There are and there have always been Theremin related events and gatherings in Europe, like for example the “Hands Off” and “Without Touch” festivals in England and Germany. These allowed Theremin players to gather and to play together, and to have Theremin lessons with one or more teachers. What was sometimes missing was some continuity (not all events were organized in a fixed rhythm), a continuous concept which allowed the participants to follow their individual curriculum, and a sufficient geographic coverage, so that at least one event per year would be more or less in reach of every European country.
That’s why Carolina Eyck and Thierry Frenkel decided in 2010 to create a structure, called “Theremin Academy” which would formalize the organization of such events, but without making them loose their individual character. The key aspects of a Theremin Academy are :
- Regularity: Minimum once a year
- Broad spectrum: Teachers for all player levels and music styles, individual and group lessons
- European spirit: Covering at least English, German, and French as languages of instruction
- Musical events: At least one student’s concert
- Social events: Enough room and time should be given to the social exchange between the students
One academy for each season of the year
With these premises, the first Theremin Academy started as a Summer Academy in Colmar/France and allowed the concept to evolve and improve from 2010 to 2014. As we saw that it worked and was well appreciated by the participants, we went one step further and organized a second event, The Spring Academy in Leipzig, for the first time in 2014.
When asked by Wolfgang Streblow, the former director of the Lippstadt music school, if the academy concept and the Without Touch festival could merge and benefit from the common organization structure, we couldn’t decline. That was the birthday of the Theremin Fall Academy in Lippstadt. And, finally, we have recently been invited by the N/O/D/E festival in Lausanne to organize a Winter Academy there. Its first edition, in January 2016 will be set up in collaboration with the Lausanne Music University.