Master class d'András Keller avec le Quatuor Esmé (Lauréat HSBC 2018) - Festival d’Aix 2018

2020 Chamber music residency

June 8 2020 to June 20 2020
The residency is open to established string quartets whose average age does not exceed 30 years old on January 1, 2020 and to mid-career composers

The Académie’s chamber music residency will provide five string quartets the opportunity to perfect their interpretations of great classical repertoires and to hone their approach to more contemporary language.
Jonathan Brown and Arnau Tomas members of the Cuarteto Casals, which celebrated its twenty-year career last season, will supervise the master classes. They will both share their experience with young instrumentalists, with the complicity of Garth Knox, altist and former member of the Arditti Quartet and of the Ensemble intercontemporain. The Finish composer Kaija Saariaho, a leading figure in today’s musical landscape, takes also center stage at this residency; and Innocence, her new opera, will be making its world premier at the Festival d’Aix in 2020.

As part of the residency, for the very first time, the Académie is organizing a call for scores by young composers. Those individuals whose works are selected will be invited to the Festival d’Aix for the first week of the program. This period of “joint residency” will allow ensembles to interpret a contemporary program while affording composers the chance to have their pieces performed and to work with the musicians.

As this year marks the 250th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven’s birth, his repertoire will be taking the place of honor. Young ensembles from the residency will juxtapose contemporary works with Beethoven quartets, thus demonstrating how profoundly this German composer continues to inspire young music writers today.

In addition, the ensembles will benefit from support by the tutor Mark Withers – who offers outreach work to young audiences in order to raise their musical awareness via a creative and participative approach – and by Christiane Louis – an expert in career development, who will address all practical issues an ensemble may face early in their career, such as communication, self-promotion, professional development, and distribution.



Jonathan Brown (viola) and Arnau Tomas (cello) — Cuarteto Casals (string quartet)
Garth Knox — Altist and former member of the Arditti Quartet and of the Ensemble intercontemporain
Kaija Saariaho — Composer
Mark Withers — Artistic and education projects leader at the London Symphony Orchestra Discovery & for the outreach skills sessions of the Festival d'Aix
Christiane Louis — Instructor in artistic entrepreneurship at the Philharmonie de Paris



5 string quartets
3 composers


Some work sessions (held in English) may be open to the public.
Educational meetings were organised in conjunction with the Festival’s Passerelles services.
The residency give rise to public concerts and events in the framework of Aix en juin, in Aix-en-Provence and the surrounding area.


1. Shortlisting via application*
• Biography / CV and photos
• Audio (.mp3) or video recordings
• Schedule of your concert dates from September, 2019 to March, 2020 (included)


All incomplete applications will be rejected.
* Application shortlisting results will be announced two weeks prior to the audition.

2. Final selection on audition
• Audition programme:
- one movement from a classical or romantic work
- one movement from a contemporary work (or, failing that, modern)



A selection committee – including, among others, the Finish composer Kaija Saariaho – will choose three pieces for string quartet among the scores submitted.

SUBMIT A SCORE (application are opening soon)





• January 12, 2020, at 10 a.m. — Amphithéâtre, Cité de la Musique (Paris)
The Académie du Festival d’Aix is a partner of a day of auditions being organized in conjunction with the String Quartet Biennial of the Philharmonie de Paris. This day will allow emerging ensembles to perform before an international artistic committee composed of important figures in the field of music. The day, which is open to the general public, will include musical events followed by discussions with visiting professionals.
> Enroll by October 31, 2019, with Nora Meyer at or by phone at +

February 2020 — Location to be announced


• Travel expenses (transport, hotel) of the artists auditioning are chargeable to the artists.
• Master classes, accommodation and travel* fees are covered by the Festival d'Aix. Artists pay for their meals.
* Reimbursements of travel fees are made on proof of purchase of a 2nd class return plane or train ticket between the artist’s town/city of residence and Aix/Marseille. Reimbursements are capped by geographical area: €80 (PACA Region), €210 (whole of France), €350 (Europe / Mediterranean), €500 (outside Europe and the Mediterranean)


⇒ Do not hesitate to read our Frequently Asked Questions


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