In each of the partnering countries of the European Music Trails a small three-day cultural festival will take place with artists from all three countries. For this purpose, about 15 young musicians from each country will be selected for a one-week artist residency of chamber music. The artist residency will prepare them for the festival with tuition and rehearsals. Their performance skills, career development and networking opportunities being developed with special activities. During the festivals, they will perform several times in varying combinations, inspiring each other and their audiences in each country.
During the lifetime of Edvard Grieg, Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis and Clara Schumann, the question of the relationship between a national and European identity has been the subject of discussion as it is today. Their main question then was which role the respective folk music has as a source of inspiration for the art music, how national aspects can help paint a bigger European picture. Our current discussions within the community of the European Union and in the member countries indicate that our understanding about national values is in a changing process. In an Open Forum on National Anthems in each of the partnering countries, the European Music Trails follow these questions with workshops and discussions, perceiving national anthems as a symbol of national identity with a wide range of musical and narrative backgrounds.
Questions like these touch the lives of many people and will be discussed on the background of each country’s folk music and history. This allows people who are not part of the typical music audience for classical concerts to participate in the workshops, by sharing their experiences, stories and ideas on national anthems. Musicians and music experts from the three countries will develop the workshops, further encouraging the exchange between cultures and artists in Europe.
To create new audiences and to follow new artistic paths, chamber music will be performed for one day at several unusual places in each country (the date differs from country to country). The performances will consist of music by Clara Schumann, Edvard Grieg and Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis as well as other, directly related composers and will take place in private homes, shopping malls, at car dealers, in city squares, in hotel lobbies etc.
To enlarge audiences and to reach people who would not usually visit a classical concert, we integrate senior citizens and younger students into the project's activities. They will be trained to lead guided tours to the composers’ homes and places of work and are encouraged to organise talks with artists involved in the programme to spread the knowledge of each areas musical heritage. In order to do so, they will be trained in special courses and offered working material to conduct research on the composers of their respective towns (Čiurlionis in Vilnius, Clara Schumann in Leipzig, and Grieg in Oslo).
Under the working title “The best ten minutes”, a touring exhibition will be designed concentrating on the lives of Clara Schumann, Čiurlionis and Grieg. Through devices such as pictures, videos, music and interactive elements the exhibition aims to be understandable even without language skills and can be explored within ten minutes. One main aspect will highlight the travel activities of all three composers, what means of transport they used, what distances they covered, what they had to endure in order to follow their musical careers all throughout Europe. The exhibition will be bilingual, using English and the language of the partnering country where it is being shown. A complementary part of the exhibition will be 3-minute sequences filmed by university students of all three partnering countries about the composers and their time. Due to the content of the exhibition, it will be perfect to be displayed in busy places like railway stations and airports, reaching a wide variety of audiences, including persons who are not yet fascinated by classical music or who wouldn’t search for information on the composers on their own.