With our 2023 theme of “We and Me”, this year’s international gathering focused on the tension between the individual and the collective, between the personal and the communal.
In doing so, we took a deeper look at music’s social components:
its unifying power, its enormous potential as a means of universal understanding, and its positive influence on every single one of us in terms of developing our personalities as well as our professional careers. From the very beginning, musicians are required to perfect both the “Me” and the “We”, nurturing and cultivating them in consistent harmony. We focus on the “Me” in striving to fully develop our musical skills, our specialised capabilities, and our ability to holdour own amidst our peers. The “Me” is subject to ongoing competition – be it in selection processes, in performances, or in national and international competitions. But the “We” is essential when it comes to broadening the scope of our individual abilities and endeavours – and it is in the “We” that music manifests its true power.
isa – the International Summer Academy of the mdw made it possible to experience all of these facets of “We and Me” in its abundant programme of workshops, lectures, concerts, and community activities, demonstrated once again how artistic excellence can be most brilliantly employed to the benefit of societal well-being and democratic values and in the spirit of social responsibility.

Ulrike Sych
Rector, mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna


Introduction by Johannes Meissl

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