The 7th edition of the NAIP Introductory Course will take place in Austria, hosted by the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (www.mdw.ac.at) and as an integrated part of the 26th edition of the International Summer Academy (www.isa-music.org). This high standard soloist- and chamber music course and the surroundings of small villages in the Austrian Alps will offer us a unique opportunity to blend the NAIP principles within a new and challenging context.
The Reichenau an der Rax/Semmering region traditionally hosted the Austrian emperor and his entourage during their annual escape from dry and dusty Vienna. It became not only the outpost for the lucky few, but also the area where artists such as writer Arthur Schindler, architect Adolph Loos and composers such as Arnold Schönberg and Gustav Mahler would find their retreat. The local community benefited from these summer residencies and adjusted to its role of hosting and serving distinguished guests, yet keeping its own playground for local culture somewhat separated. The area came to blossom when not only the spectacular Südbahn railway through the Alps brought immense locomotives and spectacular viaducts to its valleys, but also when in the late nineteenth century an ingenious system of tunnels and channels covering a distance of a hundred kilometers was created to provide the two million citizens of Vienna with clean drinking water from the underground wells and sources around Reichenau.
In these very special cultural and natural surroundings the ISA brings over one hundred talented students and teachers specialized in classical soloist- and chamber music to the area every year for concerts in historical places. Concerts that will attract visitors from all over the region and Vienna in particular. Just like in the old days. However, a real link to the local community has always been missing. This is where the NAIP Introductory course will come in. The NAIP staff and students are invited by both the ISA management and the community of Reichenau to create connections and organize events that will include the people living in Reichenau and the students visiting the region for this chamber music course.
Preparatory work has led to a range of options for our new NAIP students and teachers to tackle this task. The students will live together with some of the ISA students with space for shared warm-up exercises every morning and common dinners. This will help students from both courses to get to know each other and interact. Apart from that, there are established connections with local brassbands (prepared by Leonard Paul of Mnozil Brass), the local residency for the elderly, the holiday daycare for children whose parents have to work, a center for refugees, the local music school and a variety of interesting cultural and environmental places and sites. All of these activities were given the branding name “ein(heim)mischen”, which is a word play that combines two German words: Die Einheimischen(= indigenous/local residents), ein-mischen(= to blend - to interfere). To which our Austrian friends add: mischen possible!