Since its creation, and bearing in mind its public service vocation, the Centro Superior de Música del País Vasco (Higher Centre of Music of the Basque Country) has taken great care of its relationship with its surroundings.
For this reason, it has developed links with a great many musical and cultural institutions in the country, not only by means of signing occasional contracts and agreements, but also responding to some clear objectives. Musikene’s presence in society is made visible thanks to the production of concerts, an activity which provides students with real training close to that of professional life. By means of these concerts, Musikene tries to “pay back” society for its efforts to maintain and develop a high-level education centre, and it is successful insofar as both cultural institutions and citizens in general are aware of the work carried out at the school. In line with this philosophy, the Centro Superior de Música del País Vasco (Higher Centre of Music of the Basque Country) works hard to respond to all the proposals it receives. Over the last few years, it is evident that there has been an increase in the number of concerts and a growing desire on the part of institutions to collaborate with Musikene. The school is currently a musical and educational reference point which annually offers almost one hundred external concerts, most of them at its headquarters and on other stages within the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country, but also throughout Spain and in the rest of Europe.
Another of the characteristic strengths of Musikene is its relationship with all the cultural and educational agents in the country, attending to all proposals generated by the school itself or arising from the relationship with others, always with student training as the goal. The ever-growing number of agreements and collaborations and the intensification of those already in existence, with the conviction that they lead to mutual enrichment, have become part of the school’s identity.
Over the last few years, we have worked on intensifying the media dissemination of the work carried out in the classrooms by means of promotional reports in the press and on radio and television, interviews and the organisation of, and participation in, diverse cultural activities. All of this has awoken the interest of the media, making the school a regular feature of their schedules and making it possible for the public to get a real image of Musikene today.
At Musikene, we are aware of the importance of being connected to the cultural institutions of our country and collaboration of joint-projects. For this reason, since June 2012, we have signed collaboration agreements with several entities allowing the improvement of our students’ training and their preparations for professional life. Likewise, we collaborate with festivals, associations, ensembles, schools and other collectives in the carrying out of external activities, resulting in a greater presence of music in our society.
BASQUE NATIONAL ORCHESTRA: www.euskadikoorkestra.eus
Preferential institutional collaboration agreement signed in June 2012. All activities arising from the carrying out of this agreement are grouped under the heading JORDÁ CLASSROOM: Basque National Orchestra + Musikene. In addition, both institutions have set in motion a Masters in Orchestral Studies during the 2015-16 academic year, which is the only official one of these characteristics in Spain. Among other activities, the agreement covers the collaboration of students in the orchestra’s subscription programme, the possibility of exclusive masterclasses for Musikene students by soloists and/or conductors of the Basque National Orchestra, and free attendance at rehearsals.
JAZZALDIA (SAN SEBASTIÁN JAZZ FESTIVAL): www.heinekenjazzaldia.com/es/
Agreement signed in April 2013. Covers participation of Musikene student groups in the festival programme or free attendance at masterclasses organised by the festival.
SAN SEBASTIÁN MUSICAL FORTNIGHT: www.quincenamusical.eus/
Agreement signed in June 2013. Establishes educational activities, such as masterclasses and work experience —auditions for small roles in Musical Fortnight productions, or concerts during the opening day, the Young Musicians Cycle or new cycles such as Musikeler—.
BILBAO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: https://bilbaorkestra.eus/
Agreement signed in October 2013. Covers the collaboration of students in the subscription programmes of the orchestra, masterclasses, the availability of the orchestra for Conducting students’ final examinations and the recording of the final work of Composition students or the performance of didactic concerts, among other activities.
MUSIKAGILEAK (Basque-Navarrese Association of Composers): www.musikagileak.com/
Agreement signed in October 2013. The association premières works by Musikene students in some circuits or cycles it organises and some masterclasses and/or conferences organised by Musikagileak are held at Musikene, with free access for the students and teachers of the school.
