Archive / 2019 / Courses

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Each week of Summer School features more than 30 courses, encompassing a wide range of styles, disciplines and abilities. All courses run for 6 days (Sun – Fri), most lasting for 1 session (90 mins) per day. There are 4 sessions in a day, allowing every participant to build a timetable personalised to them. The majority of classes have no selection process, but our Advanced Courses require the submission of supporting materials.

The course programme of each week is led by a feature Big Choir work – performed in the final Friday night concert – alongside choral classes, instrumental and vocal workshops, ensemble projects, and our Chamber Music programme.

Explore each week’s theme, programme and timetable through the links below.

Week 1: Venice and the sea; Bach’s Art of Fugue; Terry Riley and Moondog

Our first week is inspired by Venice, and the wildness of the sea. Andrew Griffiths conducts a glittering Venetian Vespers for Dartington Choir; Stile Antico direct vocal music written for female monarchs and the Queen of Heaven. Alice Oswald presents Nobody, her long poem inspired by the Odyssey, with William Tillyer’s swirling, abstract paintings.

There are classes for viol players, lutenists, harpsichordists, reeds and recorders, and early brass, with Fretwork, David Miller, Jane Chapman, The City Musick and Ensemble Meridiana. The Atéa Quintet, Quentin Poole and Rhiannon Evans direct a full wind and chamber music programme.

Middle Eastern music and song is directed by Merit Ariane and Jon Banks; the brilliant Tamim al-Barghouti returns, along with award-winning performance poet Caroline Bergvall. Stevie Wishart establishes her new Advanced Composition course for early instruments, and Joanna MacGregor brings Bach’s last work, The Art of Fugue, together with choreographer Wayne McGregor, and two cult figures of the 1960s – Moondog and his amazing canons, and Terry Riley’s In C.

Check the music supplies page for further information on each course’s required music and editions.

Session by session

Tap the course desired to jump to the full course detail.
MOBILE USERS: Please ensure your turn your device to landscape to view the session grid.

Choral and Vocal Courses

The Big Choir: A Venetian Vespers

Andrew Griffiths | Session 1
The Feast of the Ascension (Fèsta de ła Sènsa) was, and remains, a major public celebration of Venice’s glory. It culminates in the renewal of the ritual marriage between the city and the sea, as a symbolic gold ring is thrown into the lagoon. Andrew Griffiths has assembled a mouthwatering ‘fantasy’ Vespers for Dartington, bringing together music from Monteverdi’s later publications with sumptuous motets – including Giovanni Gabrieli and Giovanni Croce – reflecting both the religious and political pomp of this lavish festival.

This course is open to singers who are comfortable working from a vocal score. Music will be available to purchase in advance and you will be expected to sing from the score from the beginning of the course. Each session will start with a brief warm up and the piece will be rehearsed throughout the week, leading up to Friday performance.

We strongly encourage that you attend Big Choir Plus in addition to the Big Choir rehearsals, especially if you are a less experienced choral singer or are unfamiliar with the work.

We are creating a booklet of these works for the course; please check the Music Supplies page where we will add more information when it becomes available.

Vocal Masterclass

Emma Kirkby | Session 2
“I feel lucky that my career was characterised from the start by ensemble singing, especially with my first love, the lute; so we’ll have a joint Session with David Miller’s class of accomplished lute and theorbo players early on. This year, as well as our favourite area, the lute songs of John Dowland and his colleagues, there will be special emphasis on Italy’s ‘Secunda prattica’, which offered singers such opportunities for passionate utterance, in the monodies,duets and ensembles of Caccini,`D’India, Barbara Strozzi and others”.

 

This is an Advanced Selected course; please see the Advanced Courses page for application details.

A Mass fit for a Queen: Sing Tallis with Stile Antico

Will Dawes and Stile Antico | Session 2
A chamber choir course exploring Renaissance gems, aimed at both confident and less confident singers, we will work on lots of material, without the pressure of a performance, and the singers from Stile Antico will join in with the participants. Directed by bass Will Dawes (Director of Chapel Music, Somerville College Oxford), our main focus is the extraordinary Missa Puer natus est nobis by Thomas Tallis, a work composed to celebrate the then-thought pregnancy of Mary Tudor. To represent her husband, Philip II of Spain, we’ll be looking at wonderful Marian antiphons by the Spanish composers Victoria, Guerrero, and Alonso Lobo.

This is a great opportunity for anyone who would like to sing alongside Stile Antico, and would feel happier working in a larger group.

Scores will be available to buy at the beginning of the course for £10.

Vocal Ensembles: Music for Queens of Earth and Heaven

Stile Antico | Session 3
A wonderful chance to study Renaissance repertoire written in honour of female monarchs around Europe, as well as the vast treasury of music written in praise of the Virgin Mary. Aimed at experienced choral and consort singers, participants will be divided into small groups, with the aim of most people singing on their own line. Tutors will work on developing ensemble skills as well as exploring new repertoire.

This course is designed with confident singers in mind. An ability to sight-sing and the confidence to hold your own line (usually one to a part) is required.

Less experienced singers or those looking to build confidence in sight-reading, might prefer to attend the Tallis course directed by Will Dawes and Stile Antico in Session 2, listed on the left.

Scores will be available to buy at the beginning of the course for £10.

Improve Your Sight-Singing

Rhiannon Evans | Session 3
Do you struggle with the demanding multi-tasking activity that is sight-singing? Is recognising rhythms, pitching intervals and reading the text all at once a daunting challenge? This course is open to all, especially singers who are not fluent readers, and anyone wishing to brush up on their sight-singing skills.

Middle Eastern Singing

Merit Ariane | Session 3
A wonderful opportunity to explore vocal repertoire with the celebrated singer and composer Merit Ariane. We’ll be looking at music from Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Andalusia, and understanding the myriad interconnections between the Middle East and Mediterranean. You’ll learn to express yourself through colour and ornamentation, reaching the ecstatic core of the music. Suitable for classically trained singers, as well as those interested in world music. This course will be taught aurally with some visual aids to help with language and pronunciation. Merit’s style is warm and inclusive, and she welcomes singers of all to her class.

Vocal Workshop

Nicholas Clapton | Session 3 or 4
The irrepressibly witty and wise teacher and countertenor Nicholas Clapton encourages his participants to perform a wide repertoire, working both technically and interpretatively. Singers can choose between two sessions.

These workshops will be taught on a one-to-one basis in front of the group. Equal time will be given to all participants, and piano/harpsichord accompaniment will be available. Participants should expect to attend all sessions in full, learning from their own coaching as well as from observing others.

You should bring 2 or 3 pieces with which you are already familiar, but which will allow you to work on the development of interpretation and technique.

The Big Choir Plus

Gavin Roberts | Session 4
Additional coaching and rehearsal for The Big Choir repertoire this week, with our wonderful choir repetiteur Gavin Roberts. This additional session for participants already singing in the Big Choir is a really useful opportunity for those less familiar with the repertoire to revisit the morning’s work.

This course is open to those singers already working on the choral repertoire in Big Choir in Session 1.

Instrumental Courses

Advanced Renaissance Wind Band

The City Musick | Session 1
William Lyons and the ever-popular City Musick members return for their ensemble course. This year we will focus on music for cornetts, shawms, dulcians and trombones from the varied and exciting repertoire of the civic and court bands in Renaissance Europe. We’ll also be preparing music for Friday’s Venetian Feast of the Ascension, as well as the legendary Medieval Tavern Night.

