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Meet the 2016 Summer School Team!

Booking is open for our 2016 Summer School – don’t miss the opportunity to have an inspiring week of music-making next August!

Tutors above are, from left to right – Christine Stevenson, Graham Fitch, James Lisney and Karl Lutchmayer, photographed while rehearsing Richard Nye’s ‘This Marvellous Machine’ for 8 hands at one piano.

ann-martin-davisAnd we welcome newcomer Ann Martin Davis  – read about her here.

The course will again return to the All Steinway Performance Hub in the West Midlands, with masterclasses, tutor recitals, student concerts, and presentations on offer, plus a lively social scene. There are classes for accompaniment, and for duets. Private lessons can be booked, and there is a swimming pool and gym on the campus.

For more details, visit the About page, and the application form can be downloaded here.




Summer School Hub on BBC2!

This week’s episode of BBC2’s current series ‘The Naked Choir’, in which a cappella vocal groups compete under the watchful eye of Gareth Malone, was filmed at The Performance Hub in June, taking advantage of the superb facilities which we at the Summer School for Pianists enjoyed in August. The final contest was in the Hub’s own Black Box Theatre.

Gareth opened the Performance Hub in 2011.

We’re currently updating details of our website ready for announcements about next year’s course, which will be from 13th-19th August 2016. Watch this space for details – coming soon!

Catch up with this week’s show here .


Summer School Recitals

For a feast of piano music next week, come to the Summer School for Pianists! Each evening one of the tutors gives a recital in the Performance Hub. Repertoire in 2015 will include works by Couperin, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Liszt, Schumann,  Sorabji, Scriabin, Debussy and Busoni. Click on the links for tickets, or buy them at the door – £10, concessions £8.



Gorway Road

James Lisney  Sunday 16 August 2015 8pm

Frederyk Chopin

Polonaise in f sharp minor, opus 44
Impromptu in G sharp, opus 51
Nocturne in c sharp minor, opus 27/1
Sonate in b flat minor, opus 35
Andante spianato et grande polonaise brillante, opus 22


Christine Stevenson  Monday 17 August 8pm

Bagatelle Op 126 No 3 in E flat major – Beethoven

Sonata D784 in A minor [Op 143] – Schubert

Allegro giusto


Allegro vivace

 Ballade in D Minor, Op 10 No 1 – Brahms

Mephisto Waltz No 1 – Liszt

 Images Book 1 – Debussy

Reflets dans l’eau

Hommage à Rameau


Karl Lutchmayer Tuesday 18 August 8pm

Sonata no.9 ‘Black Mass’ – Skriabin

Sonatina Seconda – Busoni

Le Jardin Parfumé – Sorabji


Graham Fitch Wednesday 19 August 8pm

From Ordre no. 6 in B flat      F. Couperin

 Les moissoneurs; La Bersan; Les baricades mistérieuses; Le    moucheron

Papillons, op. 2       Robert Schumann

Sonata no. 1 in F sharp minor, op. 11             Robert Schumann

1     Introduzione: Un poco Adagio – Allegro vivace

2     Aria

3     Scherzo: Allegrissimo – intermezzo: Lento

4     Finale: Allegro, un poco maestoso



Pianist Magazine features our Summer School!

Read all about it – the Summer School for Pianists is featured in the latest issue of Pianist Magazine. Editor Erica Worth describes the many attractions of the Course: ‘This friendly one-week-long summer school offers lessons, masterclasses, wide-ranging talks – and Steinways for all’.

She goes on to speak to James Lisney, one of the Directors, who tells her proudly that ‘it’s an all-Steinway course  … It’s also about friendliness. And I’ve found that there are so many people turning to music in the middle part of their lives. They want to do it at quite a high level, too. They learned when they were young. They’re returners.’

Also mentioned are the masterclasses, recitals, concerts, the Piano Matters presentations, the pre-concert Aperitifs – which are brief  ‘tasting notes’ for the tutor recitals, Words and Music  – a late night performance of Strauss’ melodrama Enoch Arden, and Piano Now – an evening’s event/discussion exploring modern music for two to eight hands.

Another highlight this year will be a presentation on the subject of Baroque Dance, given by Ruth Waterman, a dance expert and and niece of Leeds Piano Competition founder Dame Fanny Waterman.


Places on the course are going fast, so don’t delay! An Application form can be found here. Enquiries welcome – email us here or telephone Gina, our Administrator, on 0117 9852 726.



Summer School Testimonial


We  have received  a wonderful testimonial for our Summer School from one of the course members, Ron Walton. He writes:

‘If you want to recharge your pianistic and musical batteries there is no more enjoyable way to do it than to join the August Summer School for Pianists, now held at Wolverhampton University’s Walsall Campus. Throughout the week course members receive excellent tutoring and guidance on pieces they have prepared from a great team of accomplished recitalists and teachers. In the evenings the tutors give a splendid series of recitals.


I have been coming to the Summer School for many years and for me there are a number of distinctive features. It is a community of pianists of all ages with a core aim of developing their performance and interpretation of a wide range of piano repertoire. It is not competitive and I have never known a tutor who does not blend expert guidance with positive encouragement and a lively sense of humour. For course members who wish to gain experience of playing in public, there is the opportunity to participate in one of the three student concerts.

in-the-hub-1 Friendliness is the hallmark of the course and I enjoy chatting to other course members and tutors at coffee breaks and mealtimes or in the bar after dinner. After a hardworking but pleasurable week the final dinner and barn dance make an experience not to be missed.

Canteen - the Hub




The campus has en suite rooms which are comfortable, there are good meals, and coffee breaks are in an open plan concourse which encourages conversation and getting to know other course members. The practice pianos are of a high quality and I had no difficulty in booking a practice session each day.


Walsall Art GalleryAlso, I particularly appreciated the campus swimming pool, and for the even more active there is the campus gymnasium. In between pianistic exertions I managed brief visits to Walsall’s beautiful park/arboretum, the modernistic art gallery (with some fascinating Damien Hirst works) and the fine Leather Museum.

There are moments of sheer magic – I have never forgotten my first hearing of Beethoven’s 32 Variations in C minor in a course recital or participating in the male chorus in Busoni’s Concerto for Piano. Perhaps for non-pianists a summer school might seem a week of purgatory, but for me it gives a fresh spur to try new pieces, improve pieces I am familiar with, and a greater appreciation of works that I know I will never play but want to understand what the composer was saying.’


Thank you, Ron – we look forward to seeing you again in August 2015!

Come and join us – contact us via . Apply here and read about the course here.