Since the ESS event for this Summer in Barcelona, 28-31.07.2016, will serve as a celebration of the 10th anniversary of the founding of the ESS, we wish to use this opportunity to experiment with new approaches. Some of these aim to improve our event model, while others attempt to allow participants, and especially ESS members, to assume a larger performative role in the Summer School, in order to reflect the developing level of participants’ playing skills, and thus their potential for a more active part as performers in concerts.

This participants concert will be a curated concert (probably 28.07.2016, evening), aimed at advanced performers who are not teachers at the Summer School. Participants interested in performing at this concert are required to apply in advance to perform, and the curators will decide on the programme. The application process is described in detail below.

A feature of this concert will be the premiere performance of the work 20151113, for shakuhachi and koto, by French composer Marc Kowalczyk. This premiere is to be performed by an ESS member, who will be selected through a process that begins with an application made in advance. This process will require the submission of a recording of the interested applicant. All recordings received will then be evaluated through a blind audition by a group of senior teachers affiliated with ESS. This group will act as judges, selecting the performer for this premiere. In addition to the honour of presenting the premiere, there will be a small token of appreciation for the work undertaken in preparation for it. In order to participate in this application process, one must be a current member of the ESS (see below for further details of the process).

Applications to perform in the participants’ concert and/or to perform the premiere of 20151113:

– applications must be received by 31.05.2016
– notification of accepted proposals and of the selected performer for the premiere will be made on 14.06.2016 via the Summer School website and by e-mail direct to the selected performers

All applications are to be send (in English) by e-mail to the e-mail address of the event (

SHAKUHACHI NEW VOICES – OPTION A: Proposal of a piece to be performed at the concert
Required information and materials for application to perform in the concert dedicated to the participants’ proposals:

– title / name of piece or performance
– name(s) of performer(s)
– duration of piece or performance (please remember that length is going to be a key issue and that pieces shorter than 7 minutes will have a greater chance of being selected)
– brief description of piece or performance (e.g. honykoku, sankyoku, improvisation, ensemble piece etc, and relevant information eg. school) – maximum 50 words
– staging requirements (seating, music stands etc) and layout (for ensemble pieces)
– if possible, .mp3-file of a performance by the applicant(s) of this or a similar piece.

Even though BCN2016 will try to help to coordinate with koto and/or shamisen players for this concert (should they be needed), this may not be possible due to other commitments of the players during the Summer School. Should other instruments / musicians be needed for participation in this concert, the performers should themselves take care of securing them. As for other resources, the organization will do its best to try to supply them but cannot commit to any specifics beforehand (Amplification may be possible, but is not yet certain.) Under no circumstances will the Summer School organization be able to provide financial or logistical support for this concert.

The performers for this concert will be decided by open curation and discussion of the proposals by senior ESS teachers: Kiku Day, Jim Franklin, Jean-François Lagrost and Véronique Piron.

SHAKUHACHI NEW VOICES – OPTION B: Proposal of oneself to premier the piece 20151113 (only for ESS current members)
Required materials for application to perform the premiere of 20151113:

(Please note: The requirements were updated on 9th April)

– name
– short biog (maximum 100 words)
– .mp3 file of audio recordings of (excerpts from) minimum of 1 piece, but preferably 2, performed on shakuhachi, maximum total length of recordings 10 minutes
The recordings may be traditional (honkyoku/sankyoku, any school) and/or written modern pieces (any style or direction, from 20th or 21st century, excluding improvisation).
If only 1 piece, please send a recording of a modern piece, which may be (but does not need to be) the piece to be premiered, 20151113.

These recordings should be ‘live’, that is, unedited recordings each from a single take, either in a live concert or recorded live in a studio or home recording situation. The supplied material should be exclusively audio, since video would circumvent the anonymity required for the selection process.

– list of the titles of the pieces submitted as recordings
– the following statement, printed out, signed, scanned and attached to the application e-mail:

Download PDF file of statement here

Applications will be judged anonymously. Jim Franklin will compile a list of applicants, assigning a number to each applicant. The numbered audio recordings, without names, will be passed to the jury (Kiku Day, Jean-François Lagrost, Véronique Piron), who will make their decision and communicate the number of the successful applicant to Jim Franklin. He will then correlate the number with the names on the applicant list, and advise the result.

Due to this anonymous process, the audio recordings submitted must contain no indication of the identity of the performer. Applicants whose recordings somehow identify the performer will be disqualified.

The decision of the jury will be final; any further discussion or legal process is excluded.

Potential applicants can view the score of 20151113 here:

Download score of 20151113 here [.zip]

Download score of 20151113 here [.PDF]

The score will be written in Western notation; potential applicants must therefore be able to read Western notation for shakuhachi without difficulty. The Summer School will provide the koto player for the premiere of 20151113.


For the 10th anniversary celebration of the EES, we are offering participants a wonderful opportunity of taking an individual lesson from one of the shakuhachi teachers, or with one of the string teachers for practicing a piece. Lessons will be assigned on a ‘first come, first served’ basis and will take place at the same time as regular classes each day. Each individual lesson is only for 30 minutes, so you should probably choose a piece which you are familiar with, not a completely new piece, or choose a technique, such as muraiki, yuri etc, which you would like to practice.

Given timetabling constraints, it will not be possible for participants to specify which time slot they prefer. Teachers will be assigned on a ‘first come, first served’ basis according to the form that each participant will receive. On Sunday 10th July at 8am CET, every registered participant who has completed the payment for the registration will receive an email with the form for the request which can be sent in from that moment onwards. Booking will continue to up to the first day of the Summer School. Participants will receive a notification by e-mail once the individual lesson booking is completed. The timing of individual lessons will be based on the teacher’s availability. Please note that due to timetabling constraints, it may not be possible for you to have an individual lesson from your 1st choice teacher, so please specify the names of your 2nd and 3rd choice preferences. If slots for all your three preferred teachers are full, you will be allocated a session with a different teacher. Please be aware that teachers will not be able to provide lessons on pieces which they do not know.

Participants will need to bring their own notation with them.