In July, 1997 the first Morningside Music Bridge (MMB) established a new benchmark for international summer programs. Conceived by Paul Dornian, then Director of the Mount Royal University Conservatory, and Andy Chan, the Morningside Group, the program provided barrier free training for exceptional young performers.
Originally supporting young Canadian and Chinese musicians, US musicians were soon welcomed and Poland became a partner in 2003. Today we are a fully international program and typically have applications from more than twenty countries each year. MMB is headquartered in Canada, delivered in Boston and operates globally.
In the early years, Morningside Music Bridge was typically held at the Mount Royal University Conservatory in Calgary, with occasional summers spent abroad to amplify the core international experience. In celebration of the 10th Anniversary, in 2006 the program ran at the Shanghai Conservatory Middle School. In 2009 the program was held in Gdansk, Poland, with the generous support of the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and the Stanisolaw Moniuszko Academy. The 20th Anniversary was celebrated in Beijing in 2016 at the Middle School attached to the Central Conservatory, and in 2018 MMB was hosted by the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw; once again with the generous support of the Polish Government and the Stanisolaw Moniuszko Academy.
After a lively discussion about the pros and cons of moving the program around the world or establishing a new long-term home, the Board of the Morningside Music Bridge Foundation decided in favor of a long-term home. In considering locations, MMB was looking for a locale that would be attractive to International young artists and faculty, with an appropriate venue in a community that would welcome an international program of its stature.
Today we are pleased to collaborate with the New England Conservatory to hold the program in Boston, with strong international links to the music communities of many different countries. The Morningside Music Bridge Festival operates through the Morningside Music Bridge Foundation, a not-for-profit charitable Canadian Foundation.