This class explores in depth the historical approach to playing sacred and secular music. Attendees of this class should be of a good ability, be able to sight read and be comfortable with varied clefs and transposition. Players of all historical instruments, wind, brass and strings are all welcome. Tutors will be available, by informal arrangement, to give additional coaching Sessions on a one-to-one or ensemble basis: useful for addressing technical issues and exploring repertoire.

This is an Advanced Selected course; please see the Advanced Courses page for more details.

Chamber Ensemble Workshop

Rhiannon Evans | Session 1
Start the day with a fun-filled ensemble play-through of Venetian Renaissance and Baroque repertoire. We’ll be exploring the 16th-century polychoral style, and its influence on other continental composers of the time. All strings and non-transposing wind instruments are welcome; the pitch will be A440.

We recommend a minimum playing standard of Grade 5 level. Music will be provided at the start of the week.

Lute and Lute Ensembles

David Miller | Sessions 1 & 2
David Miller’s course provides a unique opportunity for advanced and experienced players of early plucked instruments to develop their accompanying and continuo skills, whilst recreating the lush and sumptuous qualities of a large 17th-century continuo group, with lutes, archlutes, chitarroni and guitars. There’ll be opportunities to collaborate with singers from Emma Kirkby’s class, as well as perform in concerts towards the end of the week.

Participants should attend both sessions, and anyone starting out on or interested in these instruments is very welcome as an observer. For advanced students, some one-to-one coaching will be available with the course time.

Viol Consorts

Fretwork | Session 1, 2 & 3
Members of the groundbreaking viol consort Fretwork supervise and lead tuition at all levels. Their repertoire will include English, French, Italian and German music of the 16th and 17th centuries.

Particpants will be arranged into consorts with the players of a similar level. You should come with your own instrument, and there will be opportunities during the week to sample Dartington’s chest of viols.

This course is not an Advanced Selected course, but bursaries are available.

Renaissance Reeds, Recorders, Brass and Strings

William Lyons, Nicholas Perry and Richard Thomas | Session 2
Group and individual tuition with members of The City Musick, on shawms, crumhorns, dulcian, rackett, recorders, early violin, cornetts, sackbuts, bagpipes and renaissance percussion. We’ll be covering a broad repertoire of dance, theatre, court and civic music from the 15th to 17th centuries. Tutors will be available, by informal arrangement, to give additional coaching Sessions on a one-to-one or ensemble basis: useful for addressing technical issues and exploring repertoire.

Middle Eastern Instrumental Music

Jon Banks | Session 3
Exploring instrumental music from Egypt, Syria and Turkey, this is an introduction to one of the most varied musical traditions led by qanun and santouri player Jon Banks. Intermediate instrumentalists from all backgrounds are welcome; reading music is essential for melody players, but less so for percussionists.

Ranging from high-energy dances and courtly repertory to extended meditative compositions in complex rhythmic cycles, there’ll be plenty of scope to improvise. We’ll include music of the Sufi tradition, alongside Eastern Mediterranean forms such as the sirto and longa.

Music will be provided at the start of the week.

Cornett Masterclass

Gawain Glenton | Session 3
An extra Session for advanced cornett players. Students are encouraged to bring solo or ensemble pieces. We’ll look at Cantar polito e bene – what it meant to perform ‘cleanly and well’ in Monteverdi’s time – as well as ensemble diminution, the art of improvising.

Anyone starting out on the cornett or interested in the instrument is very welcome as an observer.

Sackbut Masterclass

Emily White | Session 3
An extra Session for advanced sackbut players. We’ll concentrate on playing vocally, as well as quietly; ornamentation and intonation. Students are encouraged to bring solo or ensemble pieces.

Anyone starting out on the sackbut or interested in the instrument is very welcome as an observer.

Introduction to Early Keyboard Music

Jane Chapman | Session 3
Jane Chapman studied with Ton Koopman in Amsterdam, and is now professor at the Royal College of Music; she’s one of the most innovative, stylish and imaginative harpsichordists around. Aimed at both pianists of at least Grade 5 and harpsichordists, this course will examine Bach’s music and the rich early keyboard collections of England, France and Italy.

This course is perfect for pianists who are curious about early keyboard instruments, this course offers the opportunity to try the harpsichord in an encouraging and informal environment.

Please see the Music Supplies page for suggested repertoire.

Harpsichord Workshop

Jane Chapman | Session 4
A class concentrating on style, touch and technique, where students explore the colourful harpsichord music of the Renaissance and early Baroque.

If you’re not already a harpsichord player but are interested in the instrument, you are welcome to observe this class and are encouraged to participate in the Introduction to Early Keyboard Music in Session 3.

Please see the Music Supplies page for suggested repertoire.

Moondog and Bach’s Art of Fugue

Joanna MacGregor | Session 4
Artistic Director Joanna MacGregor leads afascinating workshop, open to all instrumentalists, pairing Bach’s mysterious last work The Art of Fugue with Moondog’s amazing canons. The blind composer and performer (a.k.a. Louis Hardin) was a cult figure in the 1960s, living on a street corner in New York. His strict canons mesh jazz, Renaissance motets, Bach and Native American rhythms, and his ebullient pieces – Bumbo, Dog Trot, Bird’s Lament, Heath on the Heather – were much admired by Stravinsky, Bob Dylan and Charlie Parker. Each day we’ll look at The Art of Fugue, play through some Moondog, and discover how canonic writing works. We’ll aim to perform a couple of pieces in Thursday’s late night concert.

Terry Riley’s In C

Richard Boothby | 30 & 31 JULY, 6.30-7.30PM
Suitable for advanced players, a chance to work on Terry Riley’s minimalist masterpiece In C on early instruments, in two informal Sessions. There’ll be an opportunity to perform in Thursday’s late-night concert, paired with Moondog’s jazzy canons.

Although this is not strictly a course (the sessions fall outside the daily timetable), you will be able to sign up at the start of the week if you would like to be part of this project.

Wind Masterclasses

Atéa Quintet | Session 1
Alena Walentin (flute), Philip Haworth (oboe), Anna Hashimoto (clarinet) and Ashley Myall (bassoon) offer masterclasses for advanced wind players. Improve your technique, hone your performance skills, and discover new repertoire!

Each instrument will have its own dedicated class each day. You should bring repertoire that you know well and on which you are ready to receive further coaching.

This course is aimed at players of Grade 8 level and above.

Wind Ensemble

Quentin Poole | session 2
A great opportunity to enjoy and improve ensemble playing, with excellent varied repertoire tailored to the participants. Grade 6 standard or above is ideal; there’ll be an informal performance on Friday afternoon.

Music will be provided at the start of the week.

Wind Chamber Music

Quentin Poole and Atéa Quintet | Session 3
Open to all modern wind players and pianists for daily coaching in organised ensembles; repertoire will be suggested in advance. Pre-formed groups are also welcome.

This course will be organised as a formal chamber music session; please see the Chamber Music page for relevant details.

Middle Eastern Music and Song

Jon Banks and Merit Ariane | session 4
Merit and Jon will teach you to sing and play a wide range of repertoire from Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and ancient Andalusia. You’ll learn about performance conventions and styles, and gain an insight into modes, rhythms, ornamentation and improvisation. We’ll also explore the connections between Middle Eastern and Western music, and apply these ideas to the more-familiar early European repertoire.

