Music Faculty Build On Shanghai Partnership

This fall, three music faculty members traveled to Shanghai to perform and give master classes at the Third Annual Baroque Chamber Music Festival, which is hosted by the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. The trip was just the latest effort in an ongoing relationship with the Chinese cultural institution.  

“There is perhaps nothing more inspiring as an artist and a teacher than to interact with student musicians in other cultures,” said Nancy Stagnitta, instructor of flute at Interlochen Arts Academy. “It helps you realize that while there may be differences, we share so many of the same ideals in our music-making.”  

While in Shanghai, the Interlochen faculty performed and lectured on baroque performance, with assistance from translators. The audiences included students and instructors from across China, Taiwan, Finland and Germany.

For Steve Larson, accompanist at Interlochen Arts Academy, the trip prompted some reflection on the different cultural approaches to music education. He noted that Chinese students typically start serious study at a younger age, with greater involvement from the parents. “The road to musical success is very different in our respective countries, but our ultimate purpose is the same: to perform great music at the highest level possible.”

With plans already underway for future partnerships, the Interlochen-Shanghai relationship will continue to deepen, bringing new perspectives to each institution, their faculties and students. “The reach of Interlochen is increasingly global,” said Jeffrey Kimpton, president of Interlochen Center for the Arts. “Activities like this demonstrate that our world-class teachers at Interlochen are increasingly sought-after. It is such a positive step for Interlochen to achieve this kind of visibility and presence, even on the other side of the globe. And our students and faculty on campus will also continue to benefit as we welcome more international guests to Interlochen.”