The recent tragedy that hit Nice could not stop a beloved local tradition to continue sharing its musical message of peace and beauty.
For 59 years, it has been one of the best loved annual rituals in town: the Niçois Summer Academy’s concert series under the arches of the romantic rose garden belonging to the 16th century Franciscan monastery in Cimiez. It is an opportunity for students to showcase their work at the end of their study cycle, presenting a high quality programme of concerto, chamber music, and recitals. While this year is principally dedicated to the works of Mozart, Mendelssohn, Shostakovich, Bach, and Vivaldi, in a nod to the Americas, and to underline freedom and tolerance, it also features jazz and tango. This year’s edition runs until 13th August.
Like all other organizers, the question arose immediately after the July 14 terror attack whether or not to go ahead. But encouraged by hundreds of messages of support from around the world, Hubert Tassy, the president of the Académie Internationale d’Ete de Nice decided not to give it to blind violence. “For decades, our Academy has sent a message of beauty, music, attention, and respect, and we stand in solidarity with Nice. Destruction is the deadly objective of those guys – ours is one of life… to teach art and pass on education.“
The Summer Academy is the oldest one in Europe, where an exceptionally qualified staff of music professors has welcomed over 50,000 international students since its inception in 1957. The summer concerts in Cimiez have been a time-honoured tradition in these ancient monastery gardens, which date back to 1546 and provide the intimate and magical stage as thousands of lights from the surrounding Niçois hills twinkle and the sensual scent of the ancient roses perfumes the balmy night air. An annual experience locals do not want to miss, and visitors will be truly delighted to discover.
Cloître du Monastère de Cimiez
Place Jean Paul 2
Lead image © JL.Bergamo, courtesy of l’Académie d’Eté de Nice; photo of Monastère de Cimiez © RIVIERA BUZZ