Cornetts, Sackbuts and Singers: Renaissance Polyphony

Gawain Glenton and Emily White | Session 4
‘Among the marvellous things I saw and observed in the city of Bologna, nothing gave me greater pleasure than the divine musical ensembles of diverse nuns’ Giacomo Vincenti (1606)

A course for singers and instrumentalists – sackbuts, cornetts, strings, Renaissance and early Baroque wind instruments – using the historic doubling of voices with instruments. We’ll be looking at the Vespers by one of the most famous women in Europe, the Venetian composer Chiara Margarita Cozzolani, and at music dedicated to nuns in 17th-century Italy. Vocal range is SATB – men are very welcome!

Singers of all voice ranges are suitable, but the confidence to sing one to a part may be an advantage; instrumentalists may be asked to play in a range of clefs. The course will culminate in a private informal play-through during the final class.

Wind Workshop

Atéa Quintet | session 4
The dynamic Atéa Quintet offer an ensemble wind Session, suitable for players of all abilities. Working on technique and ensemble skills, the course will be flexible to suit the needs of the group and also involve areas such as rhythm and intonation.

Chamber Music

Rhiannon Evans, Claire Williams and Ensemble Meridiana | Sessions 2, 3 & 4
The chamber music programme, open to instrumentalists and singers, will offer one daily formally-organised Session. You will be allocated a group in advance in one of the Sessions you have signed up to: which Session is dependent on how we can best accommodate you with other players. Chamber music can also be arranged informally during other Sessions once you arrive.

See Chamber Music page for more details.

Improvisation, Words and Composition

Advanced Composition: Remembering the Future

Stevie Wishart | session 1 & 2
An Advanced Composition course for composers inspired to write new music for early instruments. Stevie Wishart guides Sessions between composers, tutors and performers throughout the week, examining a broad palate of sounds – including the theorbo, viola da gamba, viola d’amore, hurdy-gurdy, harpsichord, sackbut and cornett – and their notation. From the Middle Ages to the Baroque, performers and composers were expected to collaborate far more actively in the compositional process, through performance practice and improvisation. We’ll aim to perform some of the created music at the end of the week, in the Masterclass Concert.

This is an Advanced Selected course; please click here for application details.

Creative Writing: Collages and Variations

Caroline Bergvall | Sessions 1 & 2
The award-winning French-Norwegian writer Caroline Bergvall is also a multimedia artist and vocal performer, working across artforms and languages. Her work develops through exploring material traces, literary documents and linguistic detail, sites and histories, hidden or forgotten knowledges. Her larger performances are developed with other artists. For this course she proposes to explore old and new forms of textual variations (collage, permutation, alliterations, patterns,..) to create pieces based on change and movement. Caroline will be collaborating with musicians in performance this week.

Creative Writing: Arabic Poetry and History

Tamim al-Barghouti | session 3 & 4
The charismatic Palestinian poet and activist Tamim al-Barghouti returns to Dartington. He’s a dazzling performer and thinker, capable of attracting hundreds of thousands of people to his poetry readings. His creative writing course draws on centuries-old traditions of Arabic poetry, inextricably entwined with the politics and history of the Middle East. Tamim also collaborates with musicians this week.

More than music

Yoga

Justin Dalton | 7.45-8.30AM
This course, based on the gentle, fluid Scaravelli approach to yoga, is suitable for participants of all ages and abilities. Yoga is practised by many musicians; it’s a great way to loosen up the body before the day’s music making.

This session will take place in a carpeted room, but you are welcome to bring your own yoga mat to the practice.

Week 2: Music and Politics; Baroque, Folk, and Creative Writing

Week 2 dazzles with music and politics, alongside folk music, Shakespeare and Ovid. Laurence Cummings directs the Dartington Choir in Handel’s Saul, a wildly exciting oratorio with witches, mad kings, battles and huge choruses. Robert Howarth and Richard Williams direct Handel’s opera Agrippina, a show-stopping satire on Nero’s scheming court, with the original Tiger Mother. The gorgeous contralto Hilary Summers lends her warmth and wisdom to the vocal masterclass; stylish Andrew Watts directs vocal workshops.

There’ll be masterclasses and workshops with Adrian ButterfieldRichard Tunnicliffe, Gail HennesseyAndy Watts, Bukolika Piano Trio and Jill Kemp; Steven Devine runs early keyboard classes, and Joanna MacGregor a piano workshop on Baroque dance and Chopin Mazurkas.

There’s a full week of folk courses led by renowned teacher Alistair Anderson, folk singer, songwriter and concertina player Emily Portman, and fiddler Alexis Bennett; Harbottle & Jonas direct Dartington’s Folk Choir. James Runcie leads Creative Conversations, and examines the complete Shakespeare Sonnets; Katrina Porteous creates the poetry of place; we’ll read Ovid late night. All this and our traditional ceilidh, too!

Check the music supplies page for further information on each course’s required music and editions.

Session by session

Tap the course desired to jump to the full course detail.
MOBILE USERS: Please ensure your turn your device to landscape to view the session grid.

Choral and Vocal Courses

The Big Choir: Handel’s Saul

Laurence Cummings | Session 1
Glyndebourne and ENO conductor Laurence Cummings returns to direct the Big Choir in Handel’s Saul, a wildly exciting oratorio with witches, mad kings and huge choruses. Laurence is one of the most thrilling exponents of historical practice; his music making has been described as ‘both witty and compassionate.’ Don’t miss this wonderful chance to explore Handel’s visercal, powerful work with him.

This course is open to singers who are comfortable working from a vocal score. Music will be available to purchase in advance and you will be expected to sing from the score from the beginning of the course. Each session will start with a brief warm up and the piece will be rehearsed throughout the week, leading up to Friday performance.

We strongly encourage that you attend Big Choir Plus in addition to the Big Choir rehearsals, especially if you are a less experienced choral singer or are unfamiliar with the work.

We will be using the Novello edition, rather than the Barenreiter edition listed in the brochure.

Advanced Opera Course: Agrippina

Robert Howarth, Richard Williams, Lisa Howarth, Hilary Summers and Andrew Watts | Sessions 1, 2, 3 & 4
Robert Howarth and Richard Williams direct Handel’s opera Agrippina: a coruscating, show-stopping satire on Nero’s scheming court, with the original Tiger Mother. There are virtuosic arias, dramatic recitatives and ensemble work, as well as humour and drama. Coached by Andrew Watts and Lisa Howarth, Agrippina will be performed with the Dartington Baroque Orchestra in the Great Hall.

This is an Advanced Selected course; please see the Advanced Courses page for application details.

Vocal Masterclass

Hilary Summers | Session 2
We’re hugely privileged to welcome back the marvelous contralto Hilary Summers to Dartington. Hilary is internationally acclaimed in the world of Baroque opera, working with such luminaries as William Christie, Christopher Hogwood and Deborah Warner; she has also collaborated with major figures in contemporary music, including Pierre Boulez and Michael Nyman. Above all, Hilary’s warmth, experience and personality will bring superb mentorship to this class.

This is an Advanced Selected course; please see the Advanced Courses page for application details.

Improve Your Sight-Singing

Rhiannon Evans | Session 3
Do you struggle with the demanding multi-tasking activity that is sight-singing? Is recognising rhythms, pitching intervals and reading the text all at once a daunting challenge? This course is open to all, especially singers who are not fluent readers, and anyone wishing to brush up on their sight-singing skills.

Vocal Workshop

Andrew Watts | Sessions 3 or 4
The wonderful countertenor Andrew Watts – acclaimed performer, and voice teacher at the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House – will improve your vocal technique and performance skills in a relaxed, supportive and informative atmosphere. Singers of all abilities can choose between two sessions.

