PMF takes place primarily in Sapporo, the largest city on the island of Hokkaido, northern Japan. The natural resources are beautiful, the air is clean, and the mild summer climate make it one of the most popular places to be in summertime Japan.
*A normal daytime high is 26℃ (79°F) and a nighttime low is 18℃ (64°F).
Most rehearsals and concerts happen in Sapporo Concert Hall Kitara. It’s a world-class hall – Sir Simon Rattle once called it “the best hall in the world.” It is a 15-minute walk from the Academy hotel. The PMF Library is in Kitara too, with scores and parts for all music to be performed during the festival (and more) available for checkout.
Seating auditions are held on the day after arrival. These determine orchestral seating for the entire festival. Rehearsals for both orchestra and chamber music start the next day, and continue until the end of the festival. Chamber coachings and masterclasses by faculty happen in the evenings. It’s an intensive schedule – music, music, music! In addition to the main orchestral programs, there are also chamber concerts and the PMF Link Up Concert for children.
The PMF Orchestra performs in Kitara, the Sapporo Art Park Outdoor stage, and other halls including Suntory Hall in Tokyo. Faculty often lead the sections for parts of each program, but the Academy performs on their own quite a bit. Chamber concerts happen in all sorts of venues, from public spaces to concert halls.
*Concert attire ranges from formal to semi-casual, depending on the situation. Some concerts are performed in PMF T-shirts (which Academy members receive when they arrive).
Optional activities are provided during free time, free of charge, such as Japanese cultural activities. In the past, these have included learning about the Japanese tea ceremony, trying on kimonos, or playing traditional Japanese instruments. Sometimes there are even optional day-trips!
Sapporo cuisine is famous in Japan – everyone finds something to love!
Breakfast is served every morning at the hotel. Lunch and dinner are provided in a variety of ways, either meals or meal stipends. Sometimes there is a buffet at the Terrace Restaurant Kitara, other times there are boxed lunches (“bento”), and often Academy members eat out where they please.
*Vegetarian or allergen-free boxed lunches are available upon request.
Our goal is to ensure that talented young musicians who pass auditions are able to participate regardless of their financial situation. PMF covers the costs of Academy members’ meals, round-trip flights, accommodation, and all educational content provided during the festival.
So almost all costs are covered for the Academy. But there are some expenses that PMF cannot cover – insurance, any/all required visas, instrument repair during the festival, travel between their home and departure airport, and personal expenses such as shopping, for example.
Academy members often report having life-changing experiences at PMF. The multicultural exchange, the full schedule, new experiences, musical challenges, new friendships, intense education – it can be a lot! It is a unique experience, with lasting impact. And it is a lot of fun!