Overview | Academics | Cost | Location | Life Abroad | Student Voices
This seminar is designed for both music majors and non-music majors, graduate students as well as undergraduates, and students not only from UW-Madison but also from institutions throughout the United States. Its goal is to realize through its curriculum the three-way collaboration of composer, performer, and audience that embodies the complete process of musical creation, and to do so in such a way as to enrich the experience of all.
You will have the opportunity to explore music in Florence, Italy, in the midst of one of Europe's most important festivals. Florence is a city renowned not only for its treasures of visual art and architecture, but also for the music of its composers, from Landini to Dallapicolla and Berio.
During the months of May and June, Florence's annual festival of music, the Maggio Musicale, features performers renowned worldwide in concerts that include music from chamber works to grand opera. The ongoing Florentine musical season continues into July and includes the programs of organizations from the Orchestra della Toscana to Tempo Reale, often featuring the newest European music -- works rarely if ever heard in the United States.
The working studios and living quarters will be in the heart of the city. During the four weeks of the seminar, under the direction of UW-Madison Professor of Composition, Stephen Dembski, you will concentrate on the interpretation and composition of new music, serving -- according to your interests and abilities -- as performers, composers, or critical listeners, offering suggestions, as well as your fresh impressions of the music as it takes shape. Thus, you will work as originating artists, as interpretive artists, and as active audience members, forming a complete musical society.
Surrounded by Tuscan hills and bridging the Arno River, Florence is one of the world`s most beautiful cities, and has been a major center for the arts, literature and scholarship since the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Florence has a population of over 500,000, but a small-city feel as you can walk across the city's historic center in 20 minutes. Those who live in Florence - even for short periods - are exposed to as diverse and exciting an array of cultural opportunities as those who live in far larger cities. In addition to the historic sites, unique libraries, and world-renowned museums, Florence will entice you daily with its rich offerings of lectures, music, dance, cinema, and theater. Florence will charm you with its parks, fruit and vegetable markets, street fairs, artisan shops, cafes, and trattorias.
Getting to Your Program
You are responsible for making your own travel arrangements but will be given guidelines on arrival times.
You must have a passport valid for at least six months beyond the end of the program. A student visa is not required.
OrientationIAP expects you to be an active participant in preparing yourself for your study abroad experience. As a participant on an IAP program, you will receive a pre-departure orientation, either in-person or online. The type and format of this orientation will vary by program and will be provided to you upon acceptance to the program.
You will also complete pre-departure requirements in consultation with the faculty leader. Several times before departure you will meet as a group to begin working on the repertoire you'll be preparing and presenting in Italy.
HousingYou will be housed in Florence in shared student apartments, within walking distance of the studios, theatres, restaurants, open-air markets, train stations, and such monuments as the Duomo and the Ponte Vecchio. An experienced local staff will provide support and advice regarding all aspects of life in Florence, including internet access, telephone service, and transportation.
Excursions and Activities
You will, as part of the program, attend several public concerts, to be selected as concert series information becomes available.
You will be enrolled in the UW System required health insurance through Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) and the cost of the insurance coverage is included in program fees.
Stephen Dembski, UW-Madison Professor of Composition, is the faculty leader and will accompany the students.
Returned Student Network
to see testimonials from students abroad or to contact a returned student.
The student body will consist of music majors and non-music majors, at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. You will receive four credits in Music 497: Special Topics in Music. For composition students, these credits will satisfy degree requirements in composition instruction; for performance majors and non-music majors, they may satisfy specific degree requirements depending on the student's particular program.
On a typical day in Florence, you will both work on your own, and meet as a group for consideration of the works selected for study, the new compositions-in-progress, and the music heard at public performances. As necessary, special interest sub-groups will meet with the professor on an ad hoc basis to take up specialized topics, such as theoretical and analytic issues, as well as more specific notation- and performance-related questions. Such practical activities will be stimulated and enriched by attendance at public concerts in and around Florence, perhaps involving trips to Siena or Pisa, or even as far away as Rome. These concerts will provide topics of discussion for seminar meetings, as well as a common frame of reference for you.
Toward the end of the seminar term, you will take part in a recording session, which will provide a permanent record of the work, and perhaps also offer a recital. The accomplishments of the seminar will also be presented at a concert in Madison during the following fall semester.
Use the links below to see a list of courses that students have taken on this program before and the UW equivalents. Note: this list only includes pre-approved courses for your program and may not be an exhaustive list of courses or departments. You will get instructions on the course equivalent process after acceptance.
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