These workshops will be taught on a one-to-one basis in front of the group. Equal time will be given to all participants, and piano/harpsichord accompaniment will be available. Participants should expect to attend all sessions in full, learning from their own coaching as well as from observing others.

You should bring 2 or 3 pieces with which you are already familiar, but which will allow you to work on the development of interpretation and technique.

Chamber Choir

Laurence Cummings | Session 3
Laurence Cummings conducts richly textured vocal music. His course includes Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music, and two Shakespeare settings of If Music be the Food of Love, by Purcell and Paul Ayres. The Chamber Choir is aimed at experienced singers, and there will be an informal performance on Friday afternoon.

 

The Big Choir Plus

Gavin Roberts | Session 4
Additional coaching and rehearsal for The Big Choir repertoire this week, with our wonderful choir repetiteur Gavin Roberts. This additional session for participants already singing in the Big Choir is a really useful opportunity for those less familiar with the repertoire to revisit the morning’s work.

This course is open to those singers already working on the choral repertoire in Big Choir in Session 1.

Instrumental Courses

Advanced Baroque Orchestra

Adrian Butterfield, Robert Howarth, Richard Tunnicliffe, Gail Hennessey and Andy Watts | Session 1, 2, 3 & 4 (Session 3 for Masterclasses or Sectionals)
The Advanced Baroque Orchestra, led by Adrian Butterfield, one of Europe’s most celebrated concert masters, works towards two Handel performances: Agrippina conducted by Robert Howarth, and Saul, conducted by Laurence Cummings. There are opportunities for strings, flutes/recorders, oboes, bassoons, trumpets, trombones, harp, percussion and keyboard players, and daily tuition with our stellar array of Baroque teachers. A very busy schedule, but thrilling! Please note: students need to arrive in time for a 2.30pm rehearsal with Laurence Cummings on Saturday 3rd.

Students will require their own Baroque instruments. This is an Advanced Selected course; please see the Advanced Courses page for application details.

Chamber Ensemble Workshop

Rhiannon Evans | Session 1
Start the day with a fun-filled ensemble playthrough. We’ll be exploring Handel’s ensemble repertoire, including some of his Concerti Grossi and movements from the Water Music and Music for the Royal Fireworks. All strings and non-transposing wind instruments welcome; pitch will be A440.

We recommend a minimum playing standard of Grade 5 level. Music will be provided at the start of the week.

Introduction to Fortepiano

Steven Devine | Session 2
One of the busiest and most experienced keyboard players and music directors around, Steven Devine leads keyboard players in an exploration of the solo music of CPE Bach, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven and others, and how the fortepiano enhances our understanding and interpretation of this great music.

Recorder Workshop

Jill Kemp | Session 2
Open to all recorder players, these classes cover breathing, coordination, extended techniques, ornamentation and any other areas or repertoire that students would like to cover. This session will focus on solo repertoire, from the 16th to 21st centuries. Please bring a treble at A440 and solo repertoire you would like to work on.

There will be a harpsichordist/pianist available to accompany the sessions.

Piano, Violin and Cello Workshops

Bukolika Piano Trio | Session 2
The fine young Bukolika Piano Trio hails from Poland, and is an ensemble known for their intensely expressive music making and exceptional virtuosity. Roma Tic (violin), Joanna Gutowska (cello) and Anna Szałucka (piano) have performed worldwide, and made their Radio 3 debut in 2017.

Their workshop sessions will be lively and informal; they offer players of all abilities a relaxed and supportive workshop environment, in separate classes.

These workshops are suitable for instrumentalists playing at Grade 5 level and above.

Recorder Ensembles

Jill Kemp | Session 3
An ensemble session for all recorder players. Please bring any sizes of recorder you may have, for an energetic and lively class covering group repertoire from the last five centuries.

Baroque Violin Masterclass

Adrian Butterfield | Session 3
The brilliant violinist Adrian Butterfield, director of the London Handel Players and Professor of Baroque Violin at the Royal College of Music, gives masterclasses focusing on all technical and stylistic aspects of solo Baroque violin-playing.

This class is part of the Advanced Baroque Orchestra, an Advanced Selected course. Details on how to apply can be found on the Advanced Courses booking page.

Baroque Cello Masterclass: The Art of Continuo Playing

Richard Tunnicliffe | Session 3
Richard Tunnicliffe focuses on the subtleties and complexities of continuo playing – the harmonic and rhythmic basis of Baroque style.

This class is part of the Advanced Baroque Orchestra, an Advanced Selected course. Details on how to apply can be found on the Advanced Courses booking page.

Baroque Bassoon Masterclass

Andy Watts | Session 3
Andy Watts, professor of Historical Performance at the Royal Academy of Music and Associate principal bassoon of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, gives a lively, illuminating class on technique and expression in solo and chamber repertoire, and prepares wind players for Handel’s Saul and Agrippina.

This class is part of the Advanced Baroque Orchestra, an Advanced Selected course. Details on how to apply can be found on the Advanced Courses booking page.

Baroque Oboe Masterclass

Gail Hennessey | Session 3
Daily masterclasses from an acclaimed orchestral and solo oboist, providing group and solo tuition coaching, as well as orchestral repertoire. We will be preparing the dazzling oboe parts in Handel’s Agrippina and Saul, for performances in the Great Hall.

This class is part of the Advanced Baroque Orchestra, an Advanced Selected course. Details on how to apply can be found on the Advanced Courses booking page.

Natural Trumpet

Richard Thomas | Session 3
The supremely gifted performer and teacher Richard Thomas directs a class providing group and solo tuition coaching, as well as orchestral repertoire. There’ll be concerts of Handel’s Agrippina and Saul in the Great Hall.

This class is part of the Advanced Baroque Orchestra, an Advanced Selected course. Details on how to apply can be found on the Advanced Courses booking page.

Harpsichord Workshop

Steven Devine | Session 3
Steven is harpsichordist with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and a soloist with many recordings to his name. Here he leads an open class for players with experience of the harpsichord covering the full range of solo repertoire for the instrument.

Piano Workshop: Baroque Dance and Chopin Mazurkas

Joanna MacGregor | Session 4
An open course led by Artistic Director and Head of Piano at the Royal Academy of Music, Joanna MacGregor, examining multiple approaches to Baroque dance movements and Chopin muzurkas. Students are invited to bring any dance movement by Bach, Scarlatti or Handel, and one or more Chopin mazurkas. We’ll also discuss historical performances, editions and performance practices. Please see the website for suggested repertoire.

Chamber Music

Rhiannon Evans, Bukolika Piano Trio and Claire Williams | Sessions 3 & 4
The chamber music programme, open to instrumentalists and singers, will offer one daily formally-organised session. You will be allocated a group in advance in one of the sessions you have signed up to, which session is dependant how we can best accommodate you with other players. Chamber music can also be arranged informally during other sessions once you arrive.

Folk, Poetry and Literature Courses

Three Hundred Years: Music from Northumberland and the Borders

Alistair Anderson | session 1
We’re delighted that Alistair Anderson – master of the English concertina and Northumbrian pipes, founder of Folkworks and the first traditional music degree course at Newcastle University – will be teaching all week at Dartington. Alistair’s instrumental course will cover fiddle and pipe repertoires from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, including the explosion of fiddlers around Tyneside and the piping traditions of the South Northumbrian Coal Field. Alistair will also introduce you to the music of the shepherd musicians he knew well and played with for years, as well as music from the current scene.

