JULY 31st-AUGUST 19th, 2018


The term “once in a lifetime” is overused in advertisements, and rarely does it hold much weight. In the case of “Music in the Alps (MITA)”, however, this statement should be emblazoned across the sky – specifically in the beautiful Bad Gastein, Austria.

This unique international music festival taking place at the Austrian Alps was established in 2013 by Ukranian-born concert pianist Irena Portenko, and each year has grown figuratively and literally. MITA brings students from all around the world to perform together with internationally renowned musicians.  In instrumental and vocal masterclasses and chamber music groups, students study the works of various composers – all within the backdrop of the majestic mountains of Bad Gastein, a tourist attraction that welcomes crowds from around the globe all year round.

Portenko visited Bad Gastein, and decided a year later it should host MITA because the landscape was so picturesque and matched the dreams of her musical vision and the hopes of students from all over.  MITA was initially started as a summer program and continues to grow. Hospitable Elisabethpark Hotel, known for its beauty, comfort and style, has embraced our musicians, providing top-level accommodations, scrumptious meals, and as well as facilities for lessons, rehearsals, presentations, and practice.

Music in the Alps 2018

“Music in the Alps” is a unique multicultural, artistic and educational experience in the heart of the Austrian Alps. “One minute you are looking at this wonderful world around you; and in the very next minute you are illustrating it using your imagination, your skills, and your instrument,” Dr. Portenko says.

Grammy-nominated conductor and recipient of the American Prize for Conducting, Kenneth Kiesler will hold a highly anticipated intensive masterclass. Over 25 conductors from around the world have applied to participate. A selective program, only 6 applicants will be accepted to this particular masterclass.

Classical vocalist, Tammy Hensrud, whose international performance appearances span from the Vienna State Opera to the Metropolitan Opera, is slated to lead the vocal program at Music in the Alps.

New aspects to the festival are introduced this year, inspired by its participants’ musical interests and the faculty’s expertise.

Dr. Portenko jokingly says of bringing a little bit of home influences from New York to Austria, “I think the spirit of New York prevails in our festival and serves as a main drive and subject for astonishment. ‘Where do you get so much energy?’ She usually says: ‘From the city that never sleeps.’

2018 Major Concerts and Special Guests Performers


Orfeón Donostiarra (Spain)


Hailey Clark, Soprano (Switzerland)

Nigel Smith (Canada-USA)

Justin Berkowitz, Tenor (USA)

Irena Portenko&Svetlana Gorokhovich

OUR Collaborations and Partners

The Music in the Alps organization is a U.S. based undertaking founded in 2013 by internationally known classical pianist Dr. Irena Portenko.

Today “Music in the Alps” is one of the major summer events in Austria featured in the magazines for tourism and music in Austria, USA, Japan etcIt offers an annual educational program and performance series in classical music and jazz in Bad Gastein, with significant performance opportunities in Salzburg and Innsbruck, Austria bringing together international artists, music professors, and students for a three-week program of performances and master classes in Europe’s greatest mountain range.

Concerto-Aria Competition winners are invited as Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall to perform at Concert Festival music series and, due to in newly established collaboration with Almut Schobesberger, the long-time entrepreneurial and sustainable leader “Stars-of Tomorrow”, Summer Camp for young dancers in Innsbruck, young performers will have a unique opportunity to showcase their skills in legendary Tirolean capital.

“Music in the Alps” is proud of strengthening its ties with the Blue Griffin Recording, Inc, which exclusively provides the festival with live broadcast, high quality recordings, promotional materials, video footage and photography and well as with Say&Co, Center for Ukrainian Initiatives and FONCA (Conoce el Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes).

We are now a member of the New York Foundation for the Arts Fiscal Sponsorship Program, which allows us to offer an international sponsorship opportunity to U.S. companies and individuals seeking to make a U.S. tax-deductible contribution in support of the programs, artists and deserving students, who otherwise have limited or no access to such opportunities in their home countries.

Music meets nature in Austrian Alps. Unforgettable mountain hikes, excursions, horse-carriage rides, sharing meals together, and especially memorable group trips to Salzburg International Music Festival concerts, where celebratory bouquet of artists and world-renowned orchestras ignite a spark of inspiration in the hearts of all.


Read more about the competition here

Donate to Music in The Alps with New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA)

Donate to Music in The Alps

Bad Gastein