Course FAQs


Stowe School, Buckinghamshire, MK18 5EH 13th-19th August 2022

Tutors: Karl Lutchmayer, Christine Stevenson, Graham Fitch, Ann Martin-Davis and Daniel Hill

These classes are of mixed ability and, ideally, three well-prepared pieces of repertoire are required. Tutors will aim to cover both technical problems and interpretative points which will be of interest to the entire class. There may be the opportunity to accompany a singer.

Each class member will have three half-hour slots in class during the week.

Frequently Asked Questions

What standard of piano playing do I have to be to join a masterclass?

Anything between post-Diploma and approximately Grade 4.

Do all my pieces have to be at a good standard or can I bring pieces that are “in progress”?

Course members usually find that they get the maximum benefit in class, and the most out of the course, from playing pieces which are securely “under the fingers” and at a good standard.

What are the performance opportunities?

There are student concerts in which course members may perform; for a modest extra charge there are also “Platforms” where a thirty-minute recital can be given.

Can I play any style of music in the masterclass? i.e. jazz, blues etc? Is it compulsory to choose music related to each year’s theme? How many times will I play in a masterclass, and for how long?

A broad range of music is usually heard; lists of repertoire being played in the class are submitted and circulated a few weeks before the course, so it’s good to choose music which is readily available for other class members to bring and follow if they wish.

Each year a theme is chosen to provide inspiration for repertoire choice – this is non-obligatory, and participants are welcome to explore the breadth of the piano repertoire and to make their own discoveries.

You will be scheduled for three half-hour slots in the week. Each class has 12-13 members, so your class will be timetabled accordingly during the week for the number of hours needed to accommodate three slots for each player.

How do I book a private lesson with the tutors?

For an extra cost, private lessons can be arranged by speaking directly to the tutors.

Do I have to attend all sessions that are scheduled in the timetable?

You are free to choose sessions that are of interest to you, and to observe other classes.  There are many scheduled breaks during the day. We recommend that members choose a balance of musical activity and relaxation.

What should I wear during the week?

Dress is informal; you might like to pack something smart to wear for performing in a concert, and for the Gala Dinner.

How far is the accommodation from the music school?

The accommodation houses and music school are near each other.  There is a longer walk on an upwards sloping path to the dining room in Stowe House, where all meals are served. Please get in touch if you need to enquire re mobility issues.

Are there many steps to climb?

The Music School, accommodation houses and Stowe House itself all have lifts. Please inform us if you would like a room on a lower floor.

What amenities are available in the accommodation blocks?

Comfortable study bedrooms (all lockable) are ensuite and equipped with bed linen and towels; tea/coffee-making facilities are provided in well-appointed common rooms, one of which has a bar.  The two Stowe  boarding houses used by course members  are Stanhope and Queen’s.

When and where may I practise?

The music school opens for practice by 7am and remains open until 11pm.  Rooms can be booked for practice throughout the day and evening; there are plenty of all pianos are well maintained.

Where do events take place?

Masterclasses take place in the Auditorium, the Harry Gregson Suite, the Leslie Huggins Suite and the Alwyn Bolton Library in the music school as well as in the Chapel and in the State Music Room of Stowe House; classes rotate around the different rooms so that participants experience a range of different settings.

The Piano Matters presentations, staff concerts, student concerts, student Platforms and the Accompanists’ Class take place in the music school’s Ugland Auditorium, with its magnificent Steinway Model D.

The Welcome Drinks Party takes place in the foyer of the music school after the first evening’s concert. Meals take place in the State Dining room of Stowe House. The final evening’s Gala Dinner, a three course meal with wine preceded by a drinks reception in Stowe House’s Marble Saloon, is served in the State Music Room of Stowe House.

What is the daily schedule at the Summer School?

2021’s timetable is reproduced below to give you an idea of the week.  It is arranged so that members can visit other classes if they wish, as well as their own. The 2021 Piano Matters presentations given by staff covered subjects as diverse as fingering, deep learning techniques, Haydn’s English Sonata, the music of Ronald Stevenson and Liszt’s two houses in Weimar. This year’s topics are listed in the website About page, where further information about 2022’s course can be found.


SSP Timetable 2021[4094]



Our Tutors

Ann Martin-Davis

Ann Martin-Davis

Graham Fitch

Graham Fitch

Christine Stevenson

Christine Stevenson

Daniel Hill

Daniel Hill

Karl Lutchmayer

Karl Lutchmayer