Dartington International Summer School & Festival 2016

Week 1 Summer School graphic

Medieval and Renaissance Music, Improvisation, Middle Eastern Music

Week 2 Summer School graphic

Baroque Orchestra, Baroque Opera, Folk Music and Poetry

Week 3 Summer School graphic

Conducting, String Orchestra and Chamber Music, Carmen and The Pirates of Penzance, Tango and Samba

Week 4 Summer School graphic

Flamenco and Jazz, Wind and Brass Ensembles, Composition and Multimedia


It’s an enormous pleasure to welcome you to my second programme as Artistic Director of Dartington Summer School and Festival.

Dartington is a place of extraordinary beauty and creativity, and its ancient buildings and dream-like gardens resonate and shimmer with generations of musicians and composers, artists and dancers, poets and writers.

Each year the Summer School sets out to do something unique: to create a community of all ages and all backgrounds, coming together in a fantastic atmosphere of study and friendship, celebration and performance. We’re a music school by day, and a concert hall by night; you can listen to up to three concerts each evening. This packed four-week programme brings you some very familiar names – well-loved teachers and artists, like Jane Glover and Emma Kirkby – as well as brilliant young musicians: star trumpet-player Alison Balsom, the wonderful violinist Chloe Hanslip and the fabulous Heath String Quartet.

We celebrate Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, thrill to Bizet’s Carmen, and experience the joyful merrymaking of Pirates of Penzance. This year’s choral works range from Alexander’s Feast by Handel and Haydn’s ‘Nelson’ Mass to Fauré’s romantic Requiem and Paco Peña’s colourful Flamenca Misa. Our insprirational folk courses, and the popular folk choir, return. Master of the Queen’s Music Judith Weir guides and inspires young composers and instrumentalists. Jazz excitement is shared between sax warrior Andy Sheppard, cool trumpeter Eric Vloeimans; and you can enjoy classes in tango, flamenco and Middle Eastern dance.

The 2016 programme offers wide-ranging courses and workshops for musicians of all interests and varying experience: music really does connect us all. Apart from music masterclasses and performances, I’m delighted to welcome a distinguished group of writers and poets, running creative writing courses, led by Marina Warner. And I look forward to welcoming you all to what will be a wonderful Summer School!

Joanna MacGregor, Artistic Director

Click here to read Joanna MacGregor’s biography


Joanna MacGregor

Can't wait?

Watch our 2015 trailer for an idea of what we’re all about…

Watch now

Looking for something?

We’ll be updating these pages very soon with information about our 2016 event – but if you’re looking for something from last year, you can find it here.

Visit the 2015 archive