"Music in Three Bridges"
The Western Balkans (WB) camee into the international spotlight as an arena for big power competition. In their foreign policy orientation, the region’s six countries Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia, all share Euro-Atlantic affiliations, although the degree of affiliation varies. Internally, functional and structural weaknesses - whether Albania’s legacy of an isolationist communist dictatorship or the consequence of the violent dissolution of Yugoslavia in the other countries- open doors for hostile foreign actors to project their influence.
The environment is rife with ethnic tension, border disputes, and neighborly disagreements. All of these countries are developing democracies that have yet to fully recover from the aftermath of the Yugoslav wars.
Nowadays the situation in the Western Balkans is tense with challenges on an internal, regional and global plan. Referring to the “Open Balkan” project (which aims to ease trade and boost economic development across the region) the public opinion in several WB’s countries has been highly involved on this issue, such as the “war of words” between Kosovo and Albania.
Besides that, we strongly believe that the region has the ability and strength within itself to recover relations between the countries. In these circumstances, the project-proposal “Music in Three Bridges” aimed to calm the tense atmosphere and create a spirit of cooperation between Albania, Kosovo and Serbia. Nothing better than art and music can bring a positive approach. The project “Music in three Bridges” started its implementation in April 2022. The project consisted in exchanging of experiences between professors and students from three different countries within Western Balkans.
There were in total 25 students (9 from Serbia, 7 from Kosovo and 6 from Albania)
During May-June 2022 there were organized in total 7 online master-classes by three professors: Ilir Kodhima (Albania), Milan Roksandic (Serbia), Betim Krasniqi (Kosovo).
Apart from the online master-classes, the project team held a joint concert. It was held on 17th of June, in the Hall of the University of Arts in Tirana, Albania. The joint concert consisted in a collaboration of students from Kosovo and Albania. The young artists were artists from the Horn classes. The young artists were directed by Professor Ilir Kodhima. The performance and the collaboration of young students from University of Arts in Prishtina and University of Arts in Tirana, attracted many young and old spectators. The most significant detail of this cultural activity was the absolute good understanding of the young artists during their rehearsals and the successful performance given for the public.
In the end of the project, the project team received from Milan Roksandic (Serbia) an important and useful document, called “Harmonic study and transposing exercises”. His intention was to share it with all the students that participated in the master-classes, in order to keep and use it as guide for their upcoming performances.
During the online master-classes the professors shared with the students their experiences like soloists but also as part of the orchestras where they have been playing. They suggested many ways how to improve their skills by using the main methods of studying which are used in the most famous universities in EU. The unification of the interpretation methods, brings young artists all together to be successful ones in their nearer future.
Students and professors shared their national repertoires by sharing their own culture and history. Based on individual (students) performance, the Professors made comments, gave suggestions and advice how to improve the techniques and also by introducing facilitating equipment.
Fostering cultural exchange of experiences and improving strengthening relations between partner countries.
Establishing of 3 musical youth groups (one per each country);
Establishing a joint group of all the participants from Albania, Kosovo and Serbia;
Organizing 7 online master-classes;
1 concert event;
1 premiere composition composed especially for the musical event;
2 interviews on national Televisions;
2 interviews on national Radios;