International Summer School 2014

Your experiences in 60 words…

To celebrate 60 years of the Summer School we created an on-line gallery and Sound Installation at the 2013 Summer School. It is an open source project so anyone can take part, and it is an on-going project beyond 2013.

There are two ways you can take part. Either submit your memories and experiences of the Summer School in up to 60 words to or create a 60 second piece of music for “60 Seconds of Sound”.

Read below for more information on “60 Seconds of Sound”.

Music, Words and Images

  • Taking part in the Dirty Electronics Course at the Dartington International Summer School had a profound positive affect on me this year (2013). It was the first time I had ever attended a summer music course. I thoroughly enjoyed the social aspect of Dartington effectively the gathering and meeting of like-minded people from various areas of musical backgrounds had really enriched my experience. What has mostly been inspiring and important to me and the impression I have since been left with, Is I finally felt part of something rich, where all people can meet and be normal without the usual prejudices that musicians seem to get. Everyone was on one playing field and very open minded like myself and this kind of feeling is unique because of what the summer school offers alongside the beautiful grounds, settings and surroundings, I sure hope Dirty Electronics returns in 2014 bigger and even better. Here’s to another 60 years to Dartington and plenty more. (Words By Amit D Patel)


    Composer of '60 Seconds Of Dartington' listed above

  • I came to DISS in 2011 to rediscover composition attending Philip Cashian's Beginners Composition class where we explored how to create pieces using only a limited number of notes, from just one to small clusters - all to the accompaniment of the tango orchestra practicing immediately next door!
    The piece I wrote, and had performed, in that class is sadly too long for the 60 Seconds of Sound. So I have written two pieces, 'A Piece' and 'It Takes Tubas to Tango', as an "homage" to that never to be forgotten experience!

    Esther Smith

    Composer of 'It Takes Tubas to Tango' and 'A Piece' listed above

  • One evening in a piano trio recital an owl was noticed perching on one of the roof beams. In the Archduke trio, during a long piano trill a splat landed precisely between the pianist, William Glock, and the violinist Manoug Parikian. All carried on regardless. A little later William turned to John Amis, his turner, 'Look out Amis trill coming up'

    Jeremy Wilson

    Trog and participant since 1948, Summer School Archivist

  • Alan Hacker, charismatic musician, clarinettist and conductor, played ‘My Lagan love’ just for me, between composition sessions, the year Elvis Costello and the Brodsky quartet performed ‘The Juliet Letters’. A brave and generous man. Hurtling unforgettably down two straight flights of music block stairs in his wheelchair – courtesy of the nearest willing student – [both unscathed] - he embodied my Dartington – danger and inspiration!

    Jenefer de Salis


  • The Amadeus Quartet came to the Summer School from the start right up to the mid seventies. Sigi Nissl, the 2nd violin once, in a lecture, compared a string quartet to a bottle of wine. The leader, he is the lable that announces the quartet. The cello is the bottle on which everything safely rests. The second violin and the viola? Ah, they are the wine..

    Jeremy Wilson

    Trog and participant since 1948, Summer School Archivist

  • The string orchestra in week 3 (2012 ) played under Sir Neville Marriner the Tchaikowsky Serenade which has a rather tricky viola part in the famous waltz. After the first rehearsal I went to the conductor, asking him to write some encouraging remarks in my part. Well, that’s what I got:
    “Bravo for the near miss!”.

    Peer Froehling


  • Clifford and I met at Dartington in 1983, when we were assigned to the same string quartet... We got engaged three months later, and were married in April 1985. We have been back a few times and loved it every time. The highlight for me last year was discovering Berlioz’s L’Enfance du Christ, which I sang with the Choir. Wonderful.

    Helen Rowe


  • My late brother David MacRae lived in New York,but came to the Summer School every year, as often as he could, to play his flute with other amateur musicians, and enjoy the lovely surroundings. I was fifteen years younger than him and came three times to the Summer School in the 70s as a listener. Such happy memories !


