Kirill Troussov on What Makes the Carl Flesch Academy Unique
Held from July 17–23 in Germany, the Academy is open to international violin, viola, cello, and double bass players, with applications closing on June 1, 2023
The annual Carl Flesch Academy was officially launched in 1981 alongside the Baden-Baden Philharmonic and its general music director Werner Stiefel.
Since then, over 3,000 top international emerging artists have gathered at the Academy, participating in workshops with renowned pedagogues, and going on to become leading musicians and soloists in major orchestras and ensembles, worldwide.
We caught up with the academy's artistic director, violinist Kirill Troussov to learn more about the initiative.
Tell us about the Carl Flesh Academy, which was founded over 40 years ago! What is its main purpose?
The history of the Carl Flesch Academy goes back to 1964 when it was founded by the great violinist Henryk Szeryng. It was named after his teacher Carl Flesch, who lived and taught in Baden-Baden from 1926-1935.
Our aim is to connect the great tradition of the Carl Flesch Academy with our present time! Apart from master classes with renowned professors, this year, we will provide our participants with the possibility to perform with the Baden-Baden Philharmonic, high-quality audio & video material, and awards and scholarships worth over 20,000 €.
Can you tell us about the faculty that will be teaching this year?
This year we are looking forward to welcoming professors such as Pierre Amoyal (Violin), Diemut Poppen (Viola), Istvan Vardai (Cello), Janne Saksala (Contrabass). Each of these Professors has ample teaching experience, a musical career in all fields, and a passion for educating and supporting young talents.
The academy offers students the opportunity to rehearse, have masterclasses, and perform with the Baden-Baden Philharmonic. Can you elaborate on the structure of the academy?
The structure of the Carl Flesch Academy 2023 is:
- International master classes — 4 lessons with a professor including piano accompaniment
- Solo performances with the Baden-Baden Philharmonic — an evening concert + rehearsals
- Chamber Music projects and concerts
- Workshops with international musicians, orchestra managers, and journalists
What are the repertoire requirements when applying to perform with the orchestra?
Basically, every applicant sends up to 3 videos during his/her registration process. The board of the Academy will announce by June 1st the 6 participants for each of the 5 masterclasses and their upcoming solo performances & rehearsals with the orchestra during the Academy.
The repertoire to be performed will most likely be the 1st or 2nd & 3rd movements of a Concerto for Violin, Viola, Cello, or Contrabass or a virtuoso showpiece with orchestra.
Public concerts with the Baden-Baden Philharmonic will be professionally recorded and all selected participants will receive a free recording of their performance. Why was it important to include this opportunity?
High-quality videos are more important than ever! Being present on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and other platforms is almost a must today! Websites with high-quality video & audio material have a large impact on a musician's career and, let alone the video applications for competitions, orchestra auditions, and festivals.
All students will also be enrolled in a chamber music project culminating with a concert at the end of the academy. Why is it beneficial to students to participate in chamber music during the academy?
For generations, chamber music has served as a connecting element between cultures, countries, and continents. Chamber music means with and for each other! The process of working together on one piece of music means sharing ideas and learning from each other. And to see the final result on stage is very inspiring for everyone, including the audience.
At what point during their studies do you think it’s most beneficial for a participant to attend the Carl Flesh Academy? Is it a good opportunity to prepare for competitions?
We welcome all young musicians who search for inspiration in their development, not only musically but also in their career — like preparing for competitions and orchestra auditions, improving their digital presence in the music industry, gathering stage experience with a philharmonic orchestra, and networking for the future. These are only a few features of the unique concept of the Carl Flesch Academy!
Do you offer scholarships?
Yes! This year’s editions include awards and scholarships worth over 20,000 €, plus new sponsorships by Pirastro Strings, Henle Edition, Gewa, and The Violin Channel.
What are you most looking forward to at this year’s edition of the Carl Flesh Academy?
To feel the motivation and energy of the young generation, discover new talents, and see how making music at the Carl Flesch Academy connects the world!
How can people apply?
The application process is fast & simple. Fill out the online registration form on the Carl Flesch Academy website.