ICon Arts Transilvania Festival



Over 150 musicians, choreographers, dancers, actors & multimedia artists around the world share their professional experience each year in the special landscape of the Transylvanian Saxon villages, during three weeks of the international event dedicated to contemporary arts: The ICon Arts Academy and Festival.

For both artists and audience, ICon Arts is a unique creation lab and also an extraordinary place to explore contemporary means of expression while discovering old local crafts and traditional cuisine kept alive by the local Transylvanian communities. Here, one can experience the original concept of the postmodern evening sittings (Șezătoarea postmodernă) where tradition and innovation meet in century old fortified churches and citadels but also in Thalia Hall – the location of the State Philharmonic of Sibiu and a cultural edifice of national importance, build in 1787.

During 20 editions, our visiting professors from top universities and arts institutions such as Beijing Conservatory, Boston University, Birmingham Conservatory, Royal Academy of Music and Royal College of Music in London, Metropolitan Opera New York etc. have shared their know-how to hundreds of young students in the friendly and inspiring environment of ICon Arts Transylvania, but also in the legendary city of Rome (Italy), where we held an Italian series from 2013 until 2017.

Within the Academy, the artists study new performing and expression technics which they look forward to share with the audience during the Festival’s events and concerts.

The main artistic fields of the Academy are: music (solo instrument performing, chamber music, jazz, creative residencies for composers and string quartets), drama, photography, performance and contemporary dance.

Our concerts take place on Sibiu Philharmonic Hall as well as inside century old fortified churches.

A realm of legends is now the place were new legends of contemporary arts are forged.


International Contemporary Arts (ICon Arts) is the story of an ambitious cultural project initiated in 2003 by two students of the National University of Music in Bucharest: Diana and Sebastian Gheorghiu. At that time, in Romania there were no international summer schools where young musicians could participate in and the only option for those who wanted to enhance their skills was to enroll in programmes abroad, at financial costs which were very hard to cover.

ICon Arts has become, over time, one of the most important events dedicated to contemporary arts in South-Eastern Europe. The Academy, Residencies and the Festival take place in the same time and offer a complete learning and professional development experience.

Since 2003, ICon Arts has been visited by renowned artists and lecturers from Beijing Conservatory, Harvard University, Boston University, Royal Academy of Music and Royal College of Music in London, University of Birmingham, Oklahoma University, Metropolitan Opera New York etc. along with distinguished professors from the National University of Music in Bucharest.

The ICon Arts environment has nurtured the development of many young artists who have found here not only the means to improve their art, but also inspiration for new ideas and projects (new chamber ensembles or jazz groups, interdisciplinary groups etc.) which they continued to implement independently with great results.

Among the young ICon Arts participants who enrolled in our programmes over the years, many of them have gained international recognition.