Desar Sulejmani

Artistic Director of the European Summer Music Academy
Masterclasses in piano, chamber music and conducting

Dear ladies and gentlemen,

Dear young musicians,

Dear friends of the European Summer Music Academy,

Despite the special circumstances – a pandemic that is currently limiting travel everywhere and that makes close contact difficult – ESMA 2020 is going to take place, and I am happy to announce that all traditional ESMA activities will be transferred into virtual space, with masterclasses going online and even a virtual Western Balkans Youth Orchestra on the programme.

This year will be the 9th ESMA edition, and this well-established tradition is unique in all of the Balkans. On the menu are classes in violin, viola, cello, double bass, piano, flute and singing, and we are proud to welcome again an outstanding faculty composed of eminent musicians from Austria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary and Serbia. They will give both solo instruction and orchestra training, so that by the end of the academy, all participants will be able to contribute a recording that will be combined into a virtual orchestra recording. This is how, despite all Corona-related restrictions, we are going to bring to live the idea of a Western Balkans Youth Orchestra (WBYO). Originally the WBYO was supposed to go on its first tour in 2020, but the pandemic made this impossible. At least then, its spirit can now be captured by the contributions from musicians from the whole region, and we remain confident that in 2021 an actual tour will happen.

Progress in any field demands serious work and effort. But the outcome of this effort can be significantly effort by the input from experienced teachers and instructors. ESMA gives young musician from the Balkans the opportunity of working with world-class professors, train and progress with them, and work along their peers from the region. This can only enrich them, and this represent for me a source of great joy. May this contribute to their successful careers and to their artistic and personal journeys!

The whole project would of course not have been possible without the generous support from a number of donors, and I would therefore like to express my deep appreciations and thanks to the Austrian and Czech embassies in Kosovo, to the EU Office in Kosovo, the Europe House, the Rotary Club Aachen-Land in Germany, and the Heimerer College in Pristina.  

This remarkable support from all our friends makes a big difference for all of ESMA’s organizers and participants!

We are eager to see the progress in our participants, and we are looking forward to the recording that is going to be published in December, featuring a virtual WBYO.

Stay tuned for further announcements, and let’s all hope that 2021 will allow us again to have a full-fledged ESMA and a real WBYO tour.

Let’s make music together! HERE IN WESTERN BALKAN! NOW!

Artistic Director

European Summer Music Academy & Western Balkans Youth Orchestra.