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AIMS was founded in 1969 to provide singers with the opportunity to learn about and audition for the European opera system. Initially located in Freiburg, Germany, the program moved to Graz in 1971 to take advantage of the city’s well-established cultural calendar, convenient transportation system and excellent performance venues. In 1985, the focus of the program expanded to emphasize vocal technique, choosing repertoire appropriate for the voice, perfecting audition techniques and building other skills required for a professional music career. Since its founding, AIMS singers have found jobs in European opera houses every year and many attribute their early success to their experiences at AIMS.

As a non-profit organization, AIMS is supported by the extraordinary work and passion of many volunteers, and the support of thousands of donors, Graz citizens who support and attend the concerts, the City of Graz, and the Province of Styria.