Artistic direction

Festival de musique de chambre Opus

In the year 2000 I proposed to two Ardèche municipalities, Aubenas and Vals-les-Bains, to create a chamber music festival in their area. 
Some years later, following a selection of short concerts organised to 'test the waters', the Opus festival was born and takes place every year in the Vals theatre and the Aubenas Château (amongst others).
This festival which takes place in the spring is made up of two parts:  a weekend which revolves around seven or eight concerts given by about fifteen musicians, and the week leading up to it is devoted to visits with schools and music schools in the region. 
These school visits allow us to open the minds of the public who often see classical music as a stuffy and elitist art.  Many young people are astonished to find that they actually feel an immense emotion when listening to Bach or Cavanna. 
This long project will have allowed 7000 young people over five years to have the chance to meet professional musicians. 
Through these concerts the public who are in general only really familiar with the great masterpieces of classical music discover many unknown opuses, unfairly abandoned composers and a repertoire that stretches from Couperin to Berio, taking in also today's composers who as friends do us the honour of visiting during the festival.   

Festival des Arcs

Since 2005 I have also been the Artistic Director of the Arcs festival in Savoie.  This festival which I have known for more than thirty years (I was a spectator followed by intern, young talent and then teacher) has taken place every summer for the last 36 years at the resort at  Arcs/Bourg-Saint-Maurice.  Over the three weeks it reunites around fifty internationally renowned artists.  They offer (and all are free!) over forty concerts (and all are free!).  These concerts are accompanied by many types of conferences, debates and meetings.  We also organise residencies for composers, contemporary music groups, orchestras and theatre troupes.  We commission contemporary composers and create many works.   

An academy completes this opportunity unique of its type.  It allows 180 young people from all over the world to benefit from the advice of renowned teachers, to practice chamber music, to assist in numerous workshops (stress control, yoga, aikido, initiation to baroque instruments...) and to take part in concerts of an astonishingly high quality.

These two all absorbing and enriching experiences allow me to be confronted by the reverse side of the picture:  the financing of culture, a huge programme made all the more difficult to deal with by the circumstances and position in which  Art is held by our society today, logistics, accounting, programming, the many areas that the artists only normally see the final result of, but without which their talent would only find limited occasions to be shared. 

© Eric Crambes