Annual program, was established in 2013 by concert pianist and educator Dr. Irena Portenko, when she invited her student Derek Rozmes (a former student of The Music Conservatory of Westchester) to follow along and prompted him to perform a small recital at the house of a famous Austrian conductor and a former Director of Vienna Boys Choir, Uwe Harrer to a crowd of enthusiastic Austrian music lovers. Since then, the “idea” of sharing unique performing and cultural experience with her student has grown into an International Festival and Music Course, including concert series for guest-artists and lessons, chamber music, and presentations, designed in a way for students to receive a well-rounded experience in music exploration. In the past, students have also been assigned projects to study Bach and Handel; Schumann and Carnaval; Beethoven, Schubert, and Brahms; and their Austria. This year, students will be asked to research musical excerpts to illustrate segments from a movie about nature. They will also have the chance to perform in instrumental and vocal masterclasses, which are free to the public.
One of the festival’s guests, Dr. Corinna Schmohl from Germany will present a lecture on the topic “What if the melody of your life?”, which will ask one of the most important questions for many people today: what encourages you to activate your ideas and your relationship with yourself?
For younger musicians, as well as for those who would like to enhance their knowledge about the history of music and related arts, we have created a “Rising Stars” program with private lessons and collaboration in chamber music groups. Students have the opportunity to learn in a fun and inspirational environment, as well as enhance their skills through frequent performances.
JAZZ and POPULAR MUSIC SERIES
In 2017 “Music in the Alps” opened its doors to the jazz and popular music and Bad Gastein whole-heartedly welcomed artists from the USA, Czech Republic, Germany and Netherlands: Robert Redweik, Jiri Slavicek, Cyrille Oswald and Taras Volos.
In 2018 Jazz program led by Bob Arthurs, a former Dean of the Music Conservatory of Westchester and a guitar program with Dario Chiazzolino will bring some new world tunes enjoyed by the audiences of all ages and backgrounds.