International Summer School 2014

Summer School News

Tuesday September 3, 2013

Booking information for 2014

Friday August 16, 2013

Dartington Announces Artistic Director for Dartington International Summer School (DISS) for 2014

The Dartington Hall Trust is pleased to announce that internationally acclaimed oboist and conductor Nicholas Daniel has been appointed as Artistic Director for the world renowned Dartington International Summer School.

Nicholas succeeds John Woolrich who has been the Artistic Director for the last three years and his appointment coincides with the Summer School celebrating 60 successful years at Dartington.

Nicholas Daniel is one of the UK’s most distinguished soloists as well as a highly successful conductor; he has become an important ambassador for music and musicians in many different fields. In recognition of this, he was recently awarded the prestigious Queen’s Medal for Music.

As a concerto soloist with many of the world’s leading orchestras and conductors he has worked under the baton of conductors such as Sakari Oramo, Sir Roger Norrington, Oliver Knussen, Richard Hickox, Jiri Belohlavek, David Robertson, Sir Mark Elder and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. In addition to his extensive experience in baroque and 19th-century music, he is an important force in the creation and performance of new repertoire for oboe, and has premiered works by many leading composers.

Nicholas said “I am honoured and delighted to continue the work of Gavin Henderson and John Woolrich at Dartington International Summer School. There are wonderful opportunities here to focus and recharge the work which goes on, and Dartington is a magnificent place to be creative. The inclusive nature of the Summer School will continue to be at its heart and I am looking forward to finding ever more stimulating and appropriate courses and activities for people who attend, as well as for those who join us for single events and concerts”

David Francis, Dartington’s Director of Arts said, “The role of Artistic Director is absolutely key to making DISS the success it is and I know that Nicholas will bring real energy to it as well as a commitment to providing the very best opportunities for our participants, students and artists. Nicholas is following another exceptional Director, John Woolrich, who in the last three years has raised the standard of the teaching, concert programming and has introduced many new artists to Dartington. I am delighted that Nick’s ambition is to build on John’s success which will ensure Dartington maintains its international reputation as a leading Summer School and continues to bring together the amazing mix of people which makes Dartington International Summer School unique and a place of exciting creative possibilities”.

For further information or interviews contact Freya Jonas Communications and Marketing Assistant on 01803 847017 or please visit

Notes for Editors

The appointment of Nicholas Daniel as Artistic Director is initially for one year.

The Dartington International Summer School
William Glock – controller of classical music at the BBC from 1959 to 1972, and the man who reinvented the Proms – founded the Bryanston Summer School in 1948. It was held there for four years until it moved to the Dartington Hall Estate in 1953. Since then it has grown to become Europe’s leading event of its kind and one of the highlights of the music calendar. The Summer School attracts over 1,000 musicians of all ages and abilities each year, all keen to learn from, play with and network with a wide range of professional musicians, conductors and composers.

Over the years the Summer School at Dartington has played host to so of the world’s greatest musical talents, including:

  • Igor Stravinsky
  • Ravi Shankar
  • Jacqueline Du Pre (who reportedly first met Daniel Barenboim there)
  • Simon Rattle
  • Peter Maxwell Davies
  • Sir Neville Marriner

The current programme
DISS is three weeks long, with around 20-30 courses and workshops taking place each week, from individual instrumental and vocal classes to chamber music, large ensemble courses and composition. Classical music is the main musical focus of the Summer School, although jazz, folk, world and electronic music are also included.

The range of courses ensures that people of any ability are able to take part in and enjoy the Summer School. DISS also caters for advanced students, many of whom are embarking on a professional career in music. Through its fundraising efforts and the support of many individuals DISS is able to offer bursaries for many of the students who otherwise would not be able to attend.

DISS welcomes over 1000 people to the Summer School during its threeweeks.
DISS is one part of a year round programme of Arts activities which includes a major artist residency programme, an independent cinema, craft activities, other festivals and one off events and concerts.

The Dartington Hall Trust
Dartington Hall was the brainchild of Dorothy and Leonard Elmhirst, who were philanthropists with a passion for social and educational experiments. It is a place of learning and experiment and works to address some of the significant issues of our time. It was also a centre of excellence for agricultural innovation, having helped to shape many modern farming techniques. In its charitable activities, Dartington works to create social change in collaboration with pioneering thinkers, artists, entrepreneurs and activists in the UK and around the world. The charity is supported by its enterprises: a conference centre with accommodation, the award-winning White Hart restaurant and bar and The Shops at Dartington (15 boutique shops). Over 1 million visitors visit Dartington annually. For more information visit

Friday May 17, 2013

Bursaries available for musicians of all ages and abilities

60th Anniversary Foundation Awards

We are absolutely thrilled that Dartington International Summer School Foundation, the independent charity that supports our work, has made an exceptional grant of £60,000 to provide additional bursaries for musicians of all ages and abilities to attend the summer school in celebration of our 60th anniversary at Dartington.

