AIMS is the leading summer music program in Europe, providing six weeks of intensive training to prepare musicians for the next steps in their professional career. Singers and pianists study with an international faculty, while instrumentalists perform under leading European conductors.
AIMS was founded in 1969 to provide singers with the opportunity of learning about and audition for the European opera system. Initially located in Freiburg, Germany, the program moved to Graz in 1971 and in its first year offered a summer music festival of opera, operetta and Lieder performances. Many aspects of the city made Graz the ideal location for AIMS – its size, convenient transportation network, a well-established cultural calendar, and excellent performance venues.
In 1985, the program's focus expanded to emphasize vocal technique, choosing repertoire appropriate for the voice, perfecting audition techniques and building other skills required for a professional music career. Following participation in AIMS, numerous singers have found jobs in European opera houses and many attribute their early success to their participation in the music program.
As a non-profit organization, AIMS is supported by the dedicated work and enthusiasm of many volunteers, and depends on the support of donors and funding from the City of Graz, and the Province of Styria. Thus AIMS can offer more than 40 public event in the "Voices of Summer" series for the Graz audience.