The 10th Voice Symposium of AVI has happened from 24 to 26 August 2012 in Salzburg, it can review on a 20 years lasting tradition by biennial rhythm. The conference 2012 has been hold in the Orchestra Room of the Salzburg Festival Theatre, the elect place in the center of the festival.

15 wellknown speakers from all over the world were welcomed in the opening ceremony by Matthias Weikert (GER), board of AVI . The 120 participants came from 9 countries all over the world, and they have entered to hear and to share her knowledge  from EU countries, USA, Arab Emirates and Latin America.

At the beginning was a workshop of phonosurgery with 45 participants on Friday the 24th August in Hefterhof. Al the parts and fields of direct and indirect laryngomicrosurgery have been trained and discussed by instructions of wellknown and excellent INT surgeons (M.Hess, Th. Nawka, K. Joussen, P.Hulin (GER), J.Schlömicher-Thier (AUT), E. Chavez (MEX), M. Benninger (USA). Handling of instruments, of excisions and making mikrosuture in the larynx could be trained by the operating microscope in the larynx preparation of sheeps.

On the following two days, Saturday and Sunday, all fields of vocal arts medicine, its strains and dangers have been approached, with the expanded focus of musicians medicine, by the excellent scientific coordination and moderation of Markus Hess (GER).
Wolfgang Angerstein (GER ) discussed the analogy between mouth and lip function during blowing and function of the vocal cord vibrations by singing, with the title: Vibrating Brothers. Bernhard Richter (GER) has given lectures about the breathing physiology of blowers and singers. The flutist and lecturer Francesca Canalli (ITA) has approached the competition of sound of blowing instruments with the focus on flute.

The Master Class on Saturday has illustrated the deployment of voice and body during blowing with the theme: expressive quality of sound – musician phrasing and style, by Francesca Canalli.

Further themes have covered breathing, singing exercises (Ilter Denizoglu, TUR), music sensation and perception (Olaf Nollmeyer, GER , Ed. Pflanzagl-Cardone, AUT), posture and motion on stage (R Lachner, AUT), voice disorders in singers and actors (E.M. Haupt, K. Joussen, P.Hulin, GER) the problem of laryngopharyngeal reflux (D. Brehmer, GER) and the importance of Alexander Technique for singers, vocal artists and blowers (I. de Jongh, NL), by lectures and workshops.

The themes of the 2nd day focused on the health effects of singing (G. Kreutz, GER), psychophysical stress (Cla. Spahn, GER), extremes of pop and rock songs (Per Ake Lindestad, SWE), on video and voice analyzes by video kymographic documentation and acoustic analyses (Ch. Herbst, AUT, Ph. Dejonckere, BEL). W. Huber from Vienna (AUT) addressed the issue of hormones, voice and woman’s health.

Together with the renowned phoniatricians (Karin Joussen, Munich, Markus Hess Hamburg, Eugenie Hervez, Mexico, Per Ake Lindestad, Stockholm, Michael Benninger, Ohio, USA) Gerit Wohlt from Berlin moderated the topic: Therapeutic intervention in diseases of the singers voice therapy assembly of phonosurgery interventions.

The congress ended with the great master class by Sascha Wienhausen (GER), singing – classical and popular music.

During these intensive 3 days, intellectual and emotional exchange has been possible between the various disciplines of science and research, medicine, arts and education with a focus of voice, in an unique communicative and friendly atmosphere. Since its founding in 1995 the AVI is known for an interdisciplinary platform on which a learning takes place and from each other in this special “AVI” – atmosphere.

Why medical care of performing arts? Why precaution of voice?

Every day the voices of singers, the mimic and expression of actors and ballet dancers, the charisma of moderators and the hand skill of instrumentalists inspire millions of peoples over the world. Mozarts arias and their famous interpreters, excellent orchestras are an mysterious magnet for visitors and classicists of the Salzburg Festival

Who are standing behind the voices and artists? The directors, artistic director, conductors, corepititors, the stage workers and the voice doctors, the performing arts medical experts. They take care, when before a performance, the „voice or the fingers“ (pars pro toto spoken) are threatening to fail.

That is the task and the goal of performing arts medical specialists , that is one of the reasons and success of the AVI-Congress : increasing importance of this kind of occupational medicine for singers, actors and instrumentalists, for all the musicians.

It is the merit of the President of AVI, Josef Schlömicher-Thier, ENT specialist, occupational physician and attending physician at the Salzburg Festival, to guarantee the vitality and actuality of the International Voice Symposium Salzburg, designed by the team of AVI and the board-member colleagues M. Weikert (Vice president) and Hannes Tropper (treasurer, AVI Steiermark), the chief of technical organisation.
The handling of the meeting, the issues and all the social and the musical events were again the highest praise of the most participants, who could care for – in addition to deepening of knowledge – many personal conversations and numerous friendly matches.

The next symposium will be arranged by AVI in 2014, together with the CoMeT meeting, back in Salzburg.

Matthias Weikert
Board AVI, Regensburg GER , October 2012

You can find more images of the Voice Symposium on its website!