The Conservatory ready for a big reunion

Director Marc Meyers reviews the organization of the conservatory before the open day this Saturday.

Open house this Saturday

Thomas Berthold

Director Marc Meyers reviews the organization of the conservatory before the open day this Saturday.

This Saturday, the director of the Conservatory, Marc Meyers, is pleased to be able to organize an open day again after a three-year absence, in particular because of the health crisis. Several activities are on the program.


From the start of the next school year, most of the music, drama and dance classes will be free. A corresponding bill was approved by MPs on Tuesday.

Marc Meyers, do you think music helps convey values?

Marc Meyers: “Yes, I think about human values. There are 220 people working at the conservatory, so it’s a big community. Human values ​​are certainly very important. Then there are the general qualities of the art of articulating and generating emotion and also delighting the audience. I don’t think everyone will be Paganini overnight, but feeling and also making the public feel what we are doing is still a very special and very powerful moment.

Knowing how to organize a concert and preparing for a concert for several months is also the value of the work. There is a whole range of messages conveyed by music education in general.

Marc Meyers has been the director of the conservatory since 2011.

Marc Meyers has been the director of the conservatory since 2011.

Photo: DR

3,700 students are enrolled at the conservatory, what is their profile?

“They are between 3 and 78 years old. The youngest is enrolled in the mini music course. It’s a class where the youngest start listening to the music and dancing to it. You then begin to forgive, step by step, whether instrumental or vocal music, all in a very playful setting of 45 minutes per week. Otherwise, the age pyramid at the conservatory extends to 78 years. I am thinking of a singer who is part of a choir. But mainly the registered people are between 7 and 20 years old.

In relation to these youth, are you trying to promote some form of social diversity?

“Absolutely, the proximity to the surrounding schools contributes to this mixture. This proximity allows residents easy access to culture. We have 80 nationalities represented at the conservatory, all age groups, it’s very mixed, men, women. On the social side, now, with the vote of the MEPs, there are free courses for beginners. But even before that, the city of Luxembourg did not charge more than 28 euros per semester. It is therefore a very social tariff that makes the courses accessible to everyone, so that parents’ wallets are not an obstacle to enrolling their children.

How has the Conservatory survived the two years of Covid, especially for the organization of classes? Was it difficult to manage?

“Before Covid we had 700 projects a year. It’s very important to show and share your passion on stage, but with the Covid it was all over overnight. Video transmission, distance learning, we never did before the pandemic. Everything to do with teams, Zoom, Webex, we discovered that at high speed. It worked very well for the advanced degrees, which were very advanced. But for the youngest, where you have to show them how to bring the instrument to the body, a lesson by video conference is still very difficult.

Culture, rehearsal of the Orchester de la Place de l'Europe: Itw conductors and musicians.  Photo: Gerry Huberty/Luxemburger Wort

Before the first concert in June we attended a rehearsal of the new amateur ensemble.

After that, to protect the children, we divided the classes into two and that worked very well. But they also need to be protected from losing that passion and motivation. It wasn’t like that in the first year, but over time we noticed that some of them suffered a lot from not having an orchestra. I’ll be honest, the lifting of health restrictions in March was very good news. With a lot of motivation, many projects, sometimes even almost too many, the conservatory is rediscovering itself again. The open house this Saturday is one of them.

Exactly what is the program for that day? Will it be a great reunion moment?

“We hadn’t organized an open day for two years because of the Covid and in 2019 it was also canceled because it fell on the day of the national commemoration of the death of Grand Duke Jean.

Compared to 2018, we will have a “medium” edition, i.e. not with a large orchestra, but rather from solo to quintet with a good informative part. Some people only discovered the Conservatory during the Covid period, it’s an opportunity to show them everything we offer. It is a moment of encounter between young people, parents, the music-loving public and the teachers of the conservatory. We’ve lost some of the habit but I can’t wait to rediscover some normalcy this Saturday. We hope to accommodate 1,500 people.

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