ERESBIL (Basque Music Archive): www.eresbil.com/
Agreement signed in January 2014. Exchange of books, publications and information regarding new items between the Musikene Mediatheque and Eresbil, as well as the making of joint guides for access to the respective collections. In addition, the staff and students of Musikene have easier access to Eresbil, Musikene advises Musikaste regarding programming and joint-research programmes are promoted, especially regarding the musical heritage of the Basque Country.
ORFEÓN DONOSTIARRA: www.orfeondonostiarra.org/
Agreement signed in December 2014. Among other activities, at least one joint-concert per academic year is carried out between the choirs of the Orfeón Donostiarra (Orfeón, Orfeoi Gazte and Orfeoi Txiki) and one of the Musikene ensembles (Symphony Orchestra, Musikene Sinfonieta, Concert Band and Big Band). In addition, both entities promote musical research with the creation of an Orfeón-Musikene special mention for the best Final Project by a Musikene student.
CONTEMPORARY MUSIC: KURAIA, SMASH AND BERNAOLA FESTIVAL:
Agreement signed in April 2015 with the three most outstanding contemporary music festivals in the Basque Country: Festival Kuraia in Bilbao, Festival Bernaola in Vitoria-Gasteiz and Smash International Festival, with its headquarters in Donostia. The main objective of the agreement is to promote the music of today. To achieve this, the students of Musikene receive advice from artists with international reputations via conferences and masterclasses organised by said festivals, and they have direct contact with professional life by taking part in said festivals. Composition students can listen to their work and interpretation students have the chance to play contemporary repertoire in prestigious cycles.
MUNICIPAL MUSIC BAND OF BILBAO: www.bilbaomusika.net/castellano/cbdlabanda.asp
Agreement signed in December 2015. Musikene Interpretation and Conducting students will be able to do professional work experience, taking part in different activities as instrumentalists or conductors with the Municipal Music Band of Bilbao. The agreement also covers the interpretation of part of the collection of works written by Musikene composition students.
Agreement signed in December 2015. Organisation of a cycle of chamber music, a cycle of jazz, and the programming of the Big Band at Tabakalera.
BEASAIN TOWN COUNCIL: www.beasain.org
Agreement signed in April 2016. Creation of the Igartza Grant, with 3,000 euros for a Masters student and 2,000 euros for a higher studies student.
GOETHE INSTITUTE: https://www.goethe.de/ins/es/es/sta/mad.html
Agreement signed in September 2016 with the aim of disseminating and promoting the culture and music of German composers and performers. Collaboration in the project carried out around the composer Helmut Lachenmann.
ONKOLOGIKOA (SAN SEBASTIÁN ONCOLOGY CENTRE) http://www.onkologikoa.com/
Agreement signed in December 2016 for the development of a socio-educational project designed to provide education in social values and to promote usefulness to society from socio-educational research and innovation through music. It covers two axes of collaboration. On the one hand, the work of a multi-disciplinary team made up of music therapists, psychologists, pedagogues, musicians (teachers and students) and health staff from Onkologikoa with patients and family members at Onkologikoa. On the other hand, the performance of short concerts by soloists and groups made up of Musikene students held in the Oncology Centre under the name of Musical Capsules.
Agreement signed in January 2016 to carry out the cycle ¡Acércate a los grandes compositores! (Get Close to Great Composers!) within the Conversaciones (Conversations) programme designed to create a dialogue between the European Capital of Culture 2016 and the official programme of the city, beginning with the composer Helmut Lachenmann.
GIPUZKOA REGIONAL GOVERNMENT: https://www.gipuzkoa.eus/es/
Agreement signed in October 2017 for the carrying out of activities in the field of conservation and dissemination of the organ heritage of Gipuzkoa.
CORO EASO (EASO CHOIR): https://www.coroeaso.com/
Agreement signed in April 2018 to collaborate in the carrying out of activities in the field of musical pedagogy, research and choir conducting.
UPV/EHU/University of the Basque Country: https://www.ehu.eus/
Agreement signed in May 2018 between UPV/EHU/University of the Basque Country (Gipuzkoa campus sites) and Musikene for the shared carrying out of dissemination, training and research activities which enable the strengthening of the cultural, artistic, university and research capacity of Basque society. Development of culture, music, social development and other guidelines.
