Curated by concert pianist, conductor and composer, Joanna MacGregor, Dartington Summer School & Festival is all about being creative during the day in week-long courses, workshops and masterclasses.
Every evening, you can listen to up to three concerts and perhaps perform in some of them too. The range of music covers classical, jazz, world music and folk as well as courses in multimedia, film, visual arts and creative writing.
The Summer School brings together an extraordinary mix of people – from professional and non-professional musicians to emerging artists, writers and poets – in the beautiful surroundings of Dartington, a medieval estate in Devon. You can be an active participant or choose to observe any of the courses. The community you’ll be part of is one of learning, sharing, performing and socialising – you may find yourself queuing alongside a major international artist at coffee time or enjoying a drink with a rising star in the bar after a concert.
Week 4 – Jazz, Wind and Brass; Composition with Michael Finnissy and Howard Skempton; Neil Brand, Gershwin and Film
Young Glyndebourne conductor, Lee Reynolds, directs Elgar’s valedictory choral work, The Music Makers, as well as the Cello Concerto. You’ll also be coached in the thundering choruses for Peter Grimes conducted by Sian Edwards, the climax of our two-week opera course. There’s also a Celebrating Gershwin course with Sarah Gabriel to mark his 80th anniversary and suites from Porgy and Bess.
There’s a lot for composers and creative musicians this week. Michael Finnissy directs the Advanced Composition course and Howard Skempton welcomes everyone to Open Composition. We celebrate Cornelius Cardew’s Treatise and The Great Learning in a daily session and Neil Brand is back to direct his popular Improvising to Film course. Paul Archibald directs brass courses and there’s wind chamber tuition from Atéa Quintet players as well as wind ensemble sessions with Steve Dummer; chamber music coaching is provided by the Gildas String Quartet and Fournier Trio.
Über-cool saxophonist, Andy Sheppard, leads the Jazz course in solo and ensemble improvisation alongside our regular Big Band and Gospel Choir, directed by Black Voices. Analogue wizardry is created around the estate by the the innovative ensemble, Dead Rat Orchestra, and journalist and writer, Paul Morley, lectures on the changing landscape of pop music.
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