Welcome to the Summer School for Pianists!
13th-19th August 2022
Stowe School, Buckingham, MK18 5EH
President: Wendy Wyatt
Artistic Directors: Karl Lutchmayer, Christine Stevenson
Guest tutors: Graham Fitch, Ann Martin-Davis, Daniel Hill
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 Summer School 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 2021 course, 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 2022 will include Ann Martin-Davis speaking on ‘I got Rhythm; What About You?’. Karl Lutchmayer’s topic will be ‘A Musical Cover Story – The Big Reveal’. Graham Fitch will speak on ‘But I Can Play it Perfectly at Home!: Strategies for Managing Performance Anxiety’, and Christine Stevenson will be ‘Walking the Walk – to Chopin’s Grave’.
The Tutor Recitals will be particularly varied, with repertoire drawn from composers including Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Liszt, Schumann, Debussy and Sorabji among others.
Having enjoyed the music of Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn in 2021, the theme for 2022 is inspired by our surroundings at Stowe – ‘Landscape, Architecture and Water’; as a non-obligatory option, participants are invited to explore music related to these features. But repertoire choice is not confined to the theme – do feel free to investigate the breadth and depth of the piano repertoire.
Graham Fitch and our resident baritone, Brian White, have managed to combine all three elements of the theme in their proposed performance of Schubert’s wonderful song cycle which describes a watermill in a wood and the characters assembled there, Die Schöne Müllerin. Songs from that cycle will be included in the Accompanists’ Class, which will again be hosted by Daniel Hill.
New in 2022 will be the Summer School Harmonic Cocktails – a pilot series of short sessions in the bar at 6 pm, sampling harmonies when the sun is over the yardarm. Accompanied by a keyboard, Karl Lutchmayer and Graham will lead us through the chords which give flavour and colour to music. Shaken, not stirred …
And, again new for 2022 – ‘Come and Sing Mozart’s Lacrimosa’ – one 45-minute choral session with vocal warm-ups from Brian White, followed by a ‘from scratch’ rehearsal of Mozart’s wonderful choral work led by conductor Pam Clements, with repetiteur Ann Martin-Davis at the piano. Not to be missed!
There are seven 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 explore 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.