Summer School 2020 – join us as we celebrate Beethoven 250

170px-Beethoven_3After a sell-out course in 2019, the Summer School for Pianists’ 2020 course promises another week of superlative music, with masterclasses, student concerts and tutor recitals, plus presentations on subjects as diverse as ‘Practice Makes Perfect – Or Does It? ‘  ‘Solving Problems in Chopin’s Fantaisie-Impromptu’ and ‘The Music of Maurice Ravel.’  To celebrate the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, the 2020 theme is ‘Byways of Beethoven’;  participants are invited to choose repertoire from the lesser known works of Beethoven, such as those prefixed with WoO rather than those with opus numbers. And there’ll be a talk on Beethoven’s harmonic language – ‘The Lost Chord – and How to Find it. Beethoven’s Harmonic Clues.’

With good food, good company and the surrounding beauty of Stowe in gardens landscaped by Capability Brown, an amazing  week of musical inspiration awaits. Places are being snapped up, so don’t wait – scroll down for contact information and book your place now.

And if you’d like a taster of what is in store – hear five of our delegates talking about what makes the course so special …

Following the Royal Footsteps – Queen Victoria and Prince Albert visit Stowe

This year marks the bicentenaries of the births of Queen Victoria, a keen pianist, and of her husband Prince Albert, who together visited Stowe in 1845, staying for three days, Victoria practised Mendelssohn’s music on a ‘horizontal’  piano there – a grand.  The video below re-enacts their visit:



You too can follow her footsteps, practise the piano, and enjoy the beauties of this wonderful building and the grounds at Stowe.  There is currently one place left on our course – scroll down for details and book your place today!

Calling All Piano Teachers! Spend a day with us at Stowe – plus Brahms and Clara

Calling all piano teachers! We are offering you a non-residential visit to our fabulous Summer School at Stowe School in Buckinghamshire for a day on Tuesday August 13 or Wednesday August 14 when you can attend up to six hours of masterclasses with any of our five tutors, a recital, and, on Wednesday, a Piano Matters presentation with tutor Graham Fitch; ‘Brahms and Clara – a Love Story’ –  an exploration of the friendship between Johannes Brahms and Clara Schumann.

The cost for the day is just £45 plus VAT, including lunch, dinner and refreshments. Tuesday’s recital will be given by Ann Martin-Davis and baritone Brian White, performing repertoire by Ravel for solo piano and for voice and piano, while Wednesday’s recital will be given by James Lisney, performing works by Schubert, Haydn, Beethoven and Chopin. Watch them giving masterclasses on both days, along with tutors Graham Fitch, Karl Lutchmayer and Christine Stevenson.

Places are limited, so don’t delay – contact our administrator, providing information of where you teach and requesting an application form  to secure your place on , or telephone 07828 925609.

Those applying for a place must be at least 18 years of age.

2019 Recitals Announced

We’re pleased to announce the 2019 season of Summer School Recitals given by our tutors from 11-14 August in the Ugland Auditorium at Stowe School, all at 7.45pm.

Karl Lutchmayer begins on Sunday 11 August, playing Medtner’s Sonata Reminiscenza, Busoni’s Elegies and Schulz-Evler’s Arabesques on the Beautiful Blue Danube.

On Monday 12 August Christine Stevenson will be performing Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight’ Sonata Op 27 no 2, Bagatelle op 126 No 3 and his 32 Variations on a Theme in C Minor, as well as Liszt’s Au lac de Wallenstadt, Il Penseroso, Les jeux d’eaux  à la Villa d’Este and Funérailles.

Ann Martin-Davis and baritone Brian White will be exploring this year’s ‘folk’ theme in songs by Ravel drawn from Cinq Mélodies Populaires Grecques, Chants Populaires, Mélodie Hébraïque and Don Quichotte à Dulcinée on Tuesday August 13th.

And in the same concert, Ann will be playing solo pieces by Ravel, including extracts from Le Tombeau de Couperin, A la manière  de Chabrier and A la manière de Borodin.

James Lisney concludes the season with Schubert’s Impromptu in C minor D 899,  Haydn’s Sonata in C Hoboken XVI 50, Beethoven’s Sonata in E Op 109 and Frederyk Chopin’s Nocturnes Op 62 on Wednesday August 14th.


Not to be missed!  Check back here soon for booking details.

UPDATE - tickets will be available on the door (cash only, please) at £10, £8 concession, and free for accompanied children. When arriving at Stowe School, postcode MK18 5EH, you’ll reach the security cabin at the far end of the school drive, where you’ll be directed to parking places. The Ugland Auditorium is in the Music School; ask for directions from security staff. Further transport details are listed here.

For further information or to book in advance – scroll down to the foot of the page for telephone contact numbers, the email link, or use the contact form.



We’re moving! Summer School at Stowe 11th-17th August 2019

Stowe School in Buckinghamshire is the exciting 2019 destination for the Summer School for Pianists, which has, over its 40 year history, travelled from London to the West Midlands, via York and Hereford. A National Trust site, with fabulous gardens landscaped by ‘Capability’ Brown, Stowe House features the magnificent State Music Room for masterclasses, and for our final 3-course gala dinner, while other meals will be in the State Dining Room. Further masterclasses, presentations and recitals will be held in the Music School and the Ugland Auditorium.State Music room facing South

Stowe is an All Steinway school, so we have a fleet of fine pianos at our disposal in numerous practice rooms. Five excellent tutors will be hosting masterclasses and performing for us in recitals, while a variety of other musical options such as accompaniment class, choir, sight-reading class, piano technique discussion and  information on music software will be on offer.

Comfortable, ensuite accommodation in modern boarding houses with lifts, sitting rooms and kitchens will give participants the opportunity to relax, recharge and socialise. With superb grounds to explore, featuring follies, temples and architectural treasures, a week at the Stowe Summer School for Pianists will be a musical highlight of the year.

But don’t delay! Classes are filling fast, and Observers are welcome. Send your application form to Brian White  – scroll down for contact details, and contact Brian for further information.

PS – With Christmas now on the horizon, why not add a Summer School Gift Voucher to your wish list?! Details from Brian.

gift voucher