  • At the end of the first meeting of the Songwriter's Course in 2010 we were asked to write a song for the next morning. As I walked towards the courtyard I remembered the Almond Cake, called Almond Bliss, from the year before and detoured in to The Roundhouse to have a piece. I justified my indulgence by thinking the treat would spur me on with my composition. At the end of the week I sang it in the Roundhouse Cafe Concert and one of the visitors in the audience was the woman who had invented the recipe and supplied the Roundhouse.

    Carol Fieldhouse


  • Julian Bream, Guitarist

    Julian Bream, the guitarist, came regularly in the fifties. An east end lad who had taught himself to talk posh , when necessary, was lively and witty. He was always to be found playing at late night parties. It was he who labelled the type written concert programmes 'Paper Layabouts'.

    Jeremy Wilson

    Trog and participant since 1948, Summer School Archivist

  • Attending master-classes taken by Dame Maggie Teyte, Jacqueline du Pre and other distinguished musicians; playing for Tamas Vasary; singing in "War Requiem", Monteverdi Vespers and so many other great works; working with other musicians on songs and chamber music; meeting so many wonderful musicians; enjoying the beautiful surroundings and the fantastic catering; making many good friends and learning so much!

    Juliet Chaplin

  • Setting – early 80s. Happy Days - ‘The Fires,’ but no Fire Officers. Late-night “extra” - Mary Thomas - The Medium. The Ship overflowing with bodies. ‘Standing Room Only” - folk hanging from rafters, under the piano, stairway crammed. Max himself jam-packed at the top of the stairs. The moment – glimpsing his look of naked awe, confronted by his creation fulfilled.

    Peter Williams


  • George Malcolm, organist and choirmaster at Westminster Cathedral, came for many years, and was a regular feature at the Summer School, conducting the choir and playing harpsichord, organ and piano. It was he who named the stage-hands 'Trogs'. He was later made President of the Trogs in perpetuity, a post he still holds, despite his death in 1997.

    Jeremy Wilson

    Trog and participant since 1948, Summer School Archivist

  • At first, I couldn’t work out why all those people were standing round singing madrigals under trees. By the end of the week, I was one of them. I’ve lugged harpsichords across lawns, forged friendships, made musical discoveries and changed life-paths at Dartington. Summer School is a wonderful thing, and I will want to return to it year after year.

    Sara Mohr-Pietsch

    Past participant, steward and Trog
    BBC Radio 3 Presenter

  • Richard Adeney, the flautist, came for many years with the Melos Ensemble. His flute playing was really beautiful. However he did not teach. When approached about this he would always decline, saying that he couldn't teach, as he did not know how to. When asked how he produced his wonderful sound he would say "I don 't know. It just happens like that."

    Jeremy Wilson

    Trog and participant since 1948, Summer School Archivist

  • Mornings at Dartington… Jaunty jackdaws on the dewy lawn; the still flag hanging from the tower in the unequivocal sunlight, promising the close heat yet to come. Rick’s Volvo by the barn, his steady tuning coming from the Hall, smelling of polished wood. Fresh flowers being arranged and early risers scouring the noticeboards on their way to breakfast. Deliveries arriving.

    Richard Heason

    all of the above at the Summer School,
    and currently Artistic Director and CEO of St John’s Smiths Square

  • The Vegh quartet first came in 1952 giving two concerts. First they played Bartok 1, 3, and 5, and then on the next evening Bartok 2, 4 and 6. Recordings of Bartok quartets were not yet available in this country, so that for most of the audience this was a first hearing. The impact was overwhelming. That’s what the Summer School does so well.

    Jeremy Wilson

    Trog and participant since 1948, Summer School Archivist

  • Tuba player, electroacoustic composer, chief trog, studio technician, singer, DJ, student, shop keeper, percussionist, personal shopper, sound engineer, proof reader, concert manager, arranger, stage manager, eclipse workshop leader, administrator, box office assistant, chauffeur, lighting operator, party organiser, piano mover, driver, steward, editor, chorus master, marketing researcher, page turner, conductor, office manager, copyist, health & safety officer, torch bearer and husband.

