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HISTORY AND MISSION

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Here were dedicated musicians in this beautiful and hospitable country with a sincere and personal appeal to assist the Music Academy in regaining the vital status they had attained prior to the conflicts of 1992 -1995. It was an appeal that struck a resounding chord in me and my immediate response was ‘Yes, of course I will, but what can we do?’

  The Manhattan Quartet’s first trip, in May 2010, was organized by Dino Mulic, pianist of the Academy, and, through his determination, was entirely funded by the American Embassy. We brought with us American composer Craig Walsh and his newly composed String Quartet based on Bosnian folk melodies as an homage to Bosnian culture. We played concerts, had vital meetings with professors and administrators, and worked intensively with music students preparing together a joint concert for the end of our stay. It was a meaningful and successful trip,

  The initial idea for the Sarajevo Chamber Music Festival came from a meeting I had with professors of the Music Academy in Sarajevo in 2009. ‘What can you do to help the Academy and its students’ they asked. ‘Can you come back with your Quartet?’

July 2011 saw the inaugural season of the Sarajevo Chamber Music Festival and Institute. Though modest in scope, with only six performing artists, we feel a strong statement was made by programming one of the signatures of the Manhattan Quartet’s repertoire, the complete cycle of 15 Quartets of Dmitri Shostakovich. And we were especially gratified to present a program of Mozart and Schubert performing alongside two distinguished artists from the Sarajevo Academy.

  Of special importance was the beginning of our Chamber Music Institute. We were delighted when twenty young artists, all college age string players, registered to attend. Of these all but one, an exciting young cellist from Split Croatia, were students of the Sarajevo Academy. Imagine our surprise when most of these players, all very well taught and quite proficient, announced they had never before played string quartets! We formed groups and they set to work producing, with discipline and great enthusiasm, a beautiful concert of Beethoven, Dvorak, Schubert and Shostakovich. You can read some of the letters we received from these eager young players on our Institute page.


To try to answer my question ‘what can we do to help’ I think our primary goals are to strive to produce concerts of the very highest caliber and to uphold the ideals that make our art as vital and expressive as possible. And to attempt to demonstrate the pertinence of classical music in today’s society and the necessity and benefits of a rigorous, complete musical education. We hope to help the Sarajevo Academy gain more visibility in their country and to give the students a sense of Bosnia as a place where positive international attention, collaboration and recognition is possible.

bonds were formed, friendships made and we planted the seeds we hoped would grow into an international Chamber Music Festival in Sarajevo.

SARAJEVO

CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL AND INSTITUTE