europe

17 July 2015

A special letter to a director who is missed but left us with a prestigious international theatre festival: "Dear Joaquim Benite, This 32nd edition of the Almada International Theatre Festival (Portugal), which you founded in 1984, started the night before the Greek referendum on the austerity measures imposed by the European Union. For you the relation is clear, but not for all the readers of this text (...)." Read the full blog by Claudia Galhos on Festival Bytes. - more...

66th Dubrovnik Summer Festival about to open

07 July 2015

The 66th Dubrovnik Summer Festival, taking place from 10 July to 25 August, will open on 10 July with raising the Libertas flag on Orlando's Column. During 47 festival days, more than 2000 artists from all over the world will take part in more than 70 theatrical, musical, operatic, ballet and folklore events in around twenty Dubrovnik site-specific venues, before an audience of 60.000 local and foreign visitors, according to the announcement from the Press Conference held at the Argentina Hotel. The participants included Andro Vlahušić, Mayor of Dubrovnik, Mladen Tarbuk, Artistic Director; Mani Gotovac, Theatre Programme Director; and Martina Rizman Matić, Corporative Communications Manager of the Vipnet, General Sponsor of the Festival. - more...

Programme announced for 11th D-Marin Turgutreis International Classical Music Festival

29 June 2015

The 11th edition of the eagerly-expected D-Marin Turgutreis International Classical Music Festival will be held between 15 and 19 August 2015. The festival will feature distinguished ensembles and performers including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Presidential Symphonic Orchestra of Turkey, Denis Matsuev, Buika, Sarah Chang, Eleni Karandriou, and Fazıl Say. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: How grateful we must be

26 June 2015

How grateful we must be, all those who are able to travel, to travel in space, to travel in time (the highest form of this travel must be the travel in our mind, in our souls without moving a centimetre even). At the point of writing, I am on a flight to Sofia to attend the Paper Art Fest set up and directed by Daniela Todorova and Todor Todorov, two fantastic artists and initiators of many movements in the arts in Sofia and way beyond. The flight inspired me to enter into a real travel of mind and approach the topic of innovation not in the way I probably was invited for by Daniela and Todor (from a European, comparative, festival related point of view), but rather from an inside versus outside point of view: innovation is inside of us, and it needs an outside view to take full shape. What do I mean? Read the full blog by Kathrin Deventer on Festival Bytes. - more...

Ljubljana Festival 2015: At the heart of your summer experience

22 June 2015

The Slovenian capital is gearing up for a long, hot and colourful summer, jam packed with cultural events. The 63rd Ljubljana Festival – the oldest and most important festival in the region – will be the longest ever. In a period of just over three months, the festival will host numerous renowned Slovenian and foreign artists from the spheres of music, opera, dance, musicals, theatre and art. The Ljubljana Festival's official inauguration will be held on 28 June at Kongresni Trg (Congress Square), a beautiful place surrounded by historic buildings and Park Zvezda (Star Park) which offers a spectacular view of Ljubljanski Grad (the Ljubljana Castle). The opening event will be a musical and visual spectacle conducted by the Academy Award winning Chinese conductor, Tan Dun. However, as a prelude to the summer festival, the Ljubljana Festival hosted one of the most successful musicals of all time – Mamma Mia! – from 15 to 19 June. - more...

Baltic Sea Youth Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi to perform at European Cultural Awards in Dresden

19 June 2015

[BYP and Kristjan Järvi awarded European Culture Prize - 2015 Baltic Sea Youth Philharmonic in concert with world-renowned stars of classical music Angela Gheorghiu, Jonas Kaufmann and many more] Baltic Sea Youth Philharmonic (BYP) will perform at the gala ceremony of the European Cultural Awards 2015 on Friday 2 October at Dresden’s Frauenkirche. Under the baton of Kristjan Järvi, BYP Founding Conductor and Music Director, the finest musicians from all countries surrounding the Baltic Sea will celebrate and perform together with international renowned soloists and ensembles. Alongside and with the Baltic Sea Youth Philharmonic the audience will experience tenor Jonas Kaufmann, soprano Angela Gheorghiu, cellist Maximilian Hornung and organist Samuel Kummer. On the eve of the 25th anniversary of the German reunification, the gala ceremony will also bring together on stage as former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, world-famous conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim, German a capella group Die Prinzen or former Spanish Prime Minister Felipe González. - more...

New on Festival Bytes: Lebanon: The difficulties of being a social megaphone

11 June 2015

The Atelier for Young Festival Managers is a 7-day training programme run by The Festival Academy, initiated by the European Festivals Association (EFA). Targeting young festival managers from all around the world, it aims to introduce its participants to a new culture, and make them discover the local conditions of festivals and cultural institutions. Lebanon, which hosted the Atelier BEIRUT 2015, was a peculiar country in this context as its festivals always have to cope with the country’s instability. Read the full blog by Ysaline Lannoy on Festival Bytes. - more...

International festival directors met in Ostrava for the 2015 EFA General Assembly

10 June 2015

From 4 to 7 June 2015, the General Assembly of the European Festivals Association (EFA) took place in Ostrava, Czech Republic. It was hosted by the International Music Festival “Janáček May”, which celebrates its 40th jubilee in 2015. Some 100 festival directors representing more than 50 festivals in 26 countries attended the annual EFA gathering to exchange, network, and explore the grounds for future collaboration. EFA and the Janáček May Festival took this moment as an opportunity to underline the importance of international cooperation for the impact of culture at the local level. - more...

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