    Richard Heason

    all of the above at the Summer School,
    and currently Artistic Director and CEO of St John’s Smiths Square

  • My first time at Dartington was to celebrate the visit of Ravi Shankar. The wind tutor wanted us to perform each raga from my composition, ‘Ragamala’, in the courtyard at the appropriate time of day. We attempted this, although ‘Dawn’ was a bit late. After all, who wants to be woken at 6am by a bunch of wind players?

    Liz Sharma

    Participant and Music Teacher

  • A memorable moment to recognise Daniel Barenboim, then famous as a pianist from televised concerts at a Friday evening Summer School party c1966. We were in the students common room, Higher Close and Barenboim was fooling around on the piano with Radio 3 presenter and composer Anthony Hopkins. Jacqueline du Pré was also at Summer School that year but if she was there sadly I wouldn’t have known.

    Yvonne Widger

    Archivist, The Dartington Hall Trust

  • I played some wonderful music. I heard some wonderful music. I worked with some amazing people. I played croquet with some important people. There was a lack of garlic and spice, but the White Heart made up for it. We moved pianos, chamber organs and many many harpsichords, that side of it wasn’t so much fun. I really loved it.

    Thomas Bowles

    Clarinettist, past bursary student, participant, trog, now professional photographer

  • Colin Davis first came to the Summer School as clarinettist in the Kalmar Orchestra, performing Stravinsky’s ‘Dumbarton Oaks’ and Berlioz ‘Childhood of Christ’. He had never heard either of these composers before, and was devoted to both from then onwards. He came to Dartington in 1953 and conducted the choir in exerpts from Stravinsky’s ‘Rakes Progress’; a British premiere.

    Jeremy Wilson

    Trog and participant since 1948, Summer School Archivist

  • “Aside from the fantastic compositional opportunities the Advanced Composition Course provided, DISS12 was an incredibly social event, with some of the best memories being in the bar! The evening debates with Detlev as he puffed his cigar, discussing everything from Boulez to politics, were great! However, my most vivid memory was witnessing Quator Diotima perform Ligeti and Lachenmann. Inspired performances!”

    Michael Cutting

    Past Composition Student

  • "Excitement and amazement at the commitment from all to a world of music, inspiration, in such a special environment, from attendances 1967-72 and then intermittently through the Noughties. Inclination to try to do too much from the vast menu. Late night concerts always so tempting. Never far from my thoughts until the next time. Long may DISS continue and grow."

    Alyson (Dembovitz) Elliman

  • "Trogging is the best start I can imagine to any career in classical music. It’s not only brilliant practical training in organising arts events; it’s also a reminder of why arts events are worth putting on. It has also provided me with my only opportunity to date to watch an eminent composer gnaw at a block of cheddar straight from the packet, in the dark."

    Paul Kilby

    Past Trog, Music Critic

  • "My Dartington life began with a brief stint as Office Manager 23 years ago. I completed that week of magic and mayhem determined to return. I was back the next day. Personal highlights include the Brodsky’s complete Shostakovich quartets, Christopher Kite playing Bach’s 48 and the Trogs’ last night performance of “Say a Little Prayer”. You had to be there!"

    Jeremy Walker

    Choral Director and Office Manager at Diss
    Director of Music, Westminster Under School

  • "Dartington in Seventy Three
    Forty years ago I came
    Relaxation was my aim.
    Foxhole camping means a climb
    Must get back for meals on time.
    Maxwell Davies and the Fires,
    Esther Salaman inspires,
    John Lill’s classes, playing chess;
    Music students who impress.
    Looking for familiar faces
    Practising in secret places.
    Homemade shortbread, time for tea.
    Just the holiday for me."

    Morven Leese

  • "Linda Hirst singing Kurt Schwitters Ur-Sonate in the Ship Studio, 1995. The most intense, beautiful, mindblowing and at the same time hilarious musical experience I ever hope to have."