The Summer School is unique in bringing together musicians of all ages and abilities; amateurs, young professionals, music students and internationally renowned artists, for a huge range of courses, concerts, music making and fun over five weeks of the summer.

Bursaries are often provided for young advanced music students, but to reflect the unique mix of participants that make up the Summer School, this award is open to applicants of all ages and abilities who need some financial assistance to be able to attend over the summer.

Is this for you?
Whether you are working, retired, unemployed or self-employed, the cost of living is increasing and all our budgets are being stretched. Perhaps you have been before and would love to come back but can’t afford it this year? or have never been because the cost was prohibitive on your budget? This offer is open to anyone of any age, whether you have been before or not, whether you want to come on your own, with a friend or partner, or even bring your family.

As this offer is for people who could not otherwise afford to come to the summer school it cannot be applied retrospectively to a booking already made.

How to apply
Music Students
Please complete a financial assistance application form which can be downloaded from the website, (address above) and state clearly in your covering letter that you are applying for a 60th Anniversary Foundation Award.
Other participants
Please complete a booking form as normal and submit it with a covering letter or email explaining why you need financial assistance and mentioning a 60th Anniversary Foundation Award.

What will it cost me?
Bursaries of 75% are available for music students to stay in Foxhole (discounted cost £150). Bursaries for graduates, families and older amateur musicians equating to a £300 discount can be applied to bookings in the Tented Village (discounted cost £250), Foxhole (discounted cost £300 to £390) or Postern (discounted cost £450). There are a limited number of spaces in each area of accommodation, in each week. Rather than having a deadline these bursaries will be given on a first come first served basis so please get your applications in quickly!

These bursaries will be awarded at our discretion and all details given in any application will be kept confidential.

Booking forms and covering letters or emails for the 60th Anniversary Foundation Award should be sent to Emily Hoare, at the above address, or emailed to If you have any questions at all please do not hesitate to call us.

Tuesday April 9, 2013

Ray Davies Songwriting Course

Ray Davies and Marion Wells return to run their full time songwriting course in week 3, 10-17 August 2013.

The course is full time and will involve group sessions and individual tutorials. The course is open to songwriters of all genres, participants will write several new songs during the week and the course will culminate in a showcase of work written on the course.

This course has a limited capacity and participants will be selected in advance. To apply please submit a booking form OR financial assistance form, a covering letter stating what you want to get from the course, up-to-date CV and 2 recordings, preferably by dropbox or other file transfer system by emailing us at

Deadline for applications 7 May 2013.
No money will be taken until your place is confirmed on the course.

Tuesday March 26, 2013

Artistic Director, Dartington International Summer School

The Arts at Dartington is seeking an inspirational and creative Artistic Director to provide leadership for the Dartington International Summer School (DISS).

The Dartington International Summer School has enjoyed 60 years of exceptional leadership by Sir William Glock, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Gavin Henderson and John Woolrich. Following the 2013 Summer School, John Woolrich will have completed his three year contract during which time he has undoubtedly raised the standard and quality of the Summer School offer, particularly by introducing many new artists and contributors who together have enhanced the programme.

John Woolrich has said

“The summer school at Dartington has been close to my heart since I first visited, as a composer and teacher, nearly thirty years ago. It’s been a privilege to lead the summer school for the last three years and to understand quite how unique and significant it is. Without it the musical world would be different and duller.

Being Dartington’s Artistic Director has proved much more time consuming than I anticipated, and I need to carve out more time in the future for composing. I wish my successor well in the vital task of staying true to William Glock’s matchless vision of a summer school for musicians.”

For more information and the application details: click here

Monday March 25, 2013

Updates to courses and tutors

Planning so far ahead brings inevitable changes…Please take note of the following updates:

  • Week 2 Orchestral Workshop cancelled
  • Week 5 French Horn* with Peter Francomb cancelled
  • Week 1
    Rachel Beckett Baroque Flute** (Baroque Orchestra** participants only)
  • Week 2
    Richard Thomas Natural Trumpet – Early Brass (former tutor David Staff)
    Peter Lawson Piano (former tutor Daniel Adni)
    William Howard, Jackie Shave & Robert Irvine Chamber Music coaching (former tutors Barbirolli Quartet)
  • Week 3
    András Keller Advanced Chamber Music: String Quartets**
  • Week 4
    Marcus Barcham-Stevens Violin (former tutor Alex Wood)
    Paul Archibald Trumpet
    Tom Poster Piano (former tutor Huw Watkins)

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