About the project

About #synergy

Supported by the Creative Europe program of the European Commission, the project #synergy: Sharpening the capacities of the classical music industry in the Western Balkans, was born from desire to to deeply fasten the cooperation at the international level and at the same time to represent the local heritage and artists and so further contribute the development of art music in this part of Europe.
This project, for the first time, under the lead of Montenegrin KotorArt Don Branko’s Music Days, will gather some of the biggest festivals of art music in the region, such as Dubrovnik Summer Festival, Ljubljana Festival, Belgrade Festivals Center (BELEF and BEMUS), organization of Vox Baroque from Albania and F. Chopin Foundation from Kosovo.
The goals of this project are training and connecting of cultural workers, primarily those involved in festivals and art music, then encouraging the composition of new works of classical music inspired by the local heritage of all given countries, starting with Kotor and Montenegro, as well as connecting and collaborating of young musicians. composers and organizations dealing with art music in the Western Balkans.

During three years, the project will bring together 12 composers, over 50 young musicians and managers in culture, 6 seminars for cultural professionals, 12 residences for composers where 12 new works will be created, inspired by the cultural heritage of the region and Europe itself. As the grand finale of the project, a festival tour is planned to present composers, new compositions and young musicians during summer festivals across the Western Balkans.

Project activities

Through exchange of experiences and know-how, through supporting young cultural managers and researchers, by commissioning new works and by providing a platform to promote composers and emerging musicians, #synergy aims to sharpen the skills and increase the capacities of the classical music industry in this part of Europe.

Classical Music: How It’s Made
For composers, who by definition make a living by writing music, commissioning new works is especially central. This issue is no less crucial for the art form in general: if classical music is going to thrive, and not only survive, it needs new works. However, in the Western Balkans actual instances of commissioning classical music and overall opportunities for composers to work are very rare and insufficiently developed. In order to counterbalance this situation, empower composers, classical music commissioning and production, #synergy plans to engage a selection of composers and their participation in different project activities - residency programs for composers, commissioning new pieces, and providing opportunities for emerging musicians to gain new knowledge and experiences and to present themselves to regional and European audience.

Classical Music: Behind the stage
Six two-day workshops discussing and analyzing organizational, managerial, production and market perspectives and trends in the classical music sector will be organized in 6 participating countries with the aim to address the lack of systematized collaboration between cultural professionals, organizations and practitioners coming from the project countries, to tackle the lack of cultural policy and cultural management research, lack of comprehensive strategic analyses of the classical music industry, but also to bridge the gap between the classical music market’s needs and the education and professional practice of cultural managers working in the field of classical music.
All findings and research will be presented in the Classical music production Guidebook, developed by an independent expert Research group consisting of emerging cultural managers and researchers, which will be distributed and promoted throughout the region and Europe.

Classical music: On the stage
The project will be finalized with the Festival Tour in which the emerging performers and composers will be introduced to the Western Balkan and European public and professionals.
The Festival Tour comprises of performances of all the commissioned works by the 12 composers (12 pieces performed at 13 concerts in total), a presentation and promotion of composers and emerging performers at 7 festivals and music events organized by project partners: KotorArt International Festival (Montenegro), Dubrovnik summer festival (Croatia), Belgrade summer festival (Serbia), Ljubljana Festival (Slovenia), Vox Baroque festival (Albania) and ChopinPianoFEST Prishtina (Kosovo*), while the Cultural Centre Trebinje (Bosnia and Herzegovina), as an associated partner will host one concert in Trebinje.