History & Missions of the Rainier III Academy

History & Missions of the Rainier III Academy

The Académie Rainier III is open to all disciplines, and boasts skills and facilities that place it at the very forefront of specialized artistic teaching establishments.

A brief history of the Académie Rainier III

1922: Creation of the "Cours public et gratuit de Théorie musicale et de Musique d'ensemble" under the direction of Monegasque composer and concert performer Louis Abbiate (1866-1933). On his death, Gustave Graeffe (1874-1947) took over the teaching of music, with the Princely Government formalizing its existence by Sovereign Ordinance on October 3, 1934, under the title of Ecole Municipale de Musique, at the Villa Millefiori.

1941 to 1960: Under the impetus of Monegasque Master Marc César Scotto (1888-1960), director from 1941 to 1960, a reform was undertaken to give a new lease of life to the music teaching establishment, which took the name of Académie de Musique - Fondation Prince Rainier III in 1956.

1960 to 1979: Fernand Bertrand (1915-2011) took over as Director of the Académie Rainier III, actively developing the school, in particular by creating special timetable courses for classes 10 and 11. In 1968, under his direction, René Grosjean, a Belgian violinist and saxophonist, set up a jazz activity at the Maison des Jeunes et de la Culture, which later became the Conservatoire de Jazz. On July 1, 1976, Prince Rainier and Princess Grace inaugurate the new premises of the Académie Rainier III on rue Princesse Florestine.

1979 to 1997: Jacques Moscato was appointed Director of the Académie de Musique in 1979. Following the closure of the MJC, the previously independent Jazz Conservatory is attached to the Academy. Roger Grosjean was appointed Director and remained so until his death in 1982. Charly Vaudano took over from him from 1983 to 2012. Jacques Moscato continued to develop the disciplines taught and worked alongside the architects to guide the work on the new establishment, after visiting numerous conservatories in Europe. Since 1994, the Académie has been housed in a modern complex on Boulevard Albert 1er. In this new building, equipped with top-quality instrumental and audio-visual equipment, a range of rooms meets today's artistic teaching requirements.

1997 to 2011: Michel Crosset is appointed Director of the Académie Rainier III. Under the impetus of the Town Hall, the Monegasque authorities and the inspections carried out by the French Ministry of Culture, the Académie Rainier III begins its recognition as a Conservatoire à Rayonnement Départemental. With the recruitment of new professors, the Academy aims to strengthen its Early Music Department and promote the teaching of electroacoustic music writing; it relaunches the activity of the Lutherie workshop, itself created in 1977 on the initiative of Prince Rainier III, offering a cycle of initial professional training in bowed instrument making; finally, it opens a Theatre class in 2008. In 2003, the Conservatoire de Jazz was officially renamed the "Conservatoire de jazz Léo Ferré" by the Monegasque Town Hall, in tribute to the great Monegasque poet who died in 1993.

2011 to 2020 : Christian Tourniaire takes over as director of the Académie Rainier III. His objectives include: the creation of a Contemporary Music Department, the adaptation of classes à Horaires Aménagés (HA) to provide children with a more complete musical training, the development of collective practice, the professionalization of the Cycle Spécialisé and the development of the Cycle Amateur. Under his direction, the Académie Rainier III organizes over a hundred auditions and concerts throughout the school year, and develops projects linked to local artistic life, resulting in the participation of students in various events including: Les Journées Européennes du Patrimoine, la Fête de la Musique, le Printemps des Arts... Finally, the school participates in and exchanges pedagogical projects with other structures abroad.

2020 : Jade Sapolin takes over the direction of the Académie Rainier III. A musician by training - 1st prize for Cello from the City of Paris in 2000, 1st prize for Chamber Music in 2002, then 1st prize for Cello in 2003 at the Conservatoire National de Région (CNR) d'Aubervilliers - Jade Sapolin began her professional career as a cellist. In 2008, she decided to create an administrative structure to manage cultural projects for the performing arts, with which she supports various musical ensembles, festivals and educational projects, as well as a Foundation dedicated to young students taking part in masterclasses led by international soloists. Ten years later, Jade Sapolin joined the Prizma School of Music, Dance, Painting and Theater in Boulogne Billancourt as Assistant Director, before taking over as Director of the Bois-Colombes Conservatory in July 2018, which welcomes nearly 700 students every year.

Educational, cultural and artistic missions for a varied public

The Académie Rainier III has a wide-ranging educational, cultural and artistic mission for a variety of audiences. "Conservatories", long considered "austere", have been redefining their activities over the past decade. Jazz and early music have been on offer for some years now, and "Musiques Actuelles" (variety music) has had its own department since the start of the 2011 academic year.

Music, the art of participation par excellence and a proven social activity, cannot be practiced alone. This is why the Académie Rainier III places "Collective Practice" (Orchestras of all kinds, Instrumental and Vocal Ensembles, Chamber Music) at the heart of the school system, since it is both the justification and the outcome.

The Académie Rainier III is structured into "Departments" in accordance with the "Schéma d'Orientation Pédagogique". With this in mind, the various courses are grouped into "Pedagogical Departments". In the same way, it should also be emphasized that the Académie Rainier III is required to provide a certain number of training courses for quality amateur practice:

  • Cultural dissemination in the Principality and neighboring towns, professional productions;
  • Support and development of projects promoting amateur practice;
  • Coordination of educational and artistic projects.

And above all, responsibility for a "professional" cycle (D.E.M.). This implies a pedagogical, artistic, cultural and professional environment capable of training complete future Professional Musicians or Actors, be they pedagogues and/or orchestral musicians or dramatic artists. More specifically, the Académie Rainier III's missions are based on 3 priority areas, which are chronologically complementary:

  1. Musical Education". The Académie, in close collaboration with the Direction de l'Education Nationale de la Jeunesse et des Sports, offers a special timetable for primary and junior high school students, as well as a special timetable for secondary school students.
  2. The amateur world, the justification and culmination of our "Specialized Establishments", remains in all cases a natural and privileged partner... Thus, Cycles 2 and 3 are built on a logic of musical, instrumental or theatrical perfection, reserved for all those who do not wish or do not aspire to an artistic "career".
  3. Finally, the DEM (Diplôme d'Etudes Musicales) is clearly aimed at professionalization, with selective technical entrance exams, a motivational interview and a dense, comprehensive curriculum. In fact, the requirements of the DEM are part of a strategy of preparation for the professions of musician or actor, and their difficulties, which presupposes success in the various competitions that mark the life of the musician or actor, as well as mastery of stage practice... Preparation for teaching professions remains the responsibility of specialized institutions.