ACDA 's aim is to organize, coordinate and promote artistic activities, especially creation of new works; in addition, she aims in this respect to develop the formation of the professionals, in particular in the framework of the international Competitions of the Paris City and Center Acanthes.
In just over two decades the Centre Acanthes has become a revered symbol of contemporary composition. Launched at the Aix-en-Provence Festival in 1977, it has since 1987 been linked to the Avignon Festival. Above all, the Centres Acanthes sets out to teach young musicians about contemporary music. Adopting an innovative approach, it centres its activities around leading modern composers, who each lead different sessions.
- The Centre Acanthes is held each July for a period of two to three weeks, in the magnificent fourteenth-century monastery, the Chartreuse, in Villeneuve-lez-Avignon.
- Workshops are run by an entire team, as the guest composer is assisted by a group of musician-teachers, chosen by common accord to perform and analyse his works.
- Alongside the workshops, a series of concerts are held, at which the works of the guest composer hold pride of place, performed by the musician-teachers as well as ensembles or orchestras. These concerts are included in the official programme of the Avignon Festival.
- The Centre Acanthes is aimed at young music professionals, be they composers, performers, musicologists or teachers. They hail from all over the world - between half and three-quarters of the participants come from outside France. Participants are selected on the basis of their applications. Their numbers range from 80 to 120 every year. To make it easier for them to attend, over half of the participants are granted a bursary.