In a year in which the entire world is still beset by the Covid pandemic and in difficult times, isa22 is placing positive energy, motivation, and continual reinvention at the centre of its artistic reflections and activities.

Be it about creating entirely new things or about generating ever-new perspectives on the pre-existing through “co-creative” interpretation, artistic activity requires the idea of doing things “always anew” as a fundamental impetus. Openness, the joy of creative experimentation, the capacity for enthusiasm, and a willingness to take risks are just as much part of this as are persistence, resilience, and the ability to begin afresh following crises or setbacks. Practice, repetition, and trying again and again make up a significant part of our lives as musicians.
Let’s therefore build upon the potential within ourselves and those around us, turning our entire lives into a joyful exercise!

Many of our brilliant isaMasterclass tutors have been with us quite often already, while some are coming to isa for the first time. In our encounters with them and in the diverse workshops and other activities on offer, we can now join hands to once again make isa a wellspring of experiences that point us in new directions.
The special combination of natural beauty and historico-cultural significance that characterises southern Lower Austria’s Semmering/Rax region provides the ideal backdrop for isa’s wealth of intensely creative experiences. And with new opportunities for regional cooperation, we’ll now be offering additional isaFestival performance locations while also seeking to be open in all directions with respect to repertoire for our concert programming: the unknown and new will be placed alongside the (supposedly) familiar, giving rise to new experiences for us as well as for those who attend.

In terms of isa22’s organisation, “Always anew” likewise applies: for the first time, we’ve scheduled isa to take place within a slightly abbreviated timeframe and with a new structure designed to facilitate greater focus while also reducing the cost of participation.

The international research conference isaScience, set to follow directly on the heels of the International Summer Academy, will place this year’s isa motto in a comprehensively considered societal context with its own theme of “Un/Learning: Norms and Routines in Cultural Practice”.
Our artistic doings absolutely do remain culturally relevant — perhaps more so than ever.
And in this light, what it all comes down to is that we persist despite these difficult times — always anew!

We’re looking forward to an inspiring isa22!

Johannes Meissl
Vice Rector of the mdw – University of music and performing arts
Artistic Director isa