Juilliard Professor Attended Symposium in Kaunas

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From 27 November until 2 December, the piano art symposium entitled Pianistas XXI Amžiuje. Naujų Iššūkių Ir Sprendimų Laikas (Pianist in the 21st Century: Era of New Challenges and Decisions) was held in Kaunas. As part of the event, lectures and training courses were offered by internationally renowned pianist, the prestigious Juilliard School’s (USA) professor Julian Martin.

The Juilliard School is one of the best music schools in the world, whose international prestige and accumulated experience is very important to post-Soviet countries seeking to ground its musical, cultural and aesthetic education in the ideas of freedom and openness. Juilliard nurtures its traditions of musical education with the highest level of mastery and the latest interpretative pursuit, so it is crucial to capitalize on this cooperation and apply the school’s ideas, expert insights, and educational principles and methods at VMU.

Vytautas Magnus University is Juilliard’s first partner in Eastern Europe: in 2012, both institutions signed a collaboration agreement. A famous American pianist, Juilliard School lecturer Jerome Lowenthal has already taught training courses at the VMU Music Academy this year.

The art symposium was organized as an extension of the cooperation and a bid to encourage the development of music education in the Baltic region. The week-long event encompassed seminars, practicums, discussions, training courses and concerts. Experiences were shared by the educators of VMU Music Academy’s Dept. of Piano, prominent Lithuanian musicians Rokas Zubovas, Gabrielius Alekna, Donaldas Račys, Olegas Molokojedovas, and Eglė Andrejevaitė.

Prof. Martin’s training courses weren’t attended by the local students only: youths from Latvian, Estonian, Polish and Russian higher education schools joined them as well. This week of practical studies is expected to evolve into the Juilliard Study Week, which would take place annually and involve a different area of musical or aesthetic education each time.

Vytautas Magnus University is marking the 25th anniversary of its reestablishment this year. On this occasion, it is organising numerous academic and cultural events. The symposium held by the VMU Music Academy was one of the main events of the series dedicated to this momentous observance.

The symposium was organised by the VMU Music Academy in collaboration with the Kaunas Region Association of Piano Education and social partners.

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