15th-21st August 2020
Stowe School, Buckingham, MK18 5EH
President: Wendy Wyatt
Artistic Directors: Karl Lutchmayer, Christine Stevenson
Guest tutors: Graham Fitch, Ann Martin-Davis, Daniel Hill
Administrator: Brian White
For over 40 years, this Summer School has established a unique place amongst an ever-growing number of summer schools being held each year throughout the British Isles.
In what way is this course so special?
It combines an atmosphere of friendliness with musical expertise, creating a most positive and rewarding week. People of a very wide range of pianistic levels can meet and enjoy all that’s good about music-making, without any unhealthy competitiveness or feelings of inadequacy. Participants return year after year to this keenly anticipated annual event. The incomparable splendour of Stowe House set in 250 acres of gardens landscaped by Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, the excellent facilities of the All Steinway music department of Stowe School, a warm welcome, studies with leading experts, recitals by tutors and students, good food, ensuite accommodation and a final gala dinner in the State Music Room, make this course both memorable and inspiring.
In 2019 the tutor presentations, Piano Matters, were especially praised for making the course even more attractive for performing participants and for observers as well. Piano Matters topics for 2020 will include ‘The Lost Chord – and How to Find it: Beethoven’s Harmonic Clues’, ‘Graded exams – Gold Standard or Fiat currency’, ‘Solving Problems in Chopin’s Fantaisie-Impromptu’ and ‘Practice Makes Perfect – Or Does It?’
The tutor Recitals will be particularly varied, with repertoire drawn from composers including Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt, Alkan, Debussy, Poulenc, Stravinsky and James MacMillan.
With the Beethoven 250 Anniversary a feature of the year, the theme for 2020 is ‘Byways of Beethoven’; as a non-obligatory option, participants are invited to explore the lesser known works by Beethoven – for example, perhaps those prefixed by WoO rather than those known by opus numbers.
There will be a class for Piano Accompaniment with Daniel Hill and baritone Brian White, and a series of early evening optional activities – including our popular choir, directed by Pam Clements.
There are six thirty-minute solo recital opportunities – Platforms – available for a modest charge, and three student concerts for solo or duet items.
And there will be time to wander around the grounds, play a round of golf on the 9-hole golf course (green fees apply), have a game of tennis (please bring your own racquets and tennis balls) or, for an additional fee, enjoy a guided tour of Stowe House.
As usual, each participant will be allotted three half-hour slots in their masterclasses during the week. All are welcome to visit other classes to observe. Private lessons can be booked with each of the tutors. Those applying for a place on the summer school must be at least 18 years of age.