40 Years On – Summer School for Pianists 1977-2017

in-the-hub-1Reading a list of Summer School tutors recently, it was a revelation to learn that the Summer School for Pianists is officially 40 years old. It started back in 1977 – or even before that under a different name – and it’s still going strong! This year the classes have just one or two vacancies which have recently become available, so come and celebrate with us.

after-the-joint-concertYou’ll have three half-hour slots in a masterclass with one of our superb tutors, and you’re welcome to visit other classes to observe.

There are six Piano Matters Presentations this year, covering everything from Reading a Score to Using Studies and Technical Exercises Wisely. There are five tutor recitals with repertoire from Bach to Kapustin, pre-concert talks, student concerts and Platforms , and a Gala Dinner to finish.

Don’t wait – contact us now; scroll down for the email address and phone number. See you there!

Summer School 2016 – ‘… the best course ever…’ Book now for 2017!

Compliments poured in after our fantastic week at Summer School 2016. Participants came from throughout the UK as well as from Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Australia and the USA.  And now it’s time to book for 2017 – don’t miss it! Find the application form here.

‘Everyone said it was the best course ever. Long may it continue!…’

‘Thank you so much for such a successful course…’

‘What a lovely, inspiring , busy week we have had in Walsall this year. So many different ideas from the tutors…’

‘It was so very good this year (again) and thank you! …’
‘I thought the summer school was a great success again – it seems to go from strength to strength …’ 
after-the-joint-concert2017’s course promises to give the same wealth of experience and musical inspiration. Tutors’ recitals will include works by Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin, Liszt, Franck, Debussy, Rachmaninoff , Shostakovich and Kapustin, among others. The popular Aperitifs – pre-concert talks – will return, and the tutor presentations, Piano Matters,  are on the theme of A Musical Toolkit – ‘Blueprint ‘- Reading the score; ‘Nuts and Bolts’ – How music is made; ‘Diagnostics’ – Analysis, and ‘Road-testing’ – Preparing for Performance. There will be sessions on technique, too.
2016’s optional repertoire theme was Song. In 2017 we are exploring ‘Music that Speaks’, remembering Paul Tortelier, who said that ‘Music should dance, sing and speak’. As a non-obligatory option, you are invited to bring music with literary, poetic or dramatic associations, music that tells a story, or music that speaks to you …
There will be classes for duets and song accompaniment, and our Platform series – thirty-minute recitals – will again be available, for a modest charge. The student concerts also give an opportunity to showcase your skills. Practice facilities are great.  And as ever, there’s plenty of time to relax and socialise.
Places are already filling fast, so don’t wait! Dates are Saturday 12th August to Friday 18th August. Contact info@pianosummerschool.co.uk for details. See you next year!

Summer School Song and Piano Recital – ‘Music for Those We love’

As well as the four solo piano recitals during Summer School, tutor Ann Martin-Davis, together with baritone Brian White , will present a recital  of songs and solo piano pieces.

Bernstein at pianoThe programme will  include Bernstein ‘Four Anniversaries’, Ravel ‘Le Tombeau de Couperin’, Messiaen ‘Le Baiser de L’enfant-Jésus’, Poulenc ‘Le Bestiaire’ and Butterworth, ‘The Lads in their Hundreds’.

Ann writes -” This programme has evolved from a review that I read recently of a published collection of letters from the composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein [left]. It commended Nigel Simeone’s compilation but was unconditionally brutal and damming about the composer’s ‘overwhelming personality’. I wasn’t familiar with Bernstein’s piano music and dug out the ‘Four Anniversaries’. These touching and compelling snap-shots of the people in his life suggest an intimacy, sensitivity and humanity that offered a sharp contrast to the review. They also made me think about other composers who have written for friends, family and loved ones, about loss and about the private being made public and the music that we inherit from the significant people in our lives.”

Butterworth - Durham Light Infantry

George Butterworth [above] who died one hundred years ago on August 5th 1916 during the Battle of the Somme, is represented by his song ‘The Lads in their Hundreds’. Butterworth lies in an unknown grave;  he is named on the Royal College of Music War Memorial [below]. RIP.

RCM memorial

SUDDEN AVAILABILITY – CONTACT US TO GRAB THE LAST PLACE AT SUMMER SCHOOL!  See Gina’s contact details at the foot of the page.


Summer School Recitals 2016

Our tutors’ solo recital programmes have now been announced.  James Lisney  will perform works by Chopin, Debussy, Liszt and Schubert.
Christine Stevenson will perform Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibiton, as well as works by Russian composers Scriabin, Rachmaninoff and Tchaikowsky, while Karl Luchtmayer’s programme  features the composers Bach/Busoni and  Godowsky.
Graham Fitch presents three sets of Variations – by Sweelinck, Mendelssohn and Czerny, and works by American composer Charles Griffes.
Scroll down to see the programmes in full.
STOP PRESS! LATE AVAILABILITY – we have a space available at the Summer School – contact Gina for details! See foot of page  for contact details.
James Lisney
Chopin Nocturne opus 48/2
Debussy Estampes
Chopin Nocturne opus 62/2
Liszt Invocation
Schubert Sonata in A, D 664
Christine Stevenson - Pictures at an Exhibition
Scriabin Prelude for the Left Hand
Scriabin Prelude Op 11 No 11
Rachmaninoff – Lilacs
Rachmaninoff – Moment Musical in D Flat Major
Rachmaninoff  – Etude-Tableau op 39 no 5
Tchaikowsky – Dumka
Mussorgsky – Pictures at an Exhibition
Karl Lutchmayer –  Music by  Busoni and Godowsky

Bach-Busoni: Chaconne in D minor
Busoni – All Italia
Godowsky – Three pieces from Trikontameron
                         Two Etudes after Chopin
Graham Fitch – Theme and Variations
 Variations on “Mein Junges Leben Hat Ein End”  -Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck

Variations sérieuses, op. 54 – Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy

Variations on a Theme by Rode La Ricordanza” op. 33 – Carl Czerny

The White Peacock (5); The Fountains of the Acqua Paolo (from Roman Sketches) – Charles Tomlinson Griffes

Sonata – Charles Tomlinson Griffes

Late Availability! One place left … 43 days to go …

The countdown to Summer School has begun; pieces are being practised and polished, duets rehearsed, travel plans discussed. We’ve just heard that one place has become available at our Summer School. Don’t wait – contact Gina now to snap it up! Scroll down to the contact details  at the foot of the page.

performance-hub2Following 2015’s successful theme of  ‘Dance’, this year’s theme is ‘Song’, and participants are invited to explore repertoire with song connections as an optional choice.  Each course member has three half-hour slots in our masterclasses. The tutors’ recitals will feature wide-ranging repertoire, the presentations will cover topics including memorisation, effective study, Busoni and Chopin. The Aperitifs – pre-concert talks – will introduce recital repertoire, and a new series of Platforms will showcase our participants in public performances. As ever there will be time to socialise, relax and venture further afield. And don’t forget the swimming pool and gym …


Join us for an inspirational and unforgettable week of music-making. Book now!