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!

Kosova ARS