Welcome to the Summer School for Pianists!
15th-21st August 2020
President: Wendy Wyatt
Artistic Directors: Karl Lutchmayer, Christine Stevenson
Guest tutors: Graham Fitch, Ann Martin-Davis, Daniel Hill
Administrator: Brian White
Fees: £250 for Class Members, £180 for Observers
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 find ourselves temporarily moving online, but with the same ethos of friendliness combined with musical expertise.
And we are delighted that we have had overwhelming support for a move to a digital platform for this year’s course. Here’s how we plan to do it.
Many of us have learnt over the past weeks how to video-conference using Skype and Zoom, and it is Zoom that we will be using. For those of us who would appreciate a refresher course on Zoom, a series of 6 videos made by our tutors and Brian, and sent out to all course members between now and the course, will demonstrate how to get the best out of Zoom for music.
Bearing in mind that unknown future Public Health restrictions may still make demands on our time and space, Summer School classes will run at two fixed points each day from Saturday 15 August to Thursday 20th August: at 10.00 – 11.30am and from 2.00 – 3.30 pm.
You will be timetabled as usual for three slots during the week in Zoom masterclasses, to which you will be invited in an email from your tutor. If your connectivity is likely to be unreliable – and we all have those issues at times – you can pre-record your piece to be submitted to the tutor, who will play it during the class via a ‘shared screen’ and then comment. Come and go as you wish – and we will include the opportunity to observe different classes and tutors.
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.
Each day you will receive an email from Brian giving you the links to the series of Tutor Recitals and a tutor Piano Matters presentation, available exclusively to Summer School members via our private YouTube channel. The tutors and Brian have planned a fantastic feast of music by composers including Scarlatti, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert/Liszt, Schumann, Chopin, Debussy, Scriabin, Ravel, Poulenc, Mompou … and many more. Piano Matters include presentations about the music of Ravel, Beethoven’s harmonic language, Graded Exams, Chopin’s Fantaisie-Impromptu, and Practice Makes Perfect – or Does It? Click on the links at a time of your choosing to enjoy the recital and the presentation. There are six thirty-minute solo recital opportunities for students – Platforms – available for a modest charge. Those course members who are giving Platform Recitals are welcome to pre-record/ film their recitals, which we will circulate, and which can be enjoyed in the same way. For the Accompanists’ Class, baritone Brian White and Daniel Hill are planning ways to present the suggested repertoire.
Fancy a coffee? Join us for a virtual coffee at 11.30 each day, for a chat and a catch-up. And maybe we can meet for a drink later in the evening… We’re also thinking about moving last year’s hugely popular Quiz to an online format.
The climax of our week is the class members’ concerts. Again, we invite you to film or record your piece well in advance, perhaps on Soundcloud or on your phone (Ann Martin-Davis is preparing a video showing how to do that), submit it to Brian, and the recordings/ videos will be circulated on Wednesday and Thursday of the week for us all to enjoy when we have the opportunity. On Friday we’ll meet for the 2021 briefing.
So what does it cost? Without having to cover Stowe’s charges for catering and accommodation, we are able to reduce our fees for Class Members to a total of £250 per class member – that’s a balance of £70 on top of the deposit. For Observers, who may attend any class during the week without performing, and who will have access to the four tutor recitals, the Accompanists’ Class, the five Piano Matters presentations, the student concert items, the platforms and to all the online social events, there is no extra charge; the price remains at £180, the deposit.
As usual, each class participant will be allotted three half-hour slots in their masterclasses during the week. All are welcome to visit other classes to observe. Those applying for a place on the summer school must be at least 18 years of age.
Contact Brian for availability in classes and/or as Observers.