COLLABORATIONS AND AGREEMENTS
Certamen Intercentros, Concurso Internacional de Piano Ciudad de San Sebastián, Museo San Telmo, Museo Oteiza, Pasaia Musikal Musika Eskola, Bilbao Musika, Musika- Música de Bilbao, Donostia Musika, Escuela Municipal de Música y Danza de Donostia, Orquesta Et Incarnatus, Opus Lírica, Museo Igartubeiti, Errenteria Musika Kultur Elkartea, Tabakalera, Conservatorios Profesionales del País Vasco, Festival de cine musical Dock of the bay, Colegio Mayor Ayete, Universidad de Virginia (Estados Unidos), Tecnun (Escuela de Ingenieros de la Universidad de Navarra), Mondragon Unibertsitatea, Universidad de Deusto, Ayuntamiento de Zarautz, Festival Mujeres en la música, colectivo Ezmugak y Universidad de Medellín (Colombia).
Ever since it first opened, Musikene has made Etxepare’s Jalgi hadi mundura! (“Go out into the world!”) its own motto, making an axial objective of the indispensable international integration of musicians trained in the Basque Country, alongside the wish for the school to polarize the attention of musicians from beyond its immediate community. From its first operational year, Musikene has had teachers from Great Britain, France, the Netherlands, Poland, Japan and many other countries, who, taking pioneering footsteps, have ploughed a fertile furrow which has only become wider and deeper with time. We remember spells at the school from Garth Knox, Frédérique Cambreling and Erik Chapman, whose initial impulse was passed on to Pierre-Emmanuel de Maistre, Maciej Pikulski, Katalin Hajnóczy and Anthony Pay, to name but a few members of this cosmopolitan community which has made such an indelible mark on the academic history of Musikene. In this way, the school has created a rich network of international relations, involving both musicians and academic centres: this is not unrelated to Musikene’s complete commitment to the Erasmus network and the project behind it. Our teachers, students, administrative and service staff have been able to benefit from this fruitful European implement to widen their experience and expand their knowledge, and to therefore establish enriching ties for our school: each academic year, students, teachers and administrative staff members from Musikene travel to European schools, while we at Musikene welcome students and teachers from abroad. We are used to receiving requests to come here from the most prestigious schools in Europe. Teachers, students and staff from the Sibelius Academy of Helsinki, Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln (Cologne), and The Fryderyk Chopin University of Music of Warsaw, to name but a few, have applied to come and find out all about us. As things stand today, Musikene has signed agreements with 48 conservatories and music schools in 18 foreign countries, and its participation in the Association Européenne des Conservatoires, Académies de Musique et Musikhochschulen (AEC) facilitates the reinforcement of these relationships. This allows Musikene to contribute to the European programmes which are central to our teaching, and the transformation and modernisation thereof, as well as to examine the quality of educational programmes elsewhere.
In its five management stages, Musikene has developed different programmes to promote contact with guest musicians and teachers by means of masterclasses, which has facilitated the extension of the plural network in all departments and specialities: Marie-Pierre Langlamet, Raphael Haeger, Martin Fröst, Ed Neumeister, Radovan Vlatkovic, Yayoi Toda, Ivo Pogorelich and Antonella Massimo, among many others, are proof of this. In the creative field, workshops and residencies by composers have gained strength; from the earliest “Musikene Actual”, which brought us Simon Holt and Ivan Fedele, to the current collaborations with DSS2016, which have facilitated the visits of Helmut Lachenmann in 2016 and Peter Eötvös in 2017, both with markedly different profiles and objectives. The experience with Helmut Lachenmann brought about an unpublished orchestral work by means of the exploration of new instrumental resources, the première of an homage by graduate composer Mikel Urquiza, and an intense and demanding aesthetic and ideological debate in the composition workshops. The visit of Peter Eötvös took shape around his double role as composer and conductor, within a wider framework of an exchange programme with the Eötvös Foundation in Budapest. Eötvös has conducted the Musikene Orchestra in Hungarian works from Liszt to the youthful Marcell Dargay, via Bartók and Kurtág. Another activity providing an example of the dynamism of the current teaching team at Musikene is the work of Aitzol Iturriagagoitia, José Luis Estellés and Christian Wetzel, who, alongside teachers from the Hochschüle of Leipzig and Cologne (who were guests at Musikene within an exchange programme framework) developed two weeks of activities around the work of Isan Yun. This project culminated in a concert given by the Musikene Sinfonieta conducted by Manuel Nawri, a teacher at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler, the Berlin Academy of Music.