    Anna Kenyon

    Past Trog
    Press Officer, Hyperion records

  • Donald Swann came to the Summer School as a trog in 1952 and was later joined by Michael Flanders in 1953. They did cabarets together in the Barn Theatre. These went down so well that they decided to put on ‘At The Drop of a Hat’ in London, with Judith Jackson being the girl bringing on the Hat. (Photo: Donald as trog helping Georges Enesco out of car)

    Jeremy Wilson

    Trog and participant since 1948, Summer School Archivist

  • “I first went in ’73.. as a 5 year old… My parents were there from the start… Early memories include scorched brown grass in ’76, wasps around the sticky buns, George Malcolm’s flat cap, holding Simon Rattle’s baton (conducting looked simple as a child) and being just a little bit scared of Peter Maxwell Davies.. Nothing’s really changed..”

    Sébastien Constantine Tumnus-Pope


  • “DISS is a great place to gain proffesional musical experience, and to have lots of fun. My very first memories from the Summer School include a beautiful medieval church and stories about ghoast Grey Lady, freezing cold pool water, lovely food, crowd of professional music stars and non proffesional musicians, and music, music, music… Lots of music – classical, contemporary, improvised, and all performed with incredible enthusiasm by DISS participants”

    Ruta Vitkauskaite

    Bursary Student from Lithuania

  • “I met many colourful people who loved music, everyone was incredibly supportive and friendly, the food was abundant and delicious. The memory I’d like to share is one of friendship and care: My phone died on the train from London and there was no way I could get in touch with my fiancé. A viola player called Joe unreservedly lent me his and always knocked on my door for breakfast as I didn’t have an alarm!”

    Raya Humphreys

    Bursary Student from Bulgaria

  • “DISS was the very start of realising my musical dream to studying in England. In 2010, I enrolled for five weeks, due to sponsorship and scholarship for which I am greatly grateful. I learned a lot, met wonderful teachers, one of whom is my present teacher, wonderful people, most of whom, even if they are widespread over the world, are still friends and keep contact.”

    Guy-Noel Clarisse

  • Gerard Souzay, the French baritone who sang the solos in Faure's Requiem in 1954, had the most wonderfully rich voice. He was also stunningly good looking. Trogs had their work cut out consoling all the broken-hearted girls when we explained to them that Dalton Baldwin (seen on the left) did not only accompany him on the piano.

    Jeremy Wilson

    Trog and participant since 1948, Summer School Archivist

  • “Delightful memories: Beautiful gardens in the sunshine, all the fascinating events, the extraordinary desserts at dinnertime, frantic work on my composition, the lovely people and the great atmosphere! The haunting Great Hall as dusk falls and we arrive for the evening concert. On my first night in Dartington they played Bartok’s Second String Quartet and I was blown away. This year I will surely bring some of my Chinese friends!”

    George Holloway

  • “DISS was fantastic! The tuition with amazing, as were the plentiful concerts that we attended (I watched more concerts in 1 week then I had in the previous year!). Studying Recorder with Jill Kemp was inspiring, and having fun exploring new instruments on the Topping Tooters course reminded me why I’m studying music. Well worth the trip, and the money!"

    Charlotte Hiller

  • “As a recorder player I play a wide range of music, but I never thought I’d spend a week playing Haydn symphonies! I also got the opportunity to try out some interesting early instruments which has encouraged me to actually have a go at learning them properly! It was a fantastic week, both socially and educationally.”

    Sarah Langdon

  • At DISS, I saw how high the standard of string playing is worldwide for the first time, and it encouraged me to practice twice as much as I used to. I met amazing, interesting people from all over the world and it truly changed my outlook on myself, on music and on life.”

    Amanda Manmohan

  • “Where else other than Dartington (the Tiltyard…) would you stage a performance involving pianos, African drums, jazz band, choirs, gamelan orchestra, Indian musicians, large amounts of orchestral percussion. And where else could you call upon the audience and artists to carry everything inside when the heavens opened, for a damp and memorable performance in the Great Hall. Meteor Farm 1999”

    Emily Hoare

    Past Trog
    Producer of DISS

  • “My time at Dartington gave me foundational training in the areas of composition and the recording & production of contemporary music that has directly led to professional successes and ongoing opportunities in both of these fields. The best evening come, after beautiful concerts in the Dartington Hall, with all manner of students and faculty gathered at the White Hart Bar & Restaurant. Here at the bar, I have formed professional connections alongside deep relationships with passionate amateurs who have continued to be a guide, inspiration and support throughout my career.”

