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“… a life-altering experience!”

Why? Because our participants are literally “learning at the Source,” experiencing the classical master- pieces while immersed in the very culture that produced them. They do walk in the footsteps of Mozart and Beethoven, and they do perform in some of the very halls where these giants performed. 


Our home base is Bratislava, just an hour’s boat ride down the Danube from Vienna. One of the crown jewels of the Austrian empire it boasts a  rich cultural history which includes Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Liszt, Hummel and Bartok. (More about that later.) The rich 18th century architecture of Bratislava is hardly distinguishable from the Vienna of empress Maria Theresa.  

What sets our Academy apart from all others is an unmatched curriculum of multiple orchestra rehearsals and performance opportunities offered each participant. Only through such intense experiences can soloists learn how to integrate the often narrow perspective of a soloist into a narrative with the varied timbres and personalities that only a live orchestra can bring. Far removed from the monolithic world of the all-conquering 19th century romantic virtuoso, classical concerti offer a kaleidoscopic glimpse of 18th century life, where characters interact as equals, not unlike singers on the operatic stage.  In that spirit, our soloists begin to re-think the composer’s intentions, allowing the audience to experience something genuinely vital, creative, and fresh from the source. Only by the honesty and humility of this approach, e pluribus unum, can the classical arts touch the future and remain relevant to our humanity.


Concerto*Fest*Europa concludes in glittering baroque palaces where each Festival participant performs with the renowned Chamber Orchestra of the Slovak State Opera.

​                                                                              Robert Ward, Artistic Director

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