Since 2016, the University for Continuing Education Krems has been supporting the badly earthquake-hit region around Accumoli with teaching and research projects at the "School of Reconstruction". The project directs its efforts to reconstruct the central Italian municipality and to revitalize its cultural, social and economic life. With Johannes Wildner as conductor, the international orchestra academy "Accademia Vicino" was launched including a series of concerts in Accomoli.

In 2016 and 2017, Italy was shaken by a series of earthquakes. Since then, Accumoli stands as a symbol of destruction, where the quakes have caused numerous casualties as well as immense damage to the region’s rich cultural heritage. From that time on, the University for Continuing Education Krems has been coordinating international teaching and research projects to support within the framework of the "School of Reconstruction" (www.sdr.accumoli.eu). Alongside the medieval city's reconstruction in terms of architecture, the focus is on cultural, social and economic revitalization. Thus earthquake-damaged cities are holistically reconstructed together with their cultural landscape.

That is why the international orchestra academy "Accademia Vicino" was created in Accumoli. More than 30 young musical talents from all over the world - including Austria, Italy, Germany, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, China and Korea - will come together from 16 to 28 August 2021 to improve their orchestral performance guided by renowned stars of the international music scene. The violinist Rusanda Panfili and the Austrian conductor Johannes Wildner are two of the recruited lecturers and participants. "The Accademia Vicino is a trend-setting lighthouse project and proves that the reconstruction of destroyed places bears not only a physical, but also a psychological dimension. The academy brings together young people from all over the world, who are given the opportunity to play an important role in a new cultural society. The earthquake-ravaged Accumoli is the occasion, but the underlying message concerns the whole world," says conductor Johannes Wildner regarding the orchestral academy.

Music impetus for reconstruction

Orchestra rehearsals and concerts, which are held in Accumoli, Ascoli Piceno and Norcia present the results of the orchestra academy to a wide audience. The Academy students will perform among others the works of Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Franz Schubert and Johann Strauss (son). The community benefits from these activities, which provide important impulses for the cultural, social and economic reconstruction of the region. The entire project will be scientifically monitored and evaluated in order to gain insights for future measures. "And finally, it is also a matter of drawing public attention back to Accumoli and the reconstruction efforts there," says Prof Christian Hanus, project leader and Dean of the Faculty of Education, Arts and Architecture.

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