ECMA (European Chamber Music Academy) Pro is an EU co-funded cooperation project tackling career development and socially engaged outreach in chamber music. Over the course of four years, twelve partner institutions join forces to further develop ECMA, the leading further education program for young professional chamber music ensembles in Europe.

The project comes at a crucial moment, with the pandemic slowing down the professional lives of young chamber musicians almost to a halt. With several digital developments in the pipeline – such as a video platform of tutorials for teaching and learning chamber music and a Career Development Switchboard to connect up-and-coming ensembles with concert promoters and festival organizers – ECMA Pro supports emerging artists in a rapidly changing professional environment.

Right now, ECMA sessions, international coaching sessions for chamber music ensembles lasting several days, are taking place in all-online or hybrid settings. As discussed in an ECMA Pro Project Management Board Meeting earlier this month, digital tools such as the low-latency video streaming system LoLa proof vital for a sustainable and fruitful transnational collaboration, even in times of physical distancing and travel restrictions.

Therefore, an ECMA Pro Working Group focuses on further developing formats and tools, adjusting both ECMA sessions and the project deliverables to the long-lasting constraints generated by the pandemic, and reflecting on the following questions:

  • How can we organise hybrid and all-online coaching sessions even better?
  • How can we integrate ensembles not connected to any of the technologically well-equipped universities and conservatories?
  • Can we find a way to implement Musethica sessions, bringing high-class concerts to social institutions and unusual audiences such as children with disabilities, refugees or people experiencing homelessness?
  • How can we make possible as much as possible within an impossible situation?

Watch out for answers and ideas on ECMA Pro website