Lumières d’Europe

Lumières d’Europe is a Chamber Music Festival based on the philosophy « Playing and learning together ». The theme of this first edition will be : German Romanticism from Schubert to Schoenberg.

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In 1945, Romain Gary published A European Education, his first novel in a long series of novels that testify to his passionate love for a Europe that is constantly falling apart. This Europe is the Europe of the Enlightenment, of universal values of liberty, equality, confidence in intelligence, it is this rough fraternity, the Europe of soldiers in the trenches, of artists and thinkers, of our most beautiful achievements as men and women seeking to build the utopia of a peaceful, united, and free continent.

To build the future of young musicians, to enable them to become accomplished artists, who are curious about the issues of their time, rich in their multiple histories, and generous: this is the goal of this new European academy. This demanding programme is aimed at the best musicians of the young generation and offers a radically new and original training.

It is unique in that it offers musicians and teachers a training programme at the heart of which exchange is the name of the game, where knowledge is not only transmitted vertically, but is acquired through sharing, rigour and dialogue between disciplines and musical approaches.

This project addresses an imperative need in our perilous present: to invent other transmission modes, to reconciliate several generations of musicians and different aesthetics, in a vision that never ceases to question interpretative traditions so as to bring them into dialogue in their singularity.

We are convinced that a musician must be rich in all these legacies and contradictions, rich in the multiple approaches and exchanges that they must have experienced throughout their life, remaining curious and insatiable, in order to be a truly accomplished musician and to make their art shine for the benefit of all.

The particular moment that European musical youth is going through today with this pandemic and the desperate situation in which these young musicians will find themselves at the end of the crisis call for a strong, essential, courageous, innovative and prompt response. A response that transforms these dramatic and perilous moments into an opportunity for fulfilment and development, and drives the creation of a new future.

This project’s humanism and excellence are embodied by the President of Lumières d’Europe, Serge Haroche, Nobel Prize in Physics, thus exemplifying the high standards, generosity and cross-disciplinary approach that are the hallmarks of the ambition that we strongly advocate.

David Grimal,
Violinist and founder of Les Dissonances

Excellence and transmission

Internationally renowned musicians will give masterclasses to 15 students selected in Europe by audition. This limited number of students allows for an optimal quality of teaching conditions on the one hand, but also of exchanges between young musicians and teachers.

Teachers and young artists will explore the great chamber music repertoire during three sessions of about ten days each over a two-year cycle, in a spirit of sharing and openness. The teaching will break down barriers between disciplines. It will allow for an exchange on an artistic level that goes beyond instrumental considerations.

In the spirit of the European Enlightenment

The Académie Lumières d’Europe offers a cross-disciplinary approach to education, covering a wide range of subjects: literature, history of thought, philosophy and science. A musician’s training is nourished by encounters, readings and reflections, which obviously go beyond the strict framework of their discipline. These multiple openings enlighten, enrich and question their practice.

Conferences and exchanges will be organised with academics, researchers and artists in partnership with the Collège de France and the Institut de France. They will also be accessible online to the general public. In order to give everyone access to contemporary creation, a composer will be in residence during each session.

Sharing and professional integration

Teachers and students will play together in concerts at the end of each session: at the Petit Palais, at the George Enescu Festival. Laureates will be invited to perform with the orchestra Les Dissonances.

Inclusion and awareness raising

Access to masterclasses, rehearsals, as well as to some concerts of the academy and conferences will be offered to primary, secondary and high school classes as part of an educational approach to music.

An initial accompaniment offered by musicians of Les Dissonances will facilitate the meeting with young audiences that are often distant from culture.