Welcome to the Summer School for Pianists!
14th-20st August 2021
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 2020 we moved to the Internet, but we’ll be back at Stowe in 2021, we hope, while monitoring government guidelines and keeping options open for a virtual or hybrid course.
The incomparable beauty of our location at Stowe invites residential attendance at the Summer School, and, having spent so much time online in recent months, we all appreciate how nothing can fully replace a live experience of ‘being there’. But we are investigating online options for a limited number of Observers to join us.
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 the online 2020 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 2021 will include ‘Haydn in London – a Walkthrough of the C major English Sonata’, ‘Are You All Fingers and Thumbs? A Guide to Fingering’, ‘Why We Went to Weimar – The Altenburg and its Visitors’, ‘Memorisation and Deep Learning Techniques’, and ‘Ronald Stevenson – the Man and his Music’.
The Tutor Recitals will be particularly varied, with repertoire drawn from composers including Alkan, Bach, Brahms, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann and Liszt among others.
The theme for 2021 is ‘The Mendelssohns’ including the music of Felix and his sister, Fanny, whose music was published after her marriage under the name of Fanny Hensel; as a non-obligatory option, participants are invited to explore music by this talented brother and sister. Felix’s music was played by Queen Victoria when she visited Stowe house in 1845.
There will be a class for Piano Accompaniment with Daniel Hill and baritone Brian White, and optional activities including our popular choir, directed by Pam Clements, and, following its outstanding 2019 success, an evening Quiz.
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 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.