Working and living together for two weeks in a beautiful natural environment, the festival provides opportunity and connections to raise the prospects of a worthy generation of young artists and offers soloists a fresh and inspiring space to do their best work. Musicians have freedom to explore new ideas, share as equals in a community of diverse backgrounds and engage deeply--with nature, with each other, with a shared pursuit of excellence, in music and in life.
A day at Ilumina typically begins with unstructured work, where a soloist-led "team" of musicians determines together what it most needs. This could mean a masterclass, a technique workshop, practicing together for the evening's group rehearsal, a philosophical discussion, a practical Q&A session, or even a walk together in the mountains. The rest of the day, until the wee hours, chamber music resonates from every corner of the farm. The closeness of the environment--living, eating, rehearsing together in a beautiful space--and the constant possibilities for spontaneous interaction foster an intense experience of learning, curiosity, and exchange.
At concerts, a local audience fills the aisles to experience chamber music, often for the first time, and free of charge. We play what we want and how we want, with honesty and commitment, as a gift to the community. No idea is too grand or detail too small. We don't believe in words like "difficult" or "inaccessible." There are no rules, apart from a hungry pursuit of musical mastery and creativity. There are endless surprises. We trust our audience to come along with us, with open minds, to hear great music performed at the highest level. And they do.
At the outset of their careers, Ilumina Fellows are hungry for the experience and knowledge our Soloists can provide. Young Brazilian musicians are unique, bringing charisma, openness, and palpable joy to their work, even while often facing significant social challenges. Working side-by-side with soloists, not as students looking up at a master, but rather as respected members of a community, powerful bonds form and bigger dreams are born. The Fellows are the lifeblood of Ilumina, a source of inspiration to everyone they meet.
The mission is simple: that music be a conduit for transformation--for artists, for the community, for the future. In one week of immersive and intense experience, an Ilumina Fellow can amass musical understanding and practical knowledge that they might never encounter otherwise. They walk away with new musical standards, new ideas about what is possible for them, and the contacts and support to get there. We want to enable them to reach a new level of achievement and that their lives, and by extension the lives of their families, will be better because of it. We believe that the Next Level for classical music involves a bigger global table, that greater diversity of voices enlivens the conversation, and we're training a new generation of musical leaders, for Brazil and beyond.
Imagine the difference between meeting a leading professional for an hour's lesson and spending a week with them, living side-by-side and learning to work the way they do. This is why Ilumina is different. Young Brazilian musicians at Ilumina have the unique opportunity to prepare and perform chamber music with international artists at the highest level, not as students but as participants. Ilumina operates on the belief that the most efficient impact occurs by example, and that the most efficient change occurs when we train future farmers who will go and plant more seeds.
The project also fosters mentorship between the young musicians and successful Brazilians from diverse walks of life, offering advice in career path, business and communication skills and financial planning. A large proportion of young musicians in Brazil come from lower income brackets, struggling to finance their studies and find time and space to develop as musicians. Ilumina explores how to best to support young talent and create solutions for these challenges.
Ilumina seeks to be equally inspiring to its invited world-renowned soloists. They are given the space to dream and create new work at the frontier of classical music, without preconceptions or limitations. Ilumina considers Brazil, with the warmth and openness of its culture, an ideal laboratory for new musical ideas and that the inclusion of young Brazilian talent will inject energy and cultural diversity into the creative process. The Festival has partnership plans in development abroad to tour and share its resulting work with the world.