Week 3: 10 – 17 August

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

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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.