An international academy for choral arts, CHORALSPACE, launched on 6 January to provide an online environment for choral musicians to learn, create, perform and connect.
Based in Berlin, the non-profit organisation is governed by an international team of celebrated musicians, directors and educators and is led by its founder, Gent Lazri, the former director of International Choral Networking at international event organiser INTERKULTUR and the editor of Who is Who in Choral Music.
The ambitious CHORALSPACE concept includes creating an online university, expected to open in September, featuring a programme of 38 weekly workshops using a new conference application to teach a variety of choral music themes.
A creative area of the website will help choral musicians broaden their focus and develop new projects aimed at large audiences and visibility for their choirs.
And for the best of those choirs, CHORALSPACE has announced a performance programme including an international festival in December 2021 and three concerts at the Berlin Philharmonic Hall beginning in March 2022.
The festival, from 9-19 December, will feature new projects developed by the artistic team at CHORALSPACE with two to three international choirs. The concerts will showcase auditioned ensembles and choral symphonic works from around the world.
Lazri created CHORALSPACE to fill what he saw was a gap in the choral community. ‘I have been involved in many choral events in the last 20 years,’ he told MUSIC:ED. ‘In the last few years, I got the impression that the international choral community was in need of more innovation, audience visibility and social inclusion. CHORALSPACE will help conductors, singers, choir managers in their process of change, and will create more visibility for choral music.’
Lazri credits the Programme Director, Myguel Santos e Castro for drawing such a celebrated international faculty, which includes California-based conductor Elena Sharkova, choir director Hans-Hermann Rehberg in Germany, Professor Arwin Tan in the Philippines and Argentinian choral director and teacher, Virginia Bono.
‘The advisory board has been a great help in starting the process and Myguel’s fantastic network of contacts and the innovative programme has played a major role in having so many big names from the choral scene join the CHORALSPACE faculty,’ says Lazri.
The programme of classes and workshops will be announced in early February and are expected to include such subjects as conducting, arranging, rehearsal technique, fundraising, mentoring, concert production, repertoire and composing.
The classes will be subscription-based paid on a monthly basis. The CHORALSPACE University will have its own tutorial team to work with students through the season and the board are in discussions with other established universities about cooperative arrangements.