When I conceived The Volterra Project, Summer Guitar Institute my intention was not to create another traditional summer school, but to put together an experiment in international classical guitar teaching. As a woman in a male-dominated field, the task of developing an educational space with a strong identity and reputation is not an easy one. In the twelve years of its existence, however, The Volterra Project has solidly proved to be a successful and unique experiment with a growing international reputation.
Worldwide, there are many summer schools of excellence. However, it is very rare to find among them those integrating the dimension of guitar teaching with other elements, nowadays essential to the artistic and professional growth of a young guitarist. In my professional career as a teacher and international performer, I always considered this extremely concerning: too often wonderfully skilled and talented young guitarists are left alone and unprepared to compete in the professional arena. Artistic excellence is essential, but by itself is not sufficient.
Young guitarists, besides the long hours of rehearsal on the instrument, need a basic understanding of other fundamental components of their life as musicians, such as how to take care of their bodies in synergy with the instrument, and how to deal with the managerial aspects of their career. Students need a school able to form not only highly skilled guitarists, but also mature musicians, able to face by themselves the needs of an international career.
Our mission is to help young guitarists develop well-rounded and non-competitive approaches to performing, to foster a generation of accomplished young guitarists who are prepared for the multiple aspects of performing careers, and to bring the guitar outside traditional performance venues into places of community access.
This is why, since 2007, every year The Volterra Project offers to guitar students from all over the world a 360-degree formative course including not only guitar master classes by internationally renowned guitarists, but also seminars on music business management focused on the music profession, and classes of music physiology, i.e. awareness and management of the body in its interaction with the instrument, taught by experienced, internationally renowned professionals.
Finally, The Volterra Project was conceived as innovative not only in its didactic offerings, but also in its form and context. The workshop will be held in a beautiful agriturismo, a rustic complex in Volterra, Tuscany (Italy), where students and teachers will live together in a relaxed, non-competitive environment. The Volterra Project will replace the competitive culture of the conservatory with a more nurturing environment, conducive to a real exchange of knowledge and experience. During the workshop, The Volterra Project organizes a set of three concerts featuring the guest artists and (in the closing concert) the best prepared students of the edition. To-date The Volterra Project presented concerts by internationally renowned guitarists such as Antigoni Goni, Carlos Barbosa-Lima, Raphaella Smits, Carlo Marchione, Nuccio d'Angelo, Atanas Ourkouzounov, Gianpaolo Bandini, Elena Papandreou, Margarita Escarpa, Michael Newman and Laura Oltman duo, Gaëlle Solal, Gohar Vardanyan, Rene Izquierdo, Ricardo Gallén.