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The Danish New Music Academy is a 7-day music creation residential course for musicians and composers. The second edition will be held from the 30th June to the 6th July 2024 in Aarhus, Denmark.


We will gather a community of twelve participants - six musicians and six composers. The participants can be any age over 18, and can be at any stage in their career – pre-conservatory/university, current students, recent graduates, or more experienced practitioners. There is no traditional teaching on this course - the idea is that everyone attending will learn from each other via the creation of new music.


The course will be consist of seven days of rehearsals, workshops, events, discussion, and seminars that will approach the creation of new music from several different angles. Performers and composers will work together to stage events featuring works that will be created before and during the course.


Participants will be selected by the staff of the Danish New Music Academy, in partnership with Art Music Denmark and the Danish Composers’ Society. The Danish New Music Academy is run by Anja Nedremo (saxophonist, lecturer at the Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus), Sofie Thorsbro Dan (violinist, Curious Chamber Players), and James Black (composer, artistic director of Klang festival).


Shared accommodation for participants will be provided, as well as three meals a day. Participants should aim to cover travel costs themselves - however, there will be bursaries available. There will be a 750dkk (roughly €100) participation fee.


Alongside the participants we have invited two visiting artists and a guest ensemble. The artists and ensemble will not be lecturing or teaching, but instead will join in, performing and working alongside the course participants. For the 2024 edition, the visiting artists will be composer Malin Bång (Senior lecturer in Composition at Göteborg Academy of Music and Drama) and accordionist Andreas Borregaard (Professor of Accordion at Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover). The visiting ensemble will be the Norwegian group Aksiom.


For participating composers: You will be tasked with creating a short (5-7 minutes) piece in the months leading up to the academy for the musicians to perform during the course*. The instrumentation for the piece will be selected from the available instruments of the participating musicians, as well as the staff of the Danish New Music Academy and the visiting ensemble. Your piece will be expected to be delivered to the musicians at least a month before the start of the course (1st June) – but there will be the opportunity to work on the piece during the course, and we are flexible to methods of working without traditional scores.


The piece can be purely instrumental or can contain mixed media, electronics, improvisation, performance practice, and so on. Any electronics must be discussed with the course organisers beforehand, and we will do our best to accommodate your technical setup requests. Composers may perform in their own works alongside the musicians.


You will also be asked to create a very short piece during the academy, which can take any form you like. These pieces will be presented on the final night, alongside the works created before the course.


For participating musicians: You will receive repertoire to practice several months before the festival, and you will receive the composer participant’s scores soon after the 1st of June 2024. During the course you will rehearse these pieces alongside the other participants, the staff, and the visiting ensemble.


Alongside the formalised events of the course, there will be an open and informal performance space every day. Participants will be encouraged to sign up for slots in these open spaces, and can present anything they have been working on for discussion. This could be a solo piece, an improvisation, a presentation, or anything else they would like feedback on.


Furthermore, all musicians and composers will collaborate with the staff in making joint, 24 hour pieces, that will be presented during the course. 


All concerts will be open to members of the public.


Applications are open now and will close on the 1st December 2022 at midnight, Central European Time. The application form is in English, but applications may be written in English, Danish. Norwegian, or Swedish.


The Danish New Music Academy has been created as a grassroots initiative. Our focus is on joint creation, and fostering a curious and open minded approach to new music. We use the word ‘academy’ not in the context of teaching or studying, but in the sense of a collection of specialists coming together to explore and deepen a tradition.


In collaboration with Art Music Denmark and supported by the Danish Arts Foundation.


*It will not be possible for the Danish New Music Academy to pay for any commission of a piece.

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