Creative Writing: Poetry of Place

Katrina Porteous | Sessions 1 & 2
Katrina Porteous was born in Scotland and lives on the Northumberland coast; we’re thrilled she’s coming back to Dartington. Her course will connect to the physicality of landscape through sound, and there will be a couple of sessions collaborating in words and music with folk fiddler Alexis Bennett. Through listening and writing we’ll explore the voices – natural and human – that lead us towards ‘a sense of place’.

Folk Choir

Harbottle & Jonas | session 2
The stunning young folk duo Harbottle & Jonas wowed audiences and participants with their teaching, performances, and folk sessions in the White Hart last year, and we’re delighted to welcome them back. Receiving plaudits from folk royalty Jon Boden and Seth Lakeman as well as national press, their latest album, The Sea is my Brother, is released in early 2019.

They’ll be rehearsing our popular Folk Choir in sea shanties and sea-inspired songs – all delivered with their inimitable, contemporary twist – for a performance in the Great Hall on Friday afternoon.

This choir is suitable for all singers. There will be an emphasis on learning aurally, but some supportive materials will be provided during the week.

Playing for Dancing

Alistair Anderson | Session 2
The legendary English concertina player Alistair Anderson leads this course on playing tunes for dancing, which will culminate in performing some numbers as part of our vibrant, end-of-week Ceilidh. The course will work on understanding how the pulse of the music relates to the dance, and how the way you play lifts the dancers. You will look at phrasing and dynamics, and how that can energise the dancers while maintaining the interest of those just listening – and indeed the musicians themselves.

Folk Collective

Emily Portman, Alexis Bennett and Harbottle & Jonas | sessions 3 & 4
This year we have a fantastic team of acclaimed folk tutors and performers at Dartington: fiddler Alexis Bennett; contemporary folk duo Harbottle & Jonas; and Emily Portman, one of the most beguiling and poetic presences in today’s folk scene. There’ll be an opportunity to work on traditional tunes, and songs with accompaniment, for both evening sessions in the White Hart and Friday’s performance in the Great Hall.

We will start this course as one group, with the flexibility to work on tunes and songs in two separate groups during the week. Music will predominantly be taught aurally with some support materials provided during the the week.

We welcome musicians both with and without previous experience of folk music who are keen to explore the folk repertoire.

Folk Surgery

Alexis Bennett
The gifted fiddler and composer Alexis Bennett will be available for one-to-one tuition late afternoon and early evening, from Sunday to Tuesday.

These surgeries are open to all those wanting some private coaching on their own material, or on tunes they’d like to play in the White Hart folk sessions later in the week

Coaching can be arranged with Alexis during the week.

Creative Conversations

James Runcie | session 3
A daily series of conversations about creativity and the nature of storytelling – from starting to write and the structure of stories, to discussions about the nature of inspiration, the importance of practice and the development of character (both imagined and real). James Runcie guides you through a series of approaches to the creative life. No experience necessary.

Creative Reading: Shakespeare’s Sonnets

James Runcie | Session 4
A creative reading course with the writer James Runcie. Each day we study, and then read, a group of sonnets with a particular theme – beauty, love, time, memory, age and immortality – in order to gain a deeper appreciation of Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets.

More than music

Tai Chi Qigong

Joe Salmon | 8-8.30AM
An early morning class, designed to relax the body and focus the mind. A dynamic form of moving meditation, Tai Chi Qigong is accessible to people of all ages and ideal for musicians, bringing great benefits for good practice and performance in the day ahead.

Week 3: Saint Nicolas, Alfred Brendel, Škampa Quartet and Calamity Jane

A Britten-themed week: Michael Waldron rehearses Britten’s joyful cantata Saint Nicolas, and brilliant American tenor Tom Randle coaches young singers in The Turn of the Screw. Sarah Gabriel directs her new play A House on Middagh Street, where Britten lived with WH Auden, Carson McCullers and Gypsy Rose Lee; the Advanced Conducting Course opens with a soaring programme of youthful Mozart and Britten. Week 3 is rich for pianists – with lectures from the legendary Alfred Brendel, our Dartington Piano Concerto Competition, and classes with Joanna MacGregor and Florian Mitrea – and string lovers, with the wonderful Škampa Quartet, cellist Adrian Brendel, violinist Thomas Gould, and Trio Opal. Calamity Jane and Annie Get your Gun fire up the week; Latin rhythm blazes with Brazilian flautist Carlos Malta and the much-loved Adriano Adewale, who unveils his new percussion concerto. Don’t forget your dancing shoes for the Samba Party…

Check the music supplies page for further information on each course’s required music and editions.

Session by session

Tap the course desired to jump to the full course detail. MOBILE USERS: Please ensure your turn your device to landscape to view the session grid.

Choral and Vocal Courses

The Big Choir: Saint Nicolas

Michael Waldron | Session 1
Update 15/07/2019: Due to unforeseen personal circumstances, Steuart will no longer be able to join us at Dartington this summer. We are pleased to welcome in his place the fantastic conductor Michael Waldron. We’re delighted to welcome the eminent conductor Steuart Bedford. He will conduct Benjamin Britten’s joyful cantata Saint Nicolas, premiered in the opening concert of the first Aldeburgh Festival in June 1948. Steuart was a close collaborator with Britten, conducting the first performance of Death in Venice in 1973 and the historic Grimes on the Beach in 2013. Having such an expert guiding us – and the marvellous Tom Randle singing the role of Saint Nicolas – will lift Dartington’s Big Choir to new heights! This course is open to singers who are comfortable working from a vocal score. Music will be available to purchase in advance and you will be expected to sing from the score from the beginning of the course. Each session will start with a brief warm up and the piece will be rehearsed throughout the week, leading up to Friday performance. We strongly encourage that you attend Big Choir Plus in addition to the Big Choir rehearsals, especially if you are a less experienced choral singer or are unfamiliar with the work. We’ll be using the Boosey & Hawkes edition.

Chamber Choir

Gavin Roberts | Session 3
Gavin Roberts coaches Britten’s Five Flower Songs, originally written for the 25th wedding anniversary of Dartington’s founders, Dorothy and Leonard Elmhirst. The Chamber Choir is aimed at experienced choral singers, and you will be required to prepare the music in advance.

Advanced Opera: The Turn of the Screw

Tom Randle and Jonathan Palmer Lakeland | Sessions 1, 2, 3 & 4
The great American tenor Tom Randle, who will sing the role of Peter Quint, coaches singers throughout this two-week Advanced Opera course; Jonathan Palmer Lakeland (Tanglewood, Georg Solti Academia) acts as repetiteur and coach. Britten’s ensemble masterpiece will receive two semi-staged performances in the Great Hall on 21 and 24 August. As an extra performance opportunity, there will be an Opera Gala programme on 15 August.

This is an Advanced Selected course; please see the Advanced Courses page for application details. This is a two week course running 10-25 August.

Vocal Masterclass

Tom Randle | Session 2
We’re privileged to welcome the superb operatic tenor Tom Randle to direct this week’s vocal masterclass. Tom has international performing experience, from Renaissance and Baroque music through to contemporary song and opera, in great opera houses: Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Royal Opera House London, Staatsoper Berlin, Netherlands Opera and Los Angeles Opera. He welcomes a wide variety of repertoire. Tom will teach another Vocal Masterclass in Week 4.

This is an Advanced Selected course; please see the Advanced Courses page for application details.

