Tchaikovsky Music School cuts ties with Russia and changes name

Tchaikovsky Music School cuts ties with Russia and changes name
Tchaikovsky Music School in Woluwe-Saint-Lambert has changed its name to Brussels International Music Academy. Credit: Brussels International Music Academy

The Tchaikovsky Music School is starting a new academic year under a new name as the academy is cutting all of its ties with Russia. The new name will be Brussels International Music Academy.

The music academy in Woluwe-Saint-Lambert is the largest private music school in Belgium, with over 500 students and 35 teachers. Its Belgian-Ukrainian founder wants to cut all ties with Russia, Bruzz reports.

Name change

Nataliya Chepurenko founded her own music school in Brussels in 2002 after moving to Belgium to study at the Royal Conservatory of Liège. The school was named ‘Tchaikovsy’, after the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Kyiv, where Chepurenko studied and adopted the method for her own school.

“In 2014, Russian soldiers invaded part of Ukraine. In the eight years that followed, I saw culture, education and politics as independent of each other," Chepurenko wrote on her Facebook page.

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“So my school continued to bear the name of a Russian composer, Russian musicians took part in the competitions and masterclasses we organised and Russian music continued to resonate. Now I realise how wrong I was.”

No more Russian music

Apart from changing the name of the academy, Russian music will also no longer be allowed at the Brussels International Music Academy. Not in the classes, competitions, masterclasses or even the festivals.

Russian musicians are also no longer welcome to participate in international projects organised by the school. “I know my actions are a small drop in the ocean,” Nataliya writes, “but they are also important.”

On 22 August, Ukraine's national holiday, the school is launching its new website.


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