The Violin Channel recently sat down with Renaud to get some insight into the Menuhin Academy in Rolle, Switzerland.
Applications are open for this Summer's masterclasses to be held from August 15-22 in Rosey, Switzerland. During the masterclasses, some of the students will be selected for a three-year study program free of charge at the International Menuhin Music Academy in Rolle.
Can you tell us about the Menuhin Academy?
It’s an exceptional academy created by Yehudi Menuhin and it’s a privilege for me to be its artistic director. We welcome violinists, violists, and cellists from all over the world to study in a wonderful place. We've created an intensive study program that includes one-on-one lessons, weekly masterclasses, chamber music lessons, and chamber orchestra rehearsals on a regular basis. In addition, the students perform 20 to 30 concerts per year.
We are following the vision, artistry, and inspiration of the great Yehudi Menuhin, and his disciple Alberto Lysy.
How did the opportunity of becoming its artistic director come to you and how important is it for you to share your talent and experience with the younger generation?
I was asked to become artistic director following Maxim Vengerov, who filled the role for 8 years.
I straight away understood that it was a wonderful opportunity to share my artistic views with them and also to bring wonderful musicians to teach and share their invaluable experience.
For me, transmission is part of my musical life: it’s a mission, a duty to give back what I received.
How did the Menuhin Academy adapt to the COVID-19 situation?
Thanks to our great team, we were lucky and able to react immediately by streaming all of our scheduled concerts from the beginning of the lockdown. We were able to continue almost all our lessons and masterclasses.
The artistic life of the Academy was alive during all this time and I must say we adapted very well to the situation.
What are some of the highlights of the coming months at the Academy?
We will play a concert together on May 6, 2021, at the Rosey Concert Hall in Rolle, Switzerland with the possibility of welcoming fifty people in the audience.
We will also play in Chantilly, France on May 15, 2021, and then on August 22, we have a concert at the Gstaad Music Summer festival.
We are expecting master classes with Alois Posch for double bass and Jean Jacques Kantorow for violin among others. Recently, we welcomed Alban Gerhard, Philippe Muller, Pinkas Zukerman, Gérard Causse, Clemens Hagen, and Steven Isserlis.
Can you tell us about the new faculty members for this coming year?
We are very excited to welcome Gerard Causse and Clemens Hagen. They are ready to teach these young students and share their knowledge and experience with them. They will also oversee lots of different chamber music projects. It’s a real joy for me to welcome two of the most amazing musicians in Europe to be part of this wonderful Academy.
You will hold auditions in Gstaad this Summer. What qualities are you looking for in potential students?
We always want to have the best students possible, we also look for individuals who can learn how to adapt and live together in a multi-cultural environment, play chamber music, orchestra concerts, and are eager to learn! This is the first and most important thing! Of course, the musical and technical level is very important but being part of this Academy is something that goes beyond this and it has to be taken very seriously.
What is your top advice for students everywhere right now?
To focus on music and to forget about being famous or being in the spotlight! The most important thing is the music!
If musicians want to apply to this Summer's masterclass how can they do so?
Find the application form here: https://menuhin.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/summer-master-classes-2021_EN.pdf
Read more about the organization at the Academy's website: https://menuhin.com/news-feed/