ABOUT THE FESTIVAL
Founder & Artistic Director
About the Zodiac Music Academy & Festival
"The idea of a Music Academy and Festival has been long in the making, ever since the Zodiac Trio's first summer tour of the astonishingly beautiful region of Côte d'Azur in 2006. Between the strikingly blue sea glistening on the backdrop of snow-capped mountains, and the historically rich towns, each offering a picturesque panorama that seems at times to defy reality - this was artists paradise. The idea, of course, was not a novelty. Many great artists answered the call of the region’s legendary beauty, from Cézanne to Picasso. Surely, it was well fitted for a music retreat where young musicians can be inspired. The initial idea of founding a music academy in the region grew from a desire to share with others this natural beauty, so perfectly suited for this purpose.
This idea solidified with years as we trained at the Paris Conservatory under the guidance of the Ysaye Quartet. Having just finished my graduate work at the Manhattan School of Music, I noticed striking differences between the French conservatory system and the one back home. The French school was riveting in its competitiveness, rigor and history. Inspiring and at times intimidating. As an American clarinetist, I felt that there was much I could learn, and it was this opportunity of being inspired by the French school of music-making that I wanted to share with young musicians.
The Zodiac Music Academy & Festival is designed to provide intense musical training and performance opportunity, while exposing young musicians to French culture and its way of music-making. All this in an in-formal and highly personal setting, where students and professors share meals, perform together and become inspired by one another. I hope you will join us in this musical and deeply human experience!"
Watch this video from 2018 Composer of the Year Award winner Michael Grebla about his experience.
Kliment Krylovskiy, clarinet
Riko Higuma, piano
Vanessa Mollard, violin
The founding ensemble
In its over 10-year history - the ensemble formed in 2007 at Manhattan School of Music before becoming thehe first American group and the only ensemble with a wind instrument to enter the esteemed Ysaye Quartet Chamber Music program at the Paris Superior Conservatory - the Zodiac Trio has managed to achieve a level of recognition on the international chamber music stage, rarely bestowed upon an ensemble of such untraditional instrumentation.
The Zodiac Trio rose to prominence following its initial debut on New York's WQXR's Young Artist Showcase, fueled by numerous victories on the competition circuit in the United States, France and Italy. Currently, the Zodiac Trio enjoys an international concert schedule that spans three continents, frequenting venues such as Lincoln Center (U.S.), Ottawa Chamberfest (Canada), Festival Radio France Montpelier (France), International Colmar Festival (France), Edinburgh Festival (Scotland), Beijing Performing Arts Center (China) and Izumi Hall (Japan). The trio's live performances have been broadcast by France 3 Television, Radio France Beijing’s CCTV News, Canada’s CBC Radio and Television, NBC, New York’s WXQR and WNYC, Boston's WGBH’s and Chicago's WFMT. amongst others.
Dedicated to education, the trio has given masterclasses and clinics at Universities and Conservatories throughout the United States and Canada. Dedicated to new music the Zodiac Trio has commissioned over a dozen new works, working with such composers as Grammy award-winner Richard Danielpour.
I just wanted to let you know again what an incredible experience I had at the festival. I feel like I gained so much perspective about what it means to be a musician and I met so many amazing people.