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History and mission

Home Academy History and mission
The Music Academy of Villecroze results from came to be thanks to Anne Gruner Schlumberger. This enthusiastic music lover wished to develop patronage to encourage young artists’ musical practice and creation. When she discovered the village of Villecroze (in Provence), she realized this was the ideal place for her project.

Foundation of the Academy

Anne Gruner Schlumberger’s aim was to make the Academy a “beehive buzzing with music”.

Having created Fondation des Treilles in the neighbouring village of Tourtour, Anne Gruner Schlumberger acquired part of the village of Villecroze to found a Music Academy. She began with an 11th-century chapel which she restored with the Municipality’s approval. She then acquired a Magnanerie (a building previously used for silkworm farming) where the first masterclasses for young musicians were held after 1981, under the direction of world-famous teachers.

Rolling out the Academy’s activities led her to renovate an entire sector of the village: several houses restored to create a residence for musicians. The Academy was inaugurated in October 1989 to become a “beehive buzzing with music” ("une ruche bourdonnante de musique").

 

1. Conrad Schlumberger
2. Anne Gruner Schlumberger
3. The Chapelle Saint Victor in Villecroze

Diversification of activities

Anne Postel-Vinay is pursuing the musical patronage her grandmother began

Over the years, activities diversified: in addition to the eight traditional masterclasses organised every year, there are colloquia on musicology, study stays, composition classes, Prix de l'Académie musicale de Villecroze, recordings, etc.

Since Anne Gruner Schlumberger’s death in 1993, her granddaughter Anne Postel-Vinay has been pursuing her mission of musical patronage, adding new disciplines like French chanson and accordion and launching projects in partnership with the French Ministry of National Education to develop choral singing in schools.

These activities are scheduled from March to November.

Master classes

The Académie musicale de Villecroze, engaged in musical patronage, supports young talent by offering applicants selected masterclasses, room and board.

Participants pay only for transport to the airport or to the railway station, where a free shuttle service is organised to the Académie musicale de Villecroze. Students living abroad and unable to pay for their transport can request financial support to cover part of the cost, which will be examined by the Commission.

The applications will be examined by the teacher who then selects his class. When selected, the candidate agrees to pursue patronage begun with the Academy, by engaging in a volunteer project of their choice in the following monthes.

Masterclasses are generally held from Thursday to Saturday of the following week. The schedule for masterclasses is prepared on the very first evening with the teacher. The group can use rehearsal rooms available in the Academy, as well are working spaces in every inidvidual appartment. All meals are taken together with the teacher and fellow participants. Classes end on Thursday of the second week of the masterclass. The dress rehearsal takes place on Friday morning, before the concert at the Academy’s Music Centre, or at the Saint-Victor Chapel, at 8:30pm. Find more information about the selection and participation conditions on every application form's page.

Choral singing

In 2009, Dr Anne Postel-Vinay, a paediatrician and President of the Académie musicale de Villecroze, launched a partnership with the Ministry of National Education to promote choral singing in schools. She is convinced that engaging in music, like practising sport, fosters learning capacity, concentration and mutual respect.

The Académie musicale de Villecroze commissions operas for children. We create educational tools to help teachers to broach these works easily with their students (recordings, teaching aids, information sheets, etc.). Such partners as the Radio France National Orchestra and Children’s Chorus and other foundations support the project. Over a dozen works have been created.

Some are available for free download to the 350,000 primary school teachers from the Ministry of National Education site : "Musique Prim".

For secondary school, a convention signed in 2015 with the National Federation of School Choirs should enable its 4,000 members to have access to present and future works created in the framework of this partnership.

To complete this system and help teachers make the best use of these works and associated educational material, the Académie musicale de Villecroze offers several training sessions a year. They bring together 20 to 100 teachers around one or more composer(s), a chorus master and possibly a stage director, choreographer or pianist/accompanist.