18 March 2022
By Ellie Palmer
Restrictions are easing and summer is around the corner! Why not try out a summer piano course? We highlight several that are taking place this summer
22 June – 21 August / Based in Colorado
This renowned Colorado festival offers masterclasses, workshops, private classes and performance opportunities for advanced students and young musicians. It’s open to musicians of any age and at any stage of their career. However, the intensity of the professional performance schedule and the exacting standards of quality make Aspen most appropriate for the serious, dedicated musician.
15-19 August / Based in Boston, Massachusetts
Fully immerse yourself in piano, keyboard, and Hammond organ performance. Develop your skills in improvisation, performance, chord theory ensemble playing, and synthesizer technology through this dynamic workshop. You’ll be exposed to a variety of styles, including jazz, hip-hop, rock, R&B, pop, funk, Latin, and fusion.
10-16 July / Based near Dunseith, North Dakota
This picturesque music camp, which takes place in the International Peace Garden that straddles the border between Canada and the USA, is open to players aged 10+. The course includes classes in musicianship, ensemble performance, music history and private lessons, and ends with a solo piano recital.
6-11 September / Based in Weston, Vermont
Directed by Leander Bien, the week-long workshop focuses on four-hand repertoire and the Alexander Technique. There will be time for practice, rehearsal, and sight-reading. Other members of the faculty include Andrew Harley, Victor Galindo and Kristin Mozeiko.
25 July – 5 August / Based in New York City
Summer Piano Intensive includes private lessons and coachings on a daily basis, seminars and workshops, concert events, and exciting performance opportunities on campus and off. Featured Artist Faculty for Summer 2022 include Marilyn Nonken, Eduardus Halim, Jeffrey Swann, and Manuel Laufer.
25 July - 6 August / Based in Idaho
The festival offers a two-week Advanced Chamber Program course for pianists. Pianists will be placed in appropriate chamber ensembles, in addition to masterclasses, discussions, and coaching time with professional musicians. Each chamber group will have ample time to work together to develop a sense of ensemble and prepare material for performance. Much of this work will be performed at the end of the project.
In the second week, students will have a variety of additional experiences which may include mentoring younger students, working with large choruses or orchestras, or independent study opportunities guided by teachers.
Various dates throughout 2022 / Based in Hertfordshire
This Hertfordshire-based trust offers residential and short courses for all levels. Courses this summer include, but aren’t limited to:
Romantic Piano (2426 June) with Tim Barratt
Piano for Two (46 July) with Joseph Tong and Waka Hasegawa
Late Starter Piano (810 July) with Lucinda Mackworth-Young
Latin Jazz (2224 August) with Marco Marconi
Various dates throughout 2022 / Based in Kent
Located in a stunning Grade-1 listed manor house near Tunbridge Wells, Kent, Finchcocks is ideal for players of all levels. and are taught by numerous tutors including Graham Fitch, Dave Hall and others. Guests on the course are accommodated in the newly renovated 18th century Coach House.
In a post-covid world, Finchcocks does also offer online piano courses for those more comfortable with that. These are free of charge!
3-24 April / Based in Cornwall
This year’s IMS consists of two 10-day courses for advanced string players, pianists and chamber ensembles. Thomas Adès and Ferenc Rados are the piano tutors on this year’s course. Located in Prussia Crove, Cornwall, attendees will also benefit from the beautiful surroundings.
Throughout 2022 / Based in Somerset
There are plenty of weekend courses on offer at this Somerset-based trust, including but not limited to:
▪ The Perfect Wrong Note (29 April) with William Westney
▪ Practising the Piano (13 May) with Graham Fitch
▪ Polishing your Piano Technique (27 May) with Melanie Spanswick
▪ The Romantic Repertoire (24 June) with Julian Jacobson
▪ Advanced Piano Summer School (28 July) with Mark Tanner
11-18 July / Based in East Sussex
Lot Music has been hosted in France for many years, but this year – for its 23rd edition – they are relaunching in the UK.
