11th-17th August 2018
University of Wolverhampton, Walsall Campus, Gorway Road, Walsall, WS1 3BD
President: Wendy Wyatt
Artistic Directors: Karl Lutchmayer, Christine Stevenson
Guest tutors: Graham Fitch, Ann Martin-Davis, David Owen Norris
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. Within the state-of- the art setting of the Performance Hub, 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 feeling of inadequacy. Participants return year after year to this keenly anticipated annual event. A warm welcome, studies with leading experts, plenty of practice pianos at this All Steinway School, good food and accommodation, recitals by tutors and students, and a final gala dinner make the week very special indeed.
In 2017 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 2018 are – Piano-flaneur: Concert Life in Pre-War Paris; So Who Was the Girl with the Flaxen Hair? Perspectives on Claude Debussy; The Severity of Time – How nineteenth-century composers used dynamic markings to indicate rubato in piano music; and On Urtext and Other Editions: Does it Matter?
The tutor Recitals will be particularly varied, with repertoire drawn from Bach, Chopin, Liszt, Enescu, Purcell, Stockhausen, Schumann, Schulz-Elver, Walton, Elgar and Debussy. And the popular pre-concert talks, the Aperitifs, will return, giving brief “tasting notes” about the music before the evening performances.
Remembering the anniversary of Debussy’s death in 1918, we are having a theme of Debussy and His World in 2018. As a non-obligatory option, participants are invited to choose a piece by Debussy or his contemporaries. There is much to explore!
There will be classes for Piano Accompaniment with Ann Martin-Davis and baritone Brian White, and for Piano Duet, overseen by Graham Fitch. The latter is always particularly popular, and we encourage participants to plan early and attempt to meet for rehearsals in advance of the course.
There are six thirty-minute solo recital opportunities – Platforms – available for a modest charge, and three student concerts for solo or duet items.
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.