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!

Summer School Testimonial – Welkom, from the Netherlands



Our thanks to our regular course member from the Netherlands, Egbert de Weert, who sent us this great testimonial recently. Looking forward to seeing you again in August, Egbert.

‘As a regular participant from the Netherlands, this Summer School for Pianists is the place to be. Although not being used to playing in front of others, I felt at home from the very beginning. In the masterclasses the excellent tutors are able to create an atmosphere which is constructive and stimulating. In this non-competitive environment I enjoyed being part of a larger community of fellow pianists of various levels of performance. There is so much more value in this course, not least the wonderful concerts every evening by each of the tutors. The inspiration gained during this week keeps me going in my piano practising until the next summer. I can thoroughly recommend the Summer School to pianists from any country.’

Egbert de Weert

New Summer School Testimonial – Croeso!

Croeso – welcome to this blogpost from the Summer School for Pianists. You’re welcome in any language, but today our focus is on Wales, home to  many of our participants over the years.

One of our  pianists from Cardiff, Jane, delighted us by sending a testimonial recently:

‘A very enjoyable week in Walsall last August. Friendly people, excellent masterclasses …  also had the opportunity to play in the duet and accompaniment masterclasses. Excellent tutors’ recitals and student concerts. Good social life, food and accommodation, practice facilities and Piano Matters presentations. Enjoyed the free session on the Wednesday afternoon.
I would certainly recommend the Summer School for friends in Cardiff.’
Thanks Jane – we look forward to seeing you again this year.
If you are looking for a friendly Summer School, come and join us – but act now! Places are going fast.
Telephone contact details at the foot of the page, or email