The summer school is located on an 11acre estate, it best suits pianists at a level equivalent to ABRSM grade 8 or higher. It is aimed at adult pianists and would suit piano teachers, amateurs, or anyone with a passion for playing the piano. Private masterclasses, group masterclasses and recitals are all included.
30 July – 7 August / Based in Oxford
Now in its 24th year, this is a great chance to get stuck into a packed schedule of both masterclasses and concerts. There are plenty of big names involved this year including Pianist 125 cover star Elisabeth Leonskaja, Nikolai Lugansky, Víkingur Ólafsson, Samantha Ege and others. Tickets are available for both participants and observers (non-playing attendees). All participants receive four public masterclasses and perform at the Participants’ Recital on 5 August.
10-17 July (Banbury); 17-24 July (Rugby); 25-30 July (London)
PianoWeek is open to all ages and levels in three different locations across the UK. Lite, Standard and Intensive courses are available to choose from, with all courses including masterclasses, one-to-one lessons, composition classes, seminars, talks and more.
In past years, PianoWeek have also hosted courses in both Italy and Japan to accommodate their global followers, however the covid pandemic put a stop to that. These two international courses aren’t taking place this year, but they will be returning next year.
31 July – 14 August / Based in Dorset
Suitable for students and accomplished amateurs aged 18 plus. Courses include Piano Accompaniment, a Composers’ Workshop and a Solo Piano Course with Julian Jacobson. Bursaries and scholarships are available to particularly gifted musicians. Accommodation and meals are available.
13-19 August / Based in Buckinghamshire
This Summer School takes place at the stunning Stowe School in Buckinghamshire amid 250 acres of magnificent gardens. It’s suitable for those aged 18 plus and Grade 4 plus.
This year’s tutors include Graham Fitch and Karl Lutchmayer. Course subjects include ‘I got Rhythm; What About You?’ and ‘Harmonic Cocktails’ – a new addition for this year!
2-15 July / Based in Valdeblore
©Santiago Puig Vilado
Now in its 8th season, is designed as a two-week intensive course where students can immerse themselves in their practising without distraction, surrounded by the French Alps. One-to-one sessions, performance opportunities, and masterclasses ranging from sight-reading to entrepreneurship advice are all included.
6-21 August / Based in Berlin
Each summer, the Academy holds a 2-week long summer camp in Germany – starting in Berlin with a week of masterclasses, workshops and fun activities in Germany’s capital, followed by a week of exploring the birthplaces of Germany’s three big “B”: Bach (Leipzig), Beethoven (Bonn), Brahms (Hamburg). Only 20 students (aged 14-22 years) can register.
19-25 June / Based in Vienna
This course concentrates on the special art of playing concertos together with the conductor and orchestra, with the aim to prepare your future career. Students will also have the opportunity for pianists to perform with the Vienna Haydn Symphony Orchestra at the BRAHMS Hall of the Vienna Musikverein. There are a number of age groups ranging from 5 to 20+, making this course accessible for most.
4 July – 3 September / Based in Siena
The Italian based summer academy offers a range of different resources including piano masterclasses with Lilya Zilberstein, workshops on topics such as how to perform on period instruments and how to compose, plus a whole range of seminars on topics such as how to cross musical boundaries.
April through September / Based in the Marche region
Music Holiday Italy courses are held at Montemuse, a typical rural farmhouse nestled between the historic hilltop town of Montefalcone and the bustling market town of Comunanza in the Marche region of Italy.
Both 1-week courses and multi-week courses are available. The days are split up into two-hour sessions of tuition and supervised practice with your tutor on a 1-2-1 level. Attendees also have plenty of time to discover the local surroundings and enjoy local food.
4-6 July / Based in St Leonards, New South Wales
Suitable for 9–16-year-olds. This fun, educational camp includes lessons on improvising jazz, how to play in a jazz ensemble, how to ‘jam’ in a group, plus other masterclasses that will be announced closer to the time. It’s a non-residential camp from 9.30-4.30 each day.
Inside Pianist 125, we talk to three seasoned attendees of various summer courses. The trio share their experiences, and give their tips and advice on how to make the most of the experience. Get your copy here, or download the issue directly to your device.