Vocal Workshop

Sarah Gabriel | Session 3
As at home in Mozart or Britten opera as she is in music theatre, Sarah Gabriel made her European debut as Eliza in My Fair Lady at the Théâtre du Châtelet, opposite Alex Jennings. Her vocal class is open to all singers. Sarah is particularly interested in being authentically yourself onstage, and in how to express your individuality. You can see her in action on 14 August, in her immersive performance A House on Middagh Street. These workshops will be taught on a one-to-one basis in front of the group. Equal time will be given to all participants, and piano/harpsichord accompaniment will be available. Participants should expect to attend all sessions in full, learning from their own coaching as well as from observing others. You should bring 2 or 3 pieces with which you are already familiar, but which will allow you to work on the development of interpretation and technique.

The Big Choir Plus

Gavin Roberts | Session 4
Additional coaching and rehearsal for The Big Choir repertoire this week, with our wonderful choir repetiteur Gavin Roberts. This additional session for participants already singing in the Big Choir is a really useful opportunity for those less familiar with the repertoire to revisit the morning’s work. This course is open to those singers already working on the choral repertoire in Big Choir in Session 1.

Conducting, Music Theatre and Latin American Music

Advanced Conducting

Timothy Redmond and Graeme Jenkins | Sessions 1, 2, 3 & 4
Two weeks of intense study, for the first week with Timothy Redmond, guest conductor with the London Symphony Orchestra and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and Professor of Conducting at the Guildhall School of Music. For the second week, we welcome Graeme Jenkins back to Dartington. He’s known for his enormous breadth of experience: with Glyndebourne, Opera Australia, Vienna State Opera and Covent Garden, and as Music Director of Dallas Opera. Working with the Dartington Festival Orchestra, in the first week students will prepare Britten’s Young Apollo and Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge Op.10, and Mozart’s Symphony No. 29 in A major K.201 and Concerto in E flat K.271 Jeunehomme, with outstanding young pianists for the third Dartington Piano Concerto Competition. The second week presents a fantastic opportunity to prepare and perform Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, with Tom Randle and students from the Advanced Opera Course, as well as Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. This course offers both extensive podium time in front of the orchestra, as well as time working with pianists on the scores. This course is for a small group of 6 students, and there will be performance opportunities for all involved.

This is an Advanced Selected course; please see the Advanced Courses page for application details. This is a two week course running from 10-25 August.

Scenes from Annie Get Your Gun and Calamity Jane

Richard Williams, Sarah Gabriel and Sara Van Beers | Session 2
A boisterous journey through the world of musical theatre, open to singers of all abilities and ages. The course will focus on two iconic, witty musicals, both set in the Wild West, looking at chorus, solo numbers and ensemble scenes; we’ll also rehearse simple choreography, joined by a small group of gifted students from Drama Centre London. There will be an informal performance on Friday afternoon.

Brazilian Music and Song

Adriano Adewale and Carlos Malta | Session 3
Adriano Adewale is a master percussionist from Brazil, feted all over the world for his Africa-inflected jazz and sensational virtuosity. Together with the Brazilian flautist and composer Carlos Malta (who has played with Hermeto Pascoal, Pat Methany, Gil Evans), he will guide and inspire you in the popular Brazilian tradition, looking at songs, melodies and instrumental accompaniments. Suitable for all instrumentalists and singers, this course will be taught aurally.

In the Heart of Rhythm

Adriano Adewale and Carlos Malta | Session 4
In the Heart of Rhythm is open to everybody – percussionists, instrumentalists, singers, and those who don’t play an instrument – and will be based on Afro-Brazilian rhythms such as samba, ijexa and forro. Playing on conventional and non-conventional instruments, exploring rhythmic games, vocal and body percussion, it’ll be a fun and challenging way of making music. On Friday night there’ll be a short, joyful performance, just before a Samba party. Percussion instruments will be provided and this course is open to all.

Samba Dance

Carolina Adewale | Session 4
A fun, relaxed course led by the inspiring Carolina Adewale: we’ll be mixing the Brazilian dance styles of samba, forro and ijexa with participants’ own creativity. Mixing easy-to-follow moves with more challenging steps, Carolina welcomes participants of all levels to prepare for Friday night’s samba celebration. Bring water, and wear comfortable trainers.

Instrumental Courses

String Orchestra

Leigh O’Hara with Adrian Brendel and Thomas Gould | session 1
Leigh O’Hara directs this workshop for all string players of Grade 5 and above, with the hugely popular Adrian Brendel and Thomas Gould. We’ll be working on Britten’s Simple Symphony, Elgar’s Elegy and Sospiri and Holst’s St Paul’s Suite. There’ll be a final performance on Friday lunchtime.

Violin Masterclass

Thomas Gould | Session 2
Described as ‘staggeringly virtuosic’ by The Guardian and ‘a soloist of rare refinement’ by The Sunday Times, Thomas Gould is one of the brightest young violinists around. His masterclass will cover core repertoire and contemporary works; don’t miss his performances throughout the week.

This is an Advanced Selected course; please see the Advanced Courses page for application details.

Cello Masterclass

Adrian Brendel | session 2
One of the most versatile and original cellists of his generation, Adrian Brendel has travelled the world as soloist, collaborator and teacher. A fine classical and romantic player, his discoveryof contemporary music as a teenager opened a new and vital avenue he continues to explore, alongside his passion for jazz and world music. Adrian will coach advanced students in all areas of cello repertoire, including concertos.

This is an Advanced Selected course; please see the Advanced Courses page for application details.

Piano Masterclass

Joanna MacGregor | Session 2
Joanna MacGregor, Artistic Director of Dartington International Summer School and Head of Piano at the Royal Academy of Music, runs this year’s piano masterclass. Joanna is known as one of the world’s most innovative musicians, performing in more than eighty countries and working with countless eminent conductors and orchestras. She welcomes all repertoire, particularly Beethoven and Schubert sonatas, and 20th- and 21st-century repertoire.

This is an Advanced Selected course; please see the Advanced Courses page for application details.

Piano Workshop

Florian Mitrea | session 1 or 3
The Rumanian pianist Florian Mitrea is always a huge hit at Summer School as a performer and teacher, and returns to run the Piano Workshop. Florian will guide pianists in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. He will coach anything from Bach to Bartók, but particularly likes the Viennese school of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. You’ll be able to choose between two different sessions.

Music for Two Pianos and Piano Duet

Florian Mitrea | Session 4
The talented Rumanian pianist Florian Mitrea returns to guide you through four-hand and two-piano repertoire. You are welcome to come as a pre-formed duo, or be prepared to pair up. There will be a range of four-hand and two-piano repertoire on sale in the music shop, and available through the Summer School library. We will ensure that everyone is in a pair before the start of the course. To ensure equal coaching time you will only be able to play in one duo. Please tell us when booking if you are coming in a preformed duo.

Violin, Viola and Cello Workshops

Škampa Quartet | session 3
Helena Jiříkovská and Adéla Štajnochrová (violin), Radim Sedmidubský (viola) and Lukáš Polák (cello), of the internationally acclaimed Škampa Quartet, offer string players of Grade 5 level and above a friendly and supportive workshop environment, in separate instrumental classes. Piano accompanists will be available for cello and violin classes. Please bring a piano part if necessary.

Dartington Piano Concerto Competition

Joanna MacGregor and Timothy Redmond | session 4
Selected pianists will have the chance to rehearse concerto movements each day with Dartington Festival Orchestra and conductors on the Advanced Conducting course, under the guidance and coaching of Joanna MacGregor and Timothy Redmond. This year’s repertoire is Mozart’s Concerto in E flat K.271 Jeunehomme, and Britten’s Young Apollo: you are welcome to prepare both pieces. Pianists will be chosen to perform in the orchestral concert on 16 August.