Enticing prospects of our new multi-disciplinary projects are opening up to us at the moment, alongside glimpses of important tasks to be carried out. Among the latter, the job of strengthening the relationship between our closest neighbouring French conservatories, such as Bordeaux, Toulouse and Bayonne, with whom we share spaces and objectives. Over the last fifteen years that Musikene has been operational, it has rapidly consolidated an international reputation which means today it can attract musicians of undoubted interest and importance, given that Musikene students find in these musicians the necessary resonance to continue developing within themselves and to forge their own path in the field of professional music.
MUSIKENEK-IN. SOCIO-EDUCATIONAL PROJECTS
Under the umbrella of Musikenek-IN, Musikene has gathered together a series of projects which develop a new educational direction and commitment to its environment. It has a double objective: to take music out to all sectors of society, creating and taking part in projects voluntarily; and to educate students in values, preparing them for new professional challenges.
In line with this, Musikene, by means of its Pedagogy Department, has been developing activities for more than a decade in order to put students in contact with functionally diverse people and socio-culturally disadvantaged collectives, in subjects such as Psychopedagogy Applied to Music II, Sociology in Education, and in Final Projects. In addition, it has collaborated in the show Synergy by the Lisarco Dance Company, which works with dancers with Down syndrome, and has taken part in training seminars on didactic and pro-integration concerts. The school is currently collaborating with the NGO Vura Project, which has a music school in Uganda. Likewise, since the 2017/18 academic year, Musikene has donated one of its concerts to a collective. The first, in May 2018, by the Musikene Symphony Orchestra and the Orfeón Donostiarra conducted by Víctor Pablo Pérez, raised funds for the Asociación contra el Cáncer (AECC) (Spanish Association Against Cancer).
Likewise, Musikene is sensitive to the needs of collectives with specific pathologies, having offered concerts over the last ten years in favour of the Katxalin, the association for women affected by breast cancer and/or gynaecological cancers. These activities are complemented by two large projects: one with the Onkologikoa oncology centre since 2016, and since 2017, the so-called Invisible Beauty project, for people with Alzheimer’s disease.
The origins go back to 2014, when, under the leadership of the Musikene Pedagogy Department, work began on the preparation of an educational music project with the aim of training music students and teaching staff in values. The project began in 2016 with the support of the European Capital of Culture DSS2016 and covered two axes of collaboration. Musikene creates and works on a team made up of music therapists, psychologists, pedagogues and musicians, which is joined by the healthcare staff of Onkologikoa, who work together in several workshops. In addition, the project includes brief concerts by Musikene soloists and groups in Onkologikoa, under the title of Musical Capsules.
Invisible Beauty is a social project developed by the AI DŌ PROJECT Contemporary Dance Company, aimed at people with Alzheimer’s disease. Created by AFAGI —Asociación de Familiares y Amigos de Personas con Alzheimer y otras demencias de Gipuzkoa (Association of Family Members and Friends of Persons with Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias of Gipuzkoa)—, it was started in collaboration with Dantzagunea, a service promoted by the Regional Government of Gipuzkoa to boost the processes of learning and creation in dance. In 2017, Musikene joined the initiative by facilitating the use of its premises and contributing live music to the workshops. The dancer and choreographer Iker Arrue is the director of this activity, which uses contemporary dance as a tool. Thanks to this project, the students, in addition to receiving an education in values, develop specific skills in working with these people.