This year’s isa theme opens up a great deal of latitude for creative approaches in the arts and in research

“Just playing” frequently isn’t all there is or all it takes: musical activity happens somewhere between order and chaos, amidst the tension between rules based on works’ histories and performing traditions and the freedoms of artistic interpretation and creativity. In this, there arise countless possible ways in which one can “play”… How and where is work in the arts anchored? And what role is assumed in society by those who “play” music, “play” on the theatre stage, or “play” in films? Picking up on the isa18 theme of Music and Democracy, this year’s edition of the mdw’s (musical) summer campus continues dealing with the social relevance of the arts and, specifically, of music.

©Andrej Grilc

Dealing with the notion of play(ing), in any case, is very much a present-day pursuit: gaming is a global trend, and the magic word “gamification” is used to denote the transference of game-typical elements into unrelated contexts, including many areas of work and of life in general. A metaphor for the theme of isa19, visible far and wide, will be the musical swing carousel from the project “Let’s merry-go-round!” It will be set up at Schloss Reichenau from 17 to 24 August. Young and old alike are invited to hop on, fly around and around, and experience and feel music that was composed specifically for this carousel and tested using a computer simulation. Just Play!—in this case, entirely without a question mark.

All this is isa…

These three small letters stand for so much: isa is the International Summer Academy of the mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. For two weeks, isa brings together over 300 students from more than 40 countries to take part in master classes in the Semmering-Rax region and present themselves in concerts of the isaFestival. Alongside the master classes for solo instruments, chamber music, piano, voice, composition, and contemporary music, which have been held for many years, 2019 will also feature a newly introduced course for piano duo formations. The programme isaOutreach, for its part, will offer its own master class for the first time while also renewing its collaboration with the international study programme New Audiences and Innovative Practice (NAIP), thereby once again addressing and involving local residents of all ages and backgrounds. And the isa family continues to grow: its youngest member is the course isaOperetta, which will take place in Mörbisch in July in cooperation with the operetta festival Seefestspiele Mörbisch.


Event tip

29th International Summer Academy of the mdw
11 to 25 August 2019
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