This is an Advanced Selected course; please see the Advanced Courses page for application details.

Chamber Music

Leigh O’Hara, Škampa Quartet and Trio Opal | sessions 2, 3 & 4
The chamber music programme, open to instrumentalists and singers, will offer one formally-organised session each day in Session 4. Chamber music can also be arranged informally in the other sessions. Please see the Chamber Music page for more details.

More than music

Tai Chi Qigong

Joe Salmon | 8-8.30AM
An early morning class, designed to relax the body and focus the mind.

Week 4: Turn of the Screw; Harrison Birtwistle, John Cage, Jazz and The Rite of Spring

The 2019 Summer School & Festival reaches a climax with Britten’s chilling opera The Turn of the Screw starring Tom Randle, The Passion of Piazzolla, and John Cage’s joyfully anarchic Musicircus. The week explodes with Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring.

Stephen Barlow conducts Dartington Choir, and the great Harrison Birtwistle celebrates his 85th birthday; Neil Brand directs his popular Improvising to Film course, alongside popular returning courses by the Dead Rat Orchestra and Black Voices. Jazzers Chris Batchelor, Mark Lockhart, Steve Lodder, Alec Dankworth and Martin France work alongside Paul Archibald and Brett Baker’s brass courses and Steve Dummer’s Big Band.

Sing in Songs from the Jazz Age with Sarah Gabriel and Richard Williams; experience vibrant tuition from Florian Mitrea, Gildas Quartet, Trio Tritium and Anna Szałucka. End the summer on a creative high; be inspired by these daring artists, and their dazzling music.

Check the music supplies page for further information on each course’s required music and editions.

Session by session

Tap the course desired to jump to the full course detail.
MOBILE USERS: Please ensure your turn your device to landscape to view the session grid.

Choral, Vocal and Opera Courses

The Big Choir: Eleanor Alberga, Tippett’s Spirituals and Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy

Stephen Barlow | Session 1
The fantastic conductor Stephen Barlow comes for the first time, to conduct a very special occasion – Artistic Director Joanna MacGregor’s last concert for the Summer School. There’s a world premiere for choir and piano by Eleanor Alberga, with words by Alice Oswald; Tippett’s amazing settings of spirituals from A Child of Our Time, for choir and orchestra; and Beethoven’s joyful Choral Fantasy – his tryout for Ode to Joy – for piano, soloists, choir and orchestra.

This course is open to singers who are comfortable working from a vocal score. Music will be available to purchase in advance and you will be expected to sing from the score from the beginning of the course. Each session will start with a brief warm up and the piece will be rehearsed throughout the week, leading up to Friday performance.

We strongly encourage that you attend Big Choir Plus in addition to the Big Choir rehearsals, especially if you are a less experienced choral singer or are unfamiliar with the work.

Chamber Choir

Stephen Barlow | Session 3
Stephen Barlow rehearses repertoire to complement our programme this week, with gorgeous English music by Vaughan Williams, Frank Bridge, Moeran and Warlock. The Chamber Choir is aimed at experienced choral singers.

Gospel Choir

Carol Pemberton and Celia Wickham-Anderson | Session 2
Uplifting, harmonious, soul-stirring, challenging and fun all describe the power and appeal of the Gospel Choir sessions, led by Carol Pemberton and Celia Wickham-Anderson of the internationally-acclaimed a cappella group Black Voices. The workshops will cover a range of black music traditions that influence and shape what today we call Black Gospel. Black Voices perform on 17 August, and there will be an informal performance for participants on the final Friday.

Advanced Opera: The Turn of the Screw

Tom Randle and Graeme Jenkins |Sessions 1, 2, 3 & 4
The second week of this two-week course for advanced singers directed by Tom Randle, leading to two semi-staged performances of Britten’s chilling The Turn of the Screw on 21 and 24 August. You must take part in Week 3 and 4 of this course. For more details, see the course description in Week 3. This is a two week course running 10-25 August.

Vocal Workshop

Sarah Gabriel | Session 2
As at home in Mozart or Britten opera as she is in music theatre, Sarah Gabriel made her European debut as Eliza in My Fair Lady at the Théâtre du Châtelet, opposite Alex Jennings. Her vocal class is open to all singers. Sarah is particularly interested in being authentically yourself onstage, and in how to express your individuality. You can see her in action in her recital on 22 August.

These workshops will be taught on a one-to-one basis in front of the group. Equal time will be given to all participants, and piano/harpsichord accompaniment will be available. Participants should expect to attend all sessions in full, learning from their own coaching as well as from observing others.

You should bring 2 or 3 pieces with which you are already familiar, but which will allow you to work on the development of interpretation and technique.

Songs of the Jazz Age: The War and After

Sarah Gabriel and Richard Williams | Session 4
As war engulfed Europe the popular music of the period became defiant, romantic, and patriotic. We’ll be looking at songs originally sung by popular British artists – Gracie Fields, Vera Lyn, and Noel Coward – and their French counterparts Charles Trenet, Maurice Chavalier and Edith Piaf. We’ll also explore work by Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, The Andrews Sisters and Memphis Minnie, as well as the writers Hemmingway, Tennessee Williams, Orwell, and the post-war existentialists Sartre, Camus and Beckett.

The music will be given historical context through film, poetry and prose. This workshop is open to all singers, actors and writers.

Vocal Masterclass

Tom Randle | Session 3
We’re privileged to welcome the superb operatic tenor Tom Randle to direct this week’s vocal masterclass. Tom has international performing experience, from Renaissance and Baroque music through to contemporary song and opera, in great opera houses: Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Royal Opera House London, Staatsoper Berlin, Netherlands Opera and Los Angeles Opera. He welcomes a wide variety of repertoire.

This is an Advanced Selected course; please see the Advanced Courses page for application details.

The Big Choir Plus

Gavin Roberts | Session 4
Additional coaching and rehearsal for The Big Choir repertoire this week, with our wonderful choir repetiteur Gavin Roberts. This additional session for participants already singing in the Big Choir is a really useful opportunity for those less familiar with the repertoire to revisit the morning’s work.

This course is open to those singers already working on the choral repertoire in Big Choir in Session 1.

Conducting, Composition, Film and Site Specific Courses

Advanced Conducting

Graeme Jenkins | Sessions 1, 2, 3 & 4
Two weeks of intense study, for the first week with Timothy Redmond, guest conductor with the London Symphony Orchestra and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and Professor of Conducting at the Guildhall School of Music. For the second week, we welcome Graeme Jenkins back to Dartington. He’s known for his enormous breadth of experience: with Glyndebourne, Opera Australia, Vienna State Opera and Covent Garden, and as Music Director of Dallas Opera.

The second week of this two-week course presents a fantastic opportunity to prepare and perform Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, with Tom Randle and students from the Advanced Opera Course, as well as Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring.

This course offers both extensive podium time in front of the orchestra, as well as time working with pianists on the scores. This course is for a small group of 6 students, and there will be performance opportunities for all involved.

This is an Advanced Selected course; please see the Advanced Courses page for application details. This is a two week course from 10-25 August.

Improvising to Film

Neil Brand | Sessions 1 & 2
One of the world’s foremost exponents of live film music, Neil Brand is known for his compelling presentations on television and radio. This course offers composers, pianists and other instrumentalists a great opportunity to study selected silent classic films, discussing the art of improvisation and ‘reading’ a film.

