For the ninth year in a row, the Montenegro Summer Camp for Chamber Music will take place at Ivanova Korita. This year’s camp will run from July 30 to August 7. Our preparatory work has been taking place in changed circumstances, obviously, because of the uncertainty caused by the global health crisis. Accordingly, we have examined the conditions and the possibilities for our participants – students, mentors, associate, and the audiences at the concerts at the end of camp.
That means thinking about mitigation measures with respect to physical distance, freedom of movement, and travel. Chamber music by definition involves proximity – and our goal remains to provide the optimal conditions, under these circumstances, for our participants to continue to share their love of music in the beautiful natural surroundings at Ivanova Korita in the Lovcen National Park, as in previous years. We are working closely with our partner, J.U. Lovcen-Becici, which manage the Lovcen Recreational-Educational Center, to provide a safe environment for all.
As in previous years, cooperation between students and teachers is at the heart of the camp, and that includes respecting both the musical wishes of the participants and the suggestions of the mentors and associates. Among the proposals so far for works to be studied and played, we will include several by Beethoven, thereby joining in the worldwide celebrations marking the 250th year since his birth.
We also want to encourage a focus on contemporary music – both by encouraging composers to write new music for our camp and by having participants delve into works that are new to them. Yet another possible theme for choosing repertoire this year will be opening our hearts in memory of those who have fallen victim to the coronavirus pandemic and in honor of those who have confronted the crisis through their work in healing.
It is not an empty cliché to say that music has healing properties. The history of music is full of examples of great composers writing masterpieces despite severe illness and emotional pain. Music’s power to effect spiritual recovery and emotional uplift will be very much on our minds this year.
We invite applications for this year’s camp from ensembles and individuals from Montenegro, from our region, from elsewhere in Europe, and indeed from anywhere in the world. Strings, wind instruments, and pianists are the essential participants at camp. Other instrumentalists should feel free to contact us and let us know of their interests in chamber music. Participants will find themselves playing in standard and novel ensembles – duets, trios, quartets, quintets, sextets, septets, etc. (In acknowledgement of the special conditions and circumstances that apply this year with regard to mitigating risks from the coronavirus, there will likely not be a chamber orchestra for this year’s camp – only chamber music ensembles.) As in previous years, the schedule will be seven days of coaching, rehearsal, workshops, and master classes, all of which will be capped by outdoor concert performances at the Biljarda in Cetinje on August 6 and at the Risto Stijovic Gallery in Podgorica on August 7.
Dear musicians, whether you come by yourself or as part of a pre-formed group, we will be happy to accommodate your wishes and match you with fellow participants to share music-making and learn from our outstanding mentors and associates. In the unique natural surroundings of Ivanova Korita beneath Mt. Lovcen, you will experience friendship and growth and beauty.