The European Center of Music (CEM), in partnership with a number of cultural and financial agencies, has begun a fundraising campaign to preserve and restore the home of famed composer Georges Bizet.
The campaign is part of CEM’s goal of creating a heritage site dedicated to the artists of the Romantic era who lived within the vicinity of Bizet’s home, such as Russian writer Ivan Turgenev and singer/composer Pauline Viardot, who was a friend of Franz Liszt and Igor Stravinsky. CEM’s goal also includes the creation of a musical academy called the “Space Carmen,” which will feature an exhibition space, a recording studio, and a multi-purpose concert hall to host masterclasses, conferences, and screenings.
The costs of this project are estimated around 3 million Euros. Aiding in this effort is the financial agency Dartagnans, which specializes in fundraising for cultural projects via social media and crowdfunding methods; the City of Bougival, whose mayor, Luc Wattelle, has pledged his support to the campaign as the city begins operations to acquire the needed buildings; and Europa Nostra, a regular collaborator with the European Union and UNESCO, headed by revered tenor Plácido Domingo.
Looking to the future, CEM hopes that this locale near the Seine River will become the nexus for other fields of academic research such as literature, history, visual arts, theatre, and philosophy. They’ve also expressed the desire for residencies for researchers exploring the neuroscience of music and its relationship with the brain, particularly in the treatment of conditions such as autism.
Contributors to CEM’s online donation platform can expect their name engraved on one of the house’s walls, in addition to other gifts. With the support of the people and such prominent organizations paving the way for the arts, the future is smiling brightly on the past.