After The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland renewed and signed an MoA with Rostov State Rachmaninov Conservatoire (Russia) in June 2016, Erasmus+ funding has been granted for an innovative project of musical and educational collaboration between our two institutions.
Our successful history of cooperation with RSRC began with an EU-Cultural Commission 2007 funded project to mount joint opera performances – the Celtic-Cossack Connections Project, which lasted more than two years. It featured the world première of the original version of Prokofiev’s opera War and Peace, with performances in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Rostov and Taganrog. The project also resulted in joint productions of Eugene Onegin, The Love for Three Oranges, Ariadne auf Naxos and Phaedra, performed in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Rostov and Taganrog. The project also featured conferences, masterclasses and exchange visits between various faculties.
Indeed, the Celtic Cossack Connections Project was so successful that, in 2010, it was honoured as one of the Best Cultural and Educational Collaboration Projects by the European Cultural Commission in that year.
The cities of Rostov on Don (Russia) and Glasgow have been twinned for more than 30 years and this new project is relevant to the cultural aims of both cities. It will facilitate student and staff mobility in key study areas: Composition, Traditional Music, Keyboard, Strings, Chamber Music, Junior Conservatoire and Research, providing an expansion of musical repertoire; new compositions; new views of traditional music and the fusion of national styles; the blending of eastern and western pedagogical styles and approaches to Baroque music; and further develop the concept of music education programmes.
Aims and expected outcomes
Joint performances and education experiences in:
- baroque music, exploring new approaches to the interpretation of early music
- the traditional music of the regions and innovative exploration of cultural heritage
- new and experimental work by young composers
- improvement performing skills in chamber music
- singers coaching skills for pianists
- shared understanding and practice in research followed by seminars on Shostakovich and Prokofiev heritage
- shared understanding in teaching and management of Junior Conservatoire students
- establishment of models for community performances
- increased audiences for a wider musical repertoire
- enhanced international cultural mobility and career prospects for those involved
- 4-6 weeks prior to each exchange, crash course language tuition
- students from both conservatoires can choose additional subjects to add to their learning portfolio
The project enhances our existing partnership arrangements by offering students the opportunity to study and create music in a very different cultural environment: whilst Western European conservatoire education is relatively homogeneous, we will benefit greatly from collaboration with professional musicians trained in the Eastern European tradition.
We expect participants to return with a reinvigorated approach to learning and teaching which will be transmitted to other staff and students in each conservatoire and this will serve as a springboard for further enhancement of the student experience in each conservatoire.
In addition, the Students’ Union of each conservatoire is organising a sub-committee which will provide hands-on practical support for exchange students
Performances will be given in Glasgow and around the central belt/west of Scotland, and in Rostov and the Don region, benefitting and growing audiences in these regions and introducing them to the music and cultures of Scotland and Russia as well as increasing knowledge and understanding of the regions amongst the staff and student bodies of each institution, and the general public of each country.
Reports will regularly appear in the Musical Academy – a national magazine – as well as in the Rostov State Conservatoire musical quarterly, which is a part of South Russian Musical Almanac Media Group. Both conservatoires have the means to measure success via online survey tools and to disseminate results via the channels described above.
This programme of activities will achieve much in terms of direct experience and involvement whilst beginning to build a generation of artists, teachers and audiences in Rostov and Glasgow with a wider knowledge and appreciation of musical repertoire which will be disseminated far beyond the project boundaries.
If you would like to participate in this AMAZING project please contact your Head of Department.