Here’s to 2023!

2022 was a bumper Summer School for Pianists – with full classes, staff recitals featuring solo music from Schubert to Sorabji as well as the song cycle Die schöne Müllerin, presentations on Performance Anxiety, Rhythm, and Walking the Walk to Chopin’s Grave, student concerts featuring repertoire linked to Landscape, Water and Architecture, Platforms, Mozart’s Lacrimosa from scratch, accompaniment, Harmonic Cocktails at 6pm and a Gala Dinner on the final evening.  We rang the gastronomic changes with a Hog Roast one night, followed by late-night fireworks in the grounds of Stowe, courtesy of a wedding celebration in Stowe House.

And what news of 2023? The optional theme will be ‘Forgotten Melodies’ – those pieces hidden away in the piano stool perhaps played by parents or indeed ourselves.  Staff recitals promise to be as varied as ever, with repertoire by Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Scriabin, Rachmaninov, Ravel and Messaien being planned, including Beethoven’s song cycle ‘An die ferne Geliebte’. Ann Martin-Davis will speak about ‘Bach Bits’ – articulation, ornaments etc; Christine Stevenson will be looking at ‘Rachmaninov’s Revolutions’. Karl Lutchmayer will continue his fascinating exploration of Classical ‘Covers’ and Graham Fitch will be ‘Embracing the New – How to Learn a New Piece.’  Class members each play in three masterclasses and have the option of performing in a concert or giving a short recital for a modest charge; private lessons with tutors can be arranged for a separate fee. Above all, though, is the glorious setting of Stowe and the camaraderie of a music-loving community, delighting in music and in one another’s company. Join us – but hurry; places are going quickly and we are already over 80% full. Contact our administrator today to check on availability –  and apply!


Here’s to another great course in 2023 – cheers!

SSP 2022