Artium Eudora – ArtEU
After being managed by different European embassies each summer for seven years, the 8th ESMA edition in 2019 could finally be organised by an NGO specifically created for this purpose: Artium Eudora – ArtEU – ESMA’s permanent legal home. This organisation was set up by eminent Kosovar musicians Erhan Mujka (guitar) and Arsim Kelmendi (oboe), together with two longstanding ESMA collaborators, namely pianist and conductor Desar Sulejmani, who has been its artistic director for many years, and diplomat/composer/pianist Pierre Weber, who has been associated with ESMA since 2015.
Beyond its mission of providing a stable framework for all future ESMA editions, the vision for Artium Eudora – ArtEU was from the start to promote classical music and excellence in music education, and to provide young talent from Kosovo and the region with the chance of experiencing top-grade musical training and music making. Therefore, the summer academy has always included not only solo lessons and concerts, but also a very significant portion of chamber music, an opera project and even its own ESMA festival orchestra – all with the goal of creating musical learning opportunities as well as instances of exchange and collaboration.
The idea of a Western Balkans Youth Orchestra (WBYO) was going to be the logical next step for Artium Eudora – ArtEU, and the orchestra’s first tour through all six Western Balkans countries was already fully planned and financed when the Coronavirus pandemic hit. This led to the organisation of ESMA 2020 as a purely online version, with an embedded WBYO in it: with the production of virtual orchestra recordings by all participants.
We are optimistic for the future, and our post-Corona schedule is already quite full. There will of course be the 10th ESMA edition in 2021. Then the first live WBYO tour is also planned for 2012. And there is also an opera production in the making that will be staged in all the capitals of the regions. So stay tuned!
Established in 2014 with the aim of improving and developing cultural life, KosovaArs has focused on educational activities that allow young people to discover and foster their musical talents. These activities include festivals, masterclasses, lectures, debates, discussions, workshops, orchestral training and concerts.
Indeed, KosovaArs has for many years organized the Mitrovica-based guitar masterclasses in the framework of the European Summer Music Academy. It also regularly hosts the Mitrovica Guitar Meetings, in which well-known classical guitarists are invited from abroad to give concerts and offer workshops with the youth. Moreover, the NGO has created the Grupi Gazmor, a guitar orchestra for children, as well as two children’s choirs. KosovaArs has particularly sought to include children with special needs, and thus one of these choirs is intended for such children, while the second one is specifically catering for children with Down’s syndrome.
Since its inception in 2014, KosovaArs has been organizing humanitarian concerts twice a year – an opportunity for the different groups listed above to showcase their skills, and where schoolchildren can make their contribution by selling paintings and handcrafts. The proceeds from these events are going to children with special needs.
The Mitrovica Music Days are another event organized by KosovaArs, and 2021 will represent the third yearly edition. This festival centers mostly on Rock’n’Roll. And features both regional stars and young local musicians. The driving philosophy is capacity-building, with the more confirmed musicians giving classes to the younger ones, and all performing together at night.
KosovaArs is an initiative of Anisa Suhodolli Mujka – musician, pianist, piano teacher at the Mitrovica Music High School, and music history teacher at the Kosovo Leadership Academy in Mitrovica – and Erhan Mujka – musician, guitarist, guitar teacher at the Mitrovica Music School and at the ILG school in Pristina.