Two new winners for 2019 at ARTS²

September 26 2019

Greta Fjellman and Carlos Escalona are the new PlayRight+ winners of 2019 at ARTS² in Mons. Having been selected by their professors, the two recent graduates received a prize during the proclamation to reward their work as performing artists.

Within the department Theatre, the prize went to Greta Fjellman, born in Brussels, the centre between her two countries of origin: Sweden and Italy. After her secondary studies, she was admired for her performing skills to such a degree, that she decided to prepare for the entrance exams of the Belgian Art Schools. She was admitted to the Dramatic Art class of Bernard Cogniaux at the Royal Conservatory of Mons (ARTS²) and obtained her Master degree with great distinction in June 2019. During her studies, Greta Fjellman worked – amongst others – under the direction of Maya Bösch, Karine Ponties, Virginie Srüb and Pascal Crochet.

Only just graduated, but she’s already performing in “Greta T.”, written and directed by Sylvie Landuyt. In addition to acting, Greta practices various means of artistic expression: “non-creative writing”, movement, video and ‘mise-en-scène’. Her first multidisciplinary creation, “QuickMix40”, which will premiere at the Festival Trajectoires (BE), is a collaboration with Maïa Blondeau. Moreover, Greta is the co-founder of Jampoetik, an evening devoted to the mixture of different arts, which will take place at Local Autogéré du Borinage (L.A.B) in Mons and at Zinnema in Brussels.

In 2019, her first video “Social networks and creativity” was exhibited as part of the “Next Generation, Please!” at Bozar (BE). This formed the basis for one of the big questions that keep her busy: “How to create in the middle of/with the digital world?”

Bernard Cogniaux, senior professor of the Dramatic Art department at the Royal Conservatory of Mons, says the following:

We chose Greta Fjellman because of the admirable track she followed during the four years at our school. The progress she made was impressive, she was constantly involved in anything she did and her presence in the working groups became increasingly prominent and binding over the months. She paid attention to others without forgetting her own personal progress. Originally, she’s Swedish, but she speaks five languages!

Not only did she develop her palette as an actress here, but also did she use her education at the school to reveal her talent as a writer. And in French! While, evidently, it was not easy for her to write in a different language at the start.

Finally, she delivered a quite surprising Master thesis: a visual writing of materials found on the internet. In short, a beautiful artist and beautiful personality as winner of the prize this year.

Within the Music department, it was Carlos Escalona who became winner of the PlayRight+ prize, also selected by his professors.

Carlos commenced his musical studies with Alan Troudart in Venezuela in the context of “El Sistema” He continued his studies at the Simón Bolívar Conservatory of Music, and later joined the Latin American Academy of Clarinet, and became a permanent member of the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela between 2005 and 2017.

In 2017 and 2018, he was an academic at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, as a student of the master Alessandro Carbonare.

Not only did he obtain his Master at ARTS² – Royal Conservatory of Mons, in the class of Ronald Van Spaendonck, but he also graduated in Music, Instrumental Performance at the National Experimental University of the Arts (UNEARTE).

Amongst his most recent contributions, we encounter performances of the work of Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Danilo Pérez in the context of the Carnegie Hall Festival “Voces de Latinoamérica”. Finally, he’s also a member of the “Arcadia” wind quintet.

Welcoming with open arms a young musician confronted with the indescribable difficulties of Venezuela: that’s what Art² did in 2018. The risk was not big and the reward was immense.

Carlos Escalona, who played during his training years in Gustavo Dudamel’s Simon Bolivar Orchestra (having teachers as Abbado, Sinopoli, Rattle and Mehta), proved to be the student that everybody loves. His kindness and availability are limitless. And the Royal Conservatory of Mons has become a new family for him (he will continue his training in bass clarinet for another year).

During the June 2019 public evaluations, Carlos had the best grades. As such, he has the honor to open the Arts² concert season in Arsonic (March) and was also selected by his teachers to receive a Playright+ prize. (Michel Stockhem, Director of Arts² and president of the jury) 

The PlayRight+ prize tour continues, and soon we will be at Jazz Station to award prizes to a few selected students of the Brussels Conservatory. More info and details will follow soon…

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