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I will be returning as a Guest Conductor to AIMS for the fourth time in 2014 and I would like to encourage participants to make the best of their time in Graz. Yes, attend the seminars, yes, improve your diction, yes, prepare your coachings as specifically as possible, yes, learn everything you perform as diligently as possible – but ALSO try to get a feeling for how deeply classical music is being regarded as Austria’s cultural heritage literally everywhere. Take a moment of spiritual silence at the Franziskanerkirche, get your coffee once at one of the lovely old-fashioned Cafès instead of Starbucks, take a look at the opera house, read about Graz’s history and you will leave a lot richer. The faculty and the guest artists will do their very best to give you profound musical advice and education – but how much you really gain from this program depends on you.

Gerrit Priessnitz