We’ll create new music around excerpts of film; as part of this course, participants will informally showcase their work in the Barn Cinema at the end of the week.

Open Composition

Stephen Pratt | Session 1
Liverpool-born Stephen Pratt’s first orchestral work was premiered by Simon Rattle and the RLPO; since then he’s been an in-demand composer and conductor, well-known as a broadcaster on Radio 3’s Hear and Now.

This class is designed for people who like composing in all styles, as well as those who enjoy arranging and songwriting, with expert guidance in a friendly, collaborative atmosphere. Students will showcase their work in an informal concert at the end of the week.

Site Specific Installations

Dead Rat Orchestra | Sessions 3 & 4
Dead Rat Orchestra are adventurers, adrift in a sea of sound and possibility. They’ve gained a reputation as one of the most innovative ensembles on the UK music scene – raw, elemental and poignant, with a love of idiosyncratic folk traditions and antiquated technology.

This course will use found objects, old instruments and analogue systems to create mixed-media installations all over the estate, culminating in a promenade at the end of the week.

Advanced Composition

Harrison Birtwistle | Sessions 1, 2, 3 & 4
We’re extraordinarily lucky to have one of the world’s greatest living composers, Sir Harrison Birtwistle, joining us this year in Dartington. A leading European figure in contemporary music, his seminal works have combined a modernist aesthetic with emotional impact; he takes his inspiration from contemporary art, and rituals of classical mythology and pre-history. This immersive course focuses on creating new music for the Gildas Quartet, the outstanding young clarinet trio Tritium Trio, and trumpeter Lucy Humphris, for performances at the end of the week. We’ll also be celebrating Harry’s 85th birthday, in a special concert.

This is an Advanced Selected course; please see the Advanced Courses page for application details.

Jazz and Brass Courses

Introduction to Jazz

Steve Dummer | session 1
Conductor, composer and clarinettist Steve Dummer directs a lively, enjoyable class especially for newcomers to jazz, or those with a classical background who want to brush up their skills.

Brass Warm-up Session

Paul Archibald, Chris Batchelor and Brett Baker | Session 1
The essential morning ritual: a warm-up session for brass players, taken in turn by three very different brass tutors. A great way to start your day by focusing on breathing and the fundamentals of technique.

Trumpet Workshop

Paul Archibald and Chris BaTchelor | session 2
Our trumpet class is open to trumpeters of all music backgrounds. Paul Archibald is one of UK’s busiest orchestral trumpeters, regularly working with Britten Sinfonia, London Philharmonic and his own English Brass Ensemble. Chris Batchelor is one of the coolest trumpeters in jazz. You’ll be learning music techniques in a variety of styles, and be working on a whole range of repertoire. There’ll be a chance to perform informally at the end of the week.

Trombone and Low Brass Workshop

Brett Baker | Session 2
Brett Baker is one of the world’s top trombonists and educators, working with musicians and groups as diverse as Black Dyke Band, Grimethorpe Colliery Band and Goldfrapp. He’s passionate about teaching the trombone, and is the director of the Singapore and Thailand Low Brass Festivals. As well as coaching, he’ll be encouraging you to perform and collaborate with the trumpet and jazz faculty all week.

Jazz Piano and Keyboards Workshop

Steve Lodder | session 2
Steve Lodder is a leading jazz pianist, synth player and teacher, working with some of the coolest names in jazz. His course is open to intermediate jazz pianists and keyboard players who wish to develop their improvisation skills.

Saxophone Workshop

Mark Lockheart | Session 2
Mark Lockheart offers one-to-one and ensemble tuition to all saxophonists. Mark is one of jazz’s greatest collaborators, and his characteristic sense of lyricism, alongside very personal use of rhythms from Asia, Africa and South America, will be inspiring for young and older saxophonists alike.

Double Bass Workshop

Alec Dankworth | session 2
Alec Dankworth is one of the most stylish, imaginative jazz bassists around, and we’re delighted he’s coming to Dartington. Part of an amazing jazz dynasty – mother Cleo Laine, father John Dankworth and sister Jacqui Dankworth – Alec has worked with an extraordinary list of artists including Van Morrison, Stéphane Grappelli, Abdullah Ibrahim, and The Dave Brubeck Quartet. He’ll be coaching and inspiring jazz bassists at all levels.

Jazz Drumming and Percussion Workshop

Martin France | Session 2
Martin France has worked with the finest and most creative musicians in the world – including Elvis Costello, Evan Parker, Dave Holland and Nils-Petter Molvaer – as well as many classical orchestras. His class is open to all drummers and percussionists who’d like to hone their jazz skills.

Open Jazz Ensemble

Mark Lockheart, Chris Batchelor, Steve Lodder, Alec Dankworth and Martin France | session 3
Our fantastic jazz tutors focus on improvisation, collaboration and creativity, creating smaller jazz ensembles to work together. Jazz students will also be performing in our regular late night Jazz Jam in the White Hart on Thursday night.

Music will be provided at the start of the week.

Brass Ensemble

Paul Archibald and Brett Baker | Session 3
A chance to work together on great brass repertoire for trumpets, horns and trombones, with two of the UK’s top brass players and teachers. We’ll be working on Paul Patterson’s Count Down, Richard Rodney Bennett’s Flowers of the Forest and Paul Lovatt-Cooper’s The Hampshire Suite, for an informal performance on Friday lunchtime.

There’ll be opportunities to play in the beautiful outdoor spaces of Dartington too – weather permitting! Music will be provided at the start of the week.

Big Band

Steve Dummer | session 4
Steve Dummer will be rehearsing the Dartington Big Band for the final Friday night bash. The repertoire will range from big band standards to more contemporary jazz pieces. Absolutely unmissable fun, this workshop is for saxes, brass and rhythm instruments.

Music will be provided at the start of the week.

Piano and Instrumental Courses

Piano Workshop

Florian Mitrea | session 1 or 4
The Rumanian pianist Florian Mitrea is always a huge hit at Summer School as a performer and teacher, and returns to run the Piano Workshop. Florian will guide pianists in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. He will coach anything from Bach to Bartók, but particularly likes the Viennese school of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. You’ll be able to choose between two different sessions.

Celebrating Tango: The Passion of Piazzolla

Joanna MacGregor | Session 3
Artistic Director Joanna MacGregor celebrates Astor Piazzolla. Open to pianists and instrumentalists of all backgrounds, we’ll be looking at his wonderfully evocative tangos, milongas and etude-tangos.

There’ll be a suggested repertoire list on the Music Supplies page.

Violin, Viola and Cello Workshops

Gildas Quartet | session 3
Christopher Jones and Gemma Sharples (violin), Kay Stephen (viola) and Anna Menzies (cello) lead individual instrumental classes for string players in a friendly and supportive workshop environment.

Chamber Music

Anna Szałucka, Gildas Quartet and Tritium Trio | Sessions 1, 2, 3 & 4
The chamber music programme, open to instrumentalists and singers, will offer one formally-organised session each day in Session 1. Chamber music can also be arranged informally in the other sessions.

Please see the Chamber Music page for more details.

More than music

Yoga

Justin Dalton | 7.45-8.30AM
This course, based on the gentle, fluid Scaravelli approach to yoga, is suitable for participants of all ages and abilities. Yoga is practised by many musicians; it’s a great way to loosen up the body before the day’s music making.

Jive dance

Kevan Kennedy | Session 4
Everyone is invited to get ready for the final Big Band party on Friday night by learning the cool jazz movements of Jive, taught by the experienced tutor.

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