For the Music Scene of Today and TomorrowGrafenegg Academy & EUYO
At Grafenegg a close-knit community forms every summer: talented young players, internationally celebrated musicians, and notable personalities from the classical music world – all coming together in an inspiring environment. Since its reformation in 2021, the Grafenegg Academy has quickly made a name for itself, and now receives applications from around the world. Successful applicants are invited to form the Grafenegg Academy Orchestra, an internationally staffed orchestra in residence.
Orchestral performance and the grand concert – which concludes the Academy’s programme each year – are by no means the only aspects of our mission. It is of great importance to us to think holistically and to promote young musicians’ careers. The central aim of the Grafenegg Academy is to support modern musicians’ in their professional lives, a goal that sets it apart from many traditional orchestra academies and programmes.
This is reflected in the various formats and line-ups in which the musicians perform, from large orchestral works to smaller ensembles. Combined with a dynamic programme that explores connections between old and new, the Academy goes beyond the traditional concert experience. In 2024, there will be again a Late Night Session that breaks free from the conventions of the traditional concert. As well as the prelude the Late Night Sesson will feature small ensemble lineups that have worked on their repertoire through intensive rehearsal.
The daily life of the Academy involves rehearsal for the large orchestra, both in sections and in various ensemble configurations. The focus is on exchanging ideas, stimulating artistic development, and building a shared engagement with music. Mentors work to guide participants through various sessions, before performing alongside them in concert. These are among the leading orchestra musicians and have held or currently hold positions in renowned orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, Les Siècles, the Munich Philharmonic, the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House in London, and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields.
Beyond rehearsal work, the Academy offers courses to support participants’ development, such as the Music Labs. The format of these workshops varies from lectures on career development or time management, to discussions of certain aspects of music or interactive sessions on rhythm.
During the Grafenegg Academy, the musicians reside in cottages in the castle grounds, creating a sense of community within a beautiful setting. This is central to the Academy: friendships are formed, connections made; many musicians return to Grafenegg time and again. Our alumni have played, and continue to play, in internationally celebrated orchestras.
The Academy is led by leading figures from the classical music world, such as Alina Ibragimova, Håkan Hardenberger and Colin Currie, who returns 2024 as a guest artist, overseeing the Late Night Session programme and performing as a soloist in the grand concert. In the 2024 season, Israeli conductor Ilan Volkov will serve as curator of the Grafenegg Academy, developing an exciting programme and leading from the conductor's podium.
The application process for the Academy 2024 has started in October 2023, with the selection process taking place in January 2024.
In addition to the Academy, Grafenegg has close connections to another orchestra for young musicians. The European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO) is one of the world’s leading youth symphony orchestras. Founded in 1976, after a unanimous decision of the European Parliament, it has collaborated with many renowned artists and conductors, including Leonard Bernstein and Herbert von Karajan. Among its alumni are many celebrated soloists, conductors, professors, and orchestra musicians.
The EUYO has come to Grafenegg every year since 2018, and since 2013 has chosen us to be its official home and administrative headquarters. A collaboration with the Music & Art School Management Lower Austria is creating an enriching exchange for the musicians of the Lower Austrian Youth Symphony Orchestra and the EUYO, under the title «MusicHubAustria».