    Aaron Holloway-Nahum

  • “DISS has been a wonderful experience as far as stewarding and houseparent-ing is concerned. I am also very amazed by the administration and the organisation of DISS. Everything is so well planned and musician friendly. I am very honoured to be a DISSrep13 and will keep promoting this wonderful place forever.”

    Guy-Noel Clarisse

  • “Aside from the fantastic compositional opportunities the Advanced Composition Course provided, DISS12 was an incredibly social event, with some of the best memories being in the bar! The evening debates with Detlev as he puffed his cigar, discussing everything from Boulez to politics, were great! However, my most vivid memory was witnessing Quator Diotima perform Ligeti and Lachenmann. Inspired performances!”

    Michael Cutting

  • “My time at Dartington was one of the busiest and best weeks of my life! Round the clock learning was combined with vigorous partying. Days were packed, from choir in the morning, to late night lute song rehearsals. I was still digesting repertoire suggestions months later. I loved learning amongst people who shared my passions and met some who I will never forget.”

    Madeline Claire de Berrie

  • One day the soprano taking the vocal class was performing that evening, so couldn’t make the session. The accompanist offered to run through songs with people; a lady brought a song that she had never sung before and barely knew. He took her through it patiently, phrase by phrase, and she went away with a huge smile on her face.

    Hermione Ruck-Keene

  • The viola player Cecil Aronowitz came to the Summer School many times between 1950 and 1970. Apart from teaching viola he regularly joined the Amadeus quartet in the Mozart quintets, conducted the allcomers orchestra, and gave the most moving performance of Hindemith’s ‘Trauermusick on the death of George V’.

    Jeremy Wilson

    Trog and participant since 1948, Summer School Archivist

  • “I had a wonderful time in Dartington last year. It was a complete surprise, and I enjoyed every moment of it. The friendly atmosphere was wonderful, as was the constant encouragement to form ad hoc chamber groups. Particularly the latter gave me a chance to get much better-acquainted with many areas of the chamber repertoire for piano.”

    Amit Yahav

  • “My earliest memory of summer school is string quartets rehearsing in our dining room. It seemed completely normal growing up at Dartington to have a musical invasion every summer. As a small child the delivery of the Steinway pianos was an incredible sight, and I still get excited when it happens as it symbolises the start of something truly remarkable.”

    Emily Hoare

About 60 Seconds of Sound

What is the project about?

"60 Seconds of Sound" is an open platform for anyone to submit a 60 second sound piece or composition to be part of the summer school. This project is about participation, it reflects the openness of the Summer School and creates a platform for composers/sound artists of all abilities and across all genres.

Who can submit a piece and is there a particular style?

This project is completely open source, absolutely anyone can submit. Pieces can be in any genre or style. They can be original recordings, new compositions, existing compositions, soundart, spoken-word, mixes. Please make sure you credit all copyright holders/composers/artists with your submission otherwise we may not be able to feature it.

If you have been to Dartington or the Summer School you might like to submit a piece which reflects your memory of Dartington, but your submission can be completely unrelated to Dartington or the Summer School, it is up to you.

Who will get to hear the pieces and how?

Chatterbox Picture

Pieces will be uploaded onto a Sound Gallery which is part of the Summer School website. A selection of pieces will be performed in our ‘Chatterbox’ which is an audio-chair (see photo). The ‘Chatterbox’ will be installed at Dartington throughout the Summer School and freely available for everyone to enjoy.

How can I submit a piece?

Pieces need to be submitted as electronic sound files (e.g. mp3). If your sound file is less than 1 megabyte you can e-mail it to with the subject line “60 Seconds of Sound" along with your name and a short description of the piece(100 words or less) . If you would like to share a file larger than 1 megabyte please email us separately so we can discuss the best way for you to get your work to us. We generally recommend using services such as or for this. Please allow a few days for your work to be displayed on our site.

Can I submit more than one piece?

Yes you can, but if we have loads of submissions we may choose to select just one of your pieces to include in the project.

Is there a deadline?

No, but the sooner you submit something the more people will get to hear it!

Subscribe to our mailing list: