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Lilla Akademien

Music can change the world - Beethoven

Music Primary School – Music Secondary School – Pre-College

The Junior Academy in Stockholm is a unique school specialising in classical music. Housed in a historic building in the centre of the city, it was founded in 1994 by a group of music teachers under the leadership of Nina Balabina. In its early years it provided instrumental tuition for young children at the end of the school day, but in 1998 it opened as a full-time educational establishment for children aged six years and upwards.

In 2002 the school expanded to include a sixth form (Gymnasium) department for pupils aged 15-19 and in 2005 a Pre-College year to cater for students aged 19-23. In 2009 The Junior Academy took the first steps towards founding a Swedish National Youth Orchestra, and in August 2010 SNYO met for the first time under the leadership of Esa-Pekka Salonen. In a few short years The Junior Academy has become one of the most significant and influential institutions in Scandinavia for the education of young musicians.

The aim of The Junior Academy is to give its pupils a solid musical foundation, whether or not they choose to become professional musicians. Since the musical life of the school is intense, great care is taken to foster a joyful, rather than competitive, spirit among pupils. Priority is given to developing the artistic personality of each individual. Many different nationalities are represented among the students and staff and the school is proud of the atmosphere of tolerance and international understanding that this creates.

“For my many years of experience in the music profession, I can state with certainty that The Junior Academy has achieved considerable international importance. Moreover, Stockholm with its strong cosmopolitan background, its vibrant and diverse musical life, and its openness to educational initiative, seems the ideal place for such a high-profile music school.”

-Vladimir Ashkenazy, pianist, conductor, and chairman of The International Advisory Board at The Junior Academy.

The Junior Academy – the Optimal Choice

The Junior Academy offers a first class education in western art music and is one the leading musical institutions in Scandinavia. Both the uniquely designed curriculum and the high educational standard the pupils attain here have attracted much interest. Students at The Junior Academy are regularly prize-winners in international and national competitions. Numerous world-class artists, including Lang-Lang, have given Master Classes at The Junior Academy and there is great interest among music students from all over the world to attend the institution.

Students are trained in solo, ensemble and orchestral repertoire and a number of students achieve the highest professional levels during their school years. In 2009/2010 alone, three students (9-13 years old) were soloists with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, in a concert broadcast on Swedish Television, and a great number of the graduates from Sixth form (Gymnasium) performing with Stockholm Symphony Orchestra as soloists in such works as Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole; Brahms’ Double Concerto for Violin and Violoncello; Prokofiev’s Concertino for Violoncello and Szymanowski’s Violin Concerto no 2.

Ensemble and Orchestra Activity

The Junior Academy offers ensemble and orchestral playing to all from the youngest in the Preparatory Class to the oldest in Pre-College. In 2009-2010 seven orchestras and about thirty ensembles rehearsed each week directed by highly qualified musicians and conductors, whose systematic pedagogy helps the students attain outstanding results.

The Chamber Orchestra
The Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Professor Mark Tatlow (Artistic Director of Drottningholms Slottsteater) gives regular performances with a repertoire ranging from Bach and Handel to Arvo Pärt and John Adams. The orchestra has undertaken several foreign tours and been engaged to appear in a variety of prestigious events, such as the televised award of the 2009 International Polar Prize (“The Nobel Prize of Music”) in Stockholm Concert Hall.

The Wind and Brass Orchestra
The Wind and Brass Orchestra, conducted by David Lundblad, is fast becoming known as the best youth wind and brass orchestra in Sweden. The orchestra has recently performed G. Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, with a piano soloist from The Junior Academy, and has collaborated with The Chamber Orchestra in Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Nutcracker.

”La Ronde des Violons”
The Violin Ensemble La Ronde des Violons has performed in Sweden, China and Japan, and been awarded numerous distinctions. The repertoire comprises virtuoso works for violin, the majority of which have been arranged specially for La Ronde des Violons.

Concert Activity

An important part educational goal of The Junior Academy is concert performance. Each year our students put on over a hundred concerts including in Stockholm’s major concert halls. In addition, there are frequent foreign concert tours, recently to England, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, France, Finland, Estonia, Japan, and China.

Teachers

The teaching staff of The Junior Academy all have first class academic and conservatory training, which they combine with a passionate interest in teaching young students. Several of the instrumental and vocal teachers perform with Sweden’s leading orchestras and many are soloists of national and international repute. The Junior Academy also has several international guest teachers, including the well known concert pianist Svetlana Navasardjan, London.

Main Departments

Music Primary and Secondary School – aged 6-15
The pupils study one or more instruments throughout their schooling. Age-appropriate Solfège and rudiments and theory is taught from preparatory class onwards, complemented at the intermediate level with Music History, Harmony and an Introduction to Composition. Every student from the youngest to the oldest participates in choral singing.

Music Sixth Form (Gymnasium) – aged 15-19
Each gymnasium student has three individual lessons per week on their main instrument for three years (120 minutes per week), and 8-10 hours of class tuition per week in Harmony, Composition, Ear Training, Music History, Music Analysis, Choir-Singing and Ensemble playing in one of the school’s ensembles or orchestras (see Ensemble and Orchestra Activity, above). Students have the possibility to study chamber music and to work with a rehearsal pianist. Master Classes are regularly given by distinguished guest artists.

Pre-College – aged 19-23
Pre-College is a one-year, complementary and high-level preparatory education for those who desire to invest in a professional future in classical music. Each year twenty students are accepted onto the program, which offers instrumental studies, singing, composition and conducting as main subjects.