The Safran Foundation for music encourages young talent

The Safran Foundation for music supports talented young artistes with their training or the launch of their professional careers. It also supports the structures and the venues offering a showcase for their talents, as well as supporting local initiatives of solidarity in the musical sphere. Françoise Descheemaeker, its Chair, reviews some of its landmark actions.

Can you give us a few examples of actions that are most representative of the Safran Foundation for music?

For two years, we have, for example, been supporting a project organized in conjunction with the Cité de la Musique in Paris called: "Musique de chambre dans les quartiers" ("Chamber music in the suburbs"). The idea is to provide teenagers from the inner-city suburbs with the opportunity to learn how to play a string instrument (violin, viola or cello). In June 2010, the participants performed with the London Symphony Orchestra in a memorable afternoon concert!
We have also created a Safran Foundation for music prize that we award every year to a promising young musician in the framework of a cycle organized by the Musée de l'Armée entitled: "Jeunes talents, Premières armes" ("Young talent, First arms"). This year, the award will be presented on December 10th to the violinist of Korean origin, Mi-Sa Yang. Another example is the aid we provided this year to the Festival du Périgord Noir in organizing an evening concert dedicated to some of our talented young musicians, with some top personalities in attendance.

The dancer, Julien Lestel, performed in a private concert organized by Safran on December 1st at the Salle Gaveau in Paris. What reasons led the Foundation to lend its support? And, more generally, what qualities does an aspiring young artiste have to demonstrate in order to benefit from the support of the Foundation?

Julien Lestel is perfectly representative of the type of person that we wish to support. This dancer-cum-choreographer - he has founded his own company - is young, highly talented and works a great deal with some very fine musicians, such as Karol Beffa or François-René Duchâble. We believe, as do many others, that he has a brilliant career ahead of him. Youth, talented, daring, potential: these are the main criteria. I should add that we also set great store by loyalty. It is important for us that the young artistes who benefit from our support talk about us when they get a chance, and that they don't forget who their patron has been. To date, this has always been the case.

Do you keep track of their careers of the artistes who have been aided by the Safran Foundation for music?

Yes, of course! The artistes who have been supported by the Foundation keep us regularly updated with what they are doing, and we never miss the opportunity to ask the organizers of the cultural events or festivals that we support if they would accept to find a slot for some of these young artistes who have received our support.