EFA Members General Assembly – an evening dedicated to young artists

3 December 2020

COVID-19 forced everyone to change plans, be flexible and adapt. Last week, on 25 November, the European Festivals Association organised its first online General Assembly, the first one not to take place physically in 68 years. 

On this occasion, the EFA Team built up a one-day programme for EFA members to connect, collaborate and be together, trying to erase the sense of distance, and make the day memorable. 

The evening was dedicated to young artists. Programming young artists, as Darko Brlek said in his introduction, and offering them a window is important, especially today in difficult times for the arts. This is also a priority that EFA has supported for a number of years, illustrated through the first Young Artists Concerts during our Arts Festivals Summits 2019 in Lisbon. It is a way, on the one hand, to promote the work of promising and talented young artists to an enlarged group of professionals and, on the other, to create inspiration and collaboration between festivals.  

To continue this work and to make 25 November a special day, Festival Castell de Peralada and ArtLink Belgrade – 2 EFA members who have set up prizes for young artists – built a rich programme of performances. The evening began with Manuel Fuentes, a Spanish bass who won the Festival Castell de Peralada Prize at the Prestigious Tenor Viñas Competition in 2020. The second performance was a recording of the cellist Petar Pejčić at the Anna Kull International Cello Competition 2020 which he won in Graz (Austria). He also won the ArtLink Award for the Most Promising young Artist in Serbia in 2019. The evening was enriched by a keynote speech from Norman Lebrecht “What classical music has gained from Covid” between the two scheduled performances

The final part “EFA’s NIGHT at the Nite Hotel” took place in the virtual space of the Nite Hotel with the interactive contemporary online dance performance “Swan Lake: The Game” and we concluded this evening in the hotel’s bar!

We will keep investing our energy in sharing young artists discovered by our EFA Members in the coming years, highlighting the Prizes they put in place and showing artists’ works to a larger festivals community. Young artists are tomorrow’s rising stars. We need to let them shine. 

by Audrey Brisack

You can watch here the recording of the evening session.