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Janet Sung on The Meadowmount School of Music's 80th Anniversary!

Founded in 1944 by Ivan Galamian, the Meadowmount School of Music offers a 7-week
 summer program in the Adirondack Mountains of NY for young violinists, violists, and cellists

 

The Violin Channel recently caught up with Janet Sung, Artistic Director of The Meadowmount School of Music located in Westport, New York, to discuss their seven-week-long Summer Program — which is this year celebrating 80 years since its foundation by Ivan Galamina in 1944.

 

The Meadowmount School of Music's alumni include Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Pinchas Zukerman, Kyung-Wha Chung, Lynn Harrell, Joshua Bell, Jaime Laredo, and Ani and Ida Kavafian.

 

Meadowmount accepts approximately 200 students, ages 13 to 30+, through a video audition process focused on solo and chamber music material. Students follow a rigorous practice regimen, receive weekly private lessons and chamber music coaching, and are offered daily master classes by faculty and guest artists. Students perform frequently in the three on-campus concerts per week and various off-campus concerts throughout the session.

 

6 of this year's concerts will be streamed live on The Violin Channel on Wednesdays at 7:30 PM starting July 3rd.

 

 

You are celebrating the Meadowmount School of Music’s 80th anniversary this season! What a fantastic milestone! How does it feel?

It is awe-inspiring that the Meadowmount School of Music and the vision of its founder Ivan Galamian still remain strong after 80 years. In a world that continues to evolve at such a fast pace, Meadowmount remains relatively unchanged in its principles and provides an environment of total immersion with uninterrupted time and focused practice to develop as an artist.

The greatest testament to this vision and its legacy is the success of its alumni, many of whom- such as Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma,  James Ehnes, Joshua Bell, and Jessie Montgomery- continue to be on the world’s greatest stages as soloists, orchestral leaders, quartet players, and pedagogues.

 

What guiding principles have stayed throughout its history? 

Mr. Galamian’s dream was to establish a place where his students could experience “total immersion in the study of string instruments.” This guiding principle remains the same today. The structured and distraction-free environment of Meadowmount allows for a musician to have the time and mental space to focus, whether it be preparation for an international competition or audition, further developing one’s technique and artistic expression, or an intensive chamber music collaboration. 

 

How has the school evolved over the past 80 years?

Meadowmount has continued to expand its reach beyond its campus in upstate New York. In recent years, Meadowmount has connected with an even wider audience through its livestreamed concerts on The Violin Channel and the broadcasts of “Music from Meadowmount” on PBS television stations. These broadcasts have attracted more musicians from around the world to discover the unique environment of Meadowmount and what it offers.

In today’s world, we are also very aware that taking care of oneself both mentally and physically is necessary to have longevity as musicians and live healthily as humans. To support that, Meadowmount provides in-depth Alexander Technique sessions, as well as yoga classes and other wellness activities as part of their experience at Meadowmount.

There have been a few notable changes to the facilities, such as air conditioning in the Concert Hall and dorms and the opening of the Sally Thomas Recreation Center in 2018. But the bucolic setting of Meadowmount - being surrounded and inspired by nature - and many of the buildings have remained. Even Mr. Galamian’s studio in Main House looks very much the same! 

 

How are you celebrating this year?

We will present about forty concerts throughout the 7-week session on campus and around the Lake Champlain region in upstate New York, where we will feature talented young artists as well as guest and faculty artists. We are also thrilled to be able to partner again with The Violin Channel to livestream six of our Wednesday concerts, starting July 3 through August 7, 2024.

We also have an exciting line-up of guest artists– such as violinist James Ehnes, violinist and composer Jessie Montgomery, violist Milena Pajaro van de Stadt, and cellist and composer Paul Wiancko, amongst others - many of whom are also distinguished alums of Meadowmount.

We will also present a special 80th Anniversary Benefit concert on Sunday, August 4 that will feature guest artist Jessie Montgomery and faculty and young artists. This is part of a  Commemorative Weekend in honor of the late Sally Thomas, a beloved teacher and devoted Meadowmount supporter for over 60 years. This Commemorative weekend will continue with another special event, “Concert and Conversation with James Ehnes,” on Monday, August 5.

More information on these events and all of our performances can be found at www.meadowmount.org/events.

 

What are your goals for each student coming to study at the Meadowmount School of Music and what can they expect this Summer at Meadowmount? 

Our hope is that every student will have that “Meadowmount experience” that many others have had before them. The luxury of distraction-free time, focused practice, and the support and guidance of esteemed faculty will allow them to freely explore and develop as young artists. This environment can truly lead to a “year’s progress in seven weeks.”

Students will cultivate life-long friendships and learn life-long lessons from their teachers, mentors, and like-minded peers — not only about music but about community. All of the students in attendance this year are part of this special 80th Anniversary season and we hope that they will continue to return for many years and make Meadowmount their summer musical home.

 

Where is the trajectory of Meadowmount heading forward?

The legacy of Mr. Galamian and Meadowmount continues with principles that still hold true today - to offer an environment where young artists know they can come and achieve incredible transformations in their playing and their approach to their artistry. 

In a place where the focus is primarily centered around its students, Meadowmount continues to expand its opportunities for its young artists and alumni- such as career-supporting endeavors like the prestigious Gurrena Fellowship and other significant performing opportunities.

We look forward to many more musicians around the world experiencing this unique environment and becoming part of the Meadowmount community and its storied history.

 

 

upcoming events

july 2024

16julAll Day27Johann Sebastian Bach International Cello & Baroque Cello Competition(All Day) Thomaskirche Leipzig, Thomaskirchhof, Thomaskirchhof 18, 04109 Leipzig, GermanyEvent Type :competitions Event TagsBaroque Cello Competition,Cello Competition,Johann Sebastian Bach International Cello Competition

august 2024

19augAll Day24Tibor Varga International Junior Violin Competition(All Day) Ferme-Asile, Promenade des Pêcheurs 10 1950 Sion SuisseEvent Type :competitions Event Tagscompetition,Tibor Varga

22augAll Day01sepKloster Schöntal International Violin Competition(All Day) Schöntal Monastery, Klosterhof 6, 74214 Schöntal, GermanyEvent Type :competitions Event TagsKloster Schöntal International Violin Competition

26augAll Day30London Classic Violin Competition(All Day) Royal College of Music, Prince Consort Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 2BS, United KingdomEvent Type :competitions Event TagsClassic Violin Olympus International Competition,violin competition

30augAll Day01sepBanff International String Quartet Festival(All Day) The Banff Centre, 107 Tunnel Mountain Drive Box 1020 Banff T1L 1H5 Canada Event Type :Other Event TagsBanff International String Quartet Festival,string quartet

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