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Ravel Festival and Academy
Ravel Festival and Academy Logo
Mission & Vision

The Ravel Festival and Academy’s mission is to celebrate, preserve, and advance the musical and cultural legacy of Maurice Ravel while nurturing the next generation of musicians and fostering cultural exchange. Maurice Ravel is without a doubt one of the most beloved and revered French composers of the 20th century. Renowned worldwide, his connection to the United States is particularly powerful, as he first achieved acclaim on an international stage during his 1928 US tour. To this day, Ravel’s music brings together artists and audiences around the world unlike any other composer.

The Ravel Festival in Saint-Jean-de-Luz aims to honor and showcase the works of Ravel, not only highlighting his contribution to music and his enduring influence on contemporary composers and musicians, but also the rich musical heritage of the Basque region. Born in the Basque town of Ciboure, France, Maurice Ravel always proudly shared his Basque heritage, which richly colors his music. Through the Ravel Academy, the festival provides educational opportunities for young musicians, offering masterclasses, workshops, and performance opportunities under the guidance of internationally recognized educators and performers.

Under artistic director Bertrand Chamayou, one of today’s foremost French pianists and a leading expert on Ravel, the Ravel Festival and Academy’s vision is to create a vibrant cultural hub that celebrates Maurice Ravel’s legacy and honors the musical heritage of the Basque Country by fostering artistic innovation, education, and international collaboration through classical music.

Actions Led

Since 2020, the Ravel Festival is held at the end of August and beginning of September, featuring leading orchestras, renowned artists, and emerging talents. During this exciting time, the festival hosts an academy, a renowned program that has been ongoing for 50 years, led by internationally recognized educators. Each year, it welcomes nearly 60 young musicians and creators from 17 different nationalities, offering classes in piano, violin, viola, cello, chamber music, voice, and composition.

Throughout the year, the festival supports its academy graduates in 30 concert productions across the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region each year, promoting their professional development. Additionally, the festival engages in educational outreach initiatives accessible to all, facilitated by esteemed music and stage professionals. Upcoming plans include a project focused on Ravel’s opera “L’Enfant et les Sortilèges,” featuring 50 children from Ciboure’s public school, illustrating the festival’s commitment to fostering cultural enrichment and community engagement.

The Ravel Festival and Academy also collaborates with various cultural institutions and local organizations to bring Ravel’s music to a wider audience. This includes partnerships with schools, community centers, and other music festivals, creating a network of cultural exchange and mutual enrichment. These collaborations help to keep Ravel’s music alive in the hearts of new generations and ensure that his legacy continues to inspire musicians and audiences alike.

Projects that US Donors Can Support

Through Friends of Fondation de France, American donors can make tax-deductible donations to the Ravel Festival and Academy to support several projects. These include:

  • The Ravel Festival, featuring 30 events each season.
  • The two-week-long Ravel Academy, allowing more than 60 talented young musicians to access this prestigious classical training program taught by internationally-acclaimed teachers.
  • 30 concerts throughout the year in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, which showcase young musicians’ talents and help their careers take off.
  • Music education programs, like the “L’Enfant et les Sortilèges” program at the Ciboure public school.
  • Initiatives that protect and promote Ravel’s legacy around the world, ensuring his music is enjoyed for generations to come.

 

Your contributions will help continue the work of celebrating Maurice Ravel’s legacy and fostering a vibrant cultural community. By supporting these initiatives, you become a part of an international effort to preserve and advance the rich musical heritage of the Basque region and beyond. Together, we can ensure that Ravel’s music continues to inspire and unite people around the world.