A delegation of Liceu Conservatory has visited St Petersburg University. The aim of the visit was to learn about educational programmes in the sphere of performing arts and to discuss cooperation perspectives and establishing academic exchanges.
Sergey Andryushin, Deputy Rector for International Affairs, explained that the University is actively developing its international relations and is interested in expanding contacts.
‘Today, we have about 500 partners around the world. Among them are major research and educational organisations such as Cambridge, Yale University, Tsinghua University, and the Sorbonne. St Petersburg University is particularly proud of its collaboration with the University of Barcelona, where it opened its representative office last spring. Also, we are highly interested in developing cooperation with Liceu Conservatory.’ – said Sergey Andryushin, Deputy Rector for International Affairs
Liceu Conservatory was founded in Barcelona in 1837. During almost two centuries, there have been more than 10,000 graduates including musicians, conductors and performers, many of whom became prominent figures in the music world. One of the most famous graduates of the Conservatory is the Spanish opera singer Montserrat Caballé. Liceu Conservatory became the first educational centre in Catalonia to train both performing musicians and teachers. Education consists of three stages. After finishing music school children enter a college, on graduating from which they can go on to get a higher education. Students of the bachelor’s degree programme can choose between the instruments of the symphonic orchestra, piano, classical and Spanish guitar, vocals, pedagogy and composing. Training of a professional musician involves not only learning to play an instrument, but also mastering theoretical subjects: music form and analysis, rudiments of music, solfeggio. Constant practice is very important, which is why the Conservatory arranges about 600 concerts for its students each year.
The director of Liceu Conservatory Mrs Maria Serrat Martin pointed out that the Conservatory places particular emphasis on development of international relations. ‘We have students from different countries, each of whom brings in a piece of their culture. We strive to create something new in order to show how connection of various cultures can lead to very positive results,’ Maria Serrat Martin said. ‘The Conservatory has 136 university partners around the world: in Latin America, the USA, Asia and Europe. We would like to cooperate with Russian universities, too. St Petersburg University with its history, prestige and teachers is very attractive to us.’
In January 2020, in the Russian House in Barcelona St Petersburg University delivered a presentation of its educational programmes in the field of performing arts. There was academic singing and instrumental performance: organ, harpsichord, carillon, and violin. During the visit professor of the University Jozef Haazen and associate professor Galina Zhukova met the director of Liceu Conservatory to discuss student exchange possibilities, development of educational programmes, and joint creative projects.
Associate professor of St Petersburg University Galina Zhukova said that she supervises the bachelor’s educational programme ‘Academic Singing’. It is implemented in cooperation with the Mariinsky Theatre, which is where most of the graduating singers usually find a job. However, some of the students might want to continue studying. This is why the possibility to get a master’s degree at Liceu Conservatory would be very interesting for the students of St Petersburg University.
One of the major collaboration projects of St Petersburg University in the sphere of performing arts is the International Cultural Forum. This is where the University works closely with St Petersburg and Moscow Conservatories and a range of other leading universities of Europe and the world. Last year within the section ‘Education’, a strategic meeting was held for the first time. It was titled ‘Ecosystem of Creative Education in the Sphere of Stage Arts: Space of Global Interaction’, and leading Russian and foreign experts attended it. Galina Zhukova invited colleagues from Liceu Conservatory to take part in the forum’s panel discussion about a creative project.
The meeting resulted in a decision to prepare a draft of an agreement on collaboration. It will include such fields of cooperation as organisation of student and academic exchanges, arrangement of master classes and lectures on Spanish and Russian music, as well as concerts. Also, the parties are considering a proposal to jointly apply for a grant Erasmus+.