News 24th Academy from August 17 to 27, 2020, dedicated to melodies about animals
François Le Roux, soloists of the Orchestre National de France, conductor Charles Dutoit, CD DECCA
Académie Francis Poulenc

The Francis Poulenc Academy

The Francis Poulenc Academy, is held every year (since 1997), in August, in Tours, in the Loire Valley. This is the only course in the world exclusively devoted to the study of French "mélodie".

It offers to 12 duets singer-pianist a thoroughful work on the mélodie, both musical and literary, for ten days, with 8 teachers. Masterclasses are privately done fir the first 5 days, then opened to the public for the last days. We offer associated concerts, exhibitions, film screenings, cultural visits (castles, museums), gastronomic meals, and a little library during the session.

The 2018 Academy

Many commemorations are due in 2018, i.e. the names of Lily Boulanger and Claude Debussy in the music world, Apollinaire for poetry, and of course the end of World War I. We did not want to make any preference among these; therefore our main topic will be completely different…

However, in February, a recital given by mezzo-soprano Françoise Masset, and pianist Anne Le Bozec (who has studied in Tours and is now teaching collaborative piano at the Paris National Conservatoire) will commemorate the end of World War I. Nothing sad or painful there, but a homage to musicians and poets who were involved, either on the battle front in the trenches or elsewhere. Some are already celebrated, many others deserve to be better known.

17 years ago, the Académie Francis Poulenc was dedicated to Maurice Ravel, and 10 years ago Albert Roussel was the subject, together with Reynaldo Hahn.

It seems right to come back to both of them, for a new generation of young artists…

Both composers died in 1937. The author of the world famous Boléro has become one of the best known French composers, the symphonies of the other are often presented by orchestras around the world. However, none of them is really recognized as a composer of melodies. Yet, there are about forty melodies in both their catalogues of works, some songs with instruments added, for instance the flute.

This allows us to resume our joint work with the ATMusica chamber music group, and its president Anne Aubert. First for an opening concert including Ravel’s Trois Chansons madécasses, written for voice, flute, cello and piano, by the baritone Jean-François Rouchon, a great recitalist, and friend of the Académie.

This cooperation will carry on for the two concerts given by the stagiaires; the first in Tours, at the Chapelle Saint Libert, and the last in the church of Noizay, Poulenc’s village, for the closing concert. The duos could therefore be allowed to perform themselves Ravel’s madécasses, as well as Roussel’s Deux poèmes de Ronsard (composed for a soprano voice and flute).

Our traditional cooperation with Tours cinemas Studio goes on and we will show the fine classical movie Un cœur en hiver, made in 1962 by Claude Sautet, with stars Emmanuelle Béart, Daniel Auteuil and André Dussolier; the musical score is made of Ravel’s music.

There will be two lectures during the Académie: Jean-Clément Jollet, professor of musicology at Tours University, will present the world of Ravel’s melodies. Damien Top, founder and artistic director of the Albert Roussel Festival in northern France, will speak of Albert Roussel’s.

An exceptional event will occur: a special master-class will be given by the great pianist Gabriel Tacchino, Poulenc’s only acknowledged student. He will help student-pianists work on Poulenc’s piano repertoire; it is thanks to our new president, Alain Lanceron, that we have the honour of welcoming him. Poulenc remains at the core of our work !

Our group of eight teachers is ready, as always! As well as a devoted team, leaded by Marie-Thérèse Aubert, our secretary.

Emotions and discoveries ahead, 2018 will definitely be a great new Académie!

Download the registration form for the 2019 Academy

The teachers' team

Headed by François Le Roux, who teaches interpretation and vocal work, the faculty comprises Ingrid Perruche (vocal technique), Christian Ivaldi and Jeff Cohen (collaborative piano), Christine Sammer and Laurence Schifrine (F.M. Alexander Method), Philippe Lebas (French spoken language and declamation), Thomas Le Colleter (poetry and literary context).

With the support of

Aim of the Academy

Make the Francis Poulenc Academy's interpretation seminar a real reference in the very specific field of interpreting French melody, by offering French and foreign musicians, professionals or students in the process of professionalization, a unique "brainstorming session".

Offering a place to create contemporary melodies and melodies written by living poets and composers.

To show to the French and foreign public all the aspects of the subtle art of the French melody, through a varied high level program, by way of concerts and recitals as well as courses of interpretation.

Strengthen the relationship Francis Poulenc Academy established in 1997 with international institutions such as the Ecole normale de musique in Paris, the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Source Song Festival Minneapolis, etc.