MERITA is a platform supporting the European circulation of a new generation of professional string quartets. It provides opportunities for paid concerts and videos, the development of outreach/special projects through online trainings and artistic residencies, and networking with 17 international cultural institutions.
With this open call, 38 string quartets will be selected to get free access to online training on one specific topic and to a 5-day in-person training (artistic residency) in order to develop an outreach/special project based on the topic.
The outreach/special projects will be developed on the following topics:
- Music and other arts.
- How to organise and perform a concert in unusual forms and spaces – breaking the spell around classical music.
- Disabilities, interaction between professional musicians and fragile communities.
- Beyond a concert experience – string quartets turning concert hall into (multimedia) theatre.
- Chamber music for young audiences.
- Music as intercultural dialogue.
- Music, space and place.
Each quartet will be asked to pick three topic preferences that they are interested in deepening, then to narrow down on one topic for their special project.
- An online training period between July – October 2023 during which quartets can explore online resources collected by the Platform.
- Site residencies during September 2023 – October 2024 at various venues in Europe (most of them part of the European Historic Houses network). Expenses for accommodation are covered; an extra contribution to the daily allowance and travel of the quartet will be given by the training member organisations.
- An extra online training on ISO 20121, Events Sustainability and Carbon Footprint, lasting 3-4 hours, for all the selected quartets to increase their awareness on environmental sustainability in connection to their specific work.
- Between February 2024 and August 2025 each string quartet will have an opportunity to perform at least 3 concerts in seasons, festivals, or concert series. Each string quartet will receive a cachet of €4000 per concert, inclusive of all taxes and social costs. For each concert, an extra contribution to travel and daily allowance of the quartet will be given by the hiring member organisations. Most performances will be in Europe, but there are some international concerts as well.
- Finally, the string quartets will get the opportunity to attend an in-person networking meeting in Amsterdam during the Stichting Strijkkwartet Biënnale Amsterdam in January 2024.
The MERITA open call is addressed to string quartets whose members play permanently together, and who plan to keep the same members over the years of the programme. Applying ensembles should be based in Creative Europe countries and have a maximum average age of 35 at the time of application.