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5-day Advanced course with Florian Mitrea

28 June 2023 @ 10:30 am - 2 July 2023 @ 3:30 pm
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Florian Mitrea headshot

We know advanced pianists will be absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to spend five days learning from and being inspired by the inimitable Florian Mitrea. Below, he describes his plan for the Finchcocks 2023 summer school course for advanced pianists.

Our 5-day courses are a well established highlight of the Finchcocks calendar. To ensure a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere, places are open to those who have attended at least one weekend Finchcocks course previously.

“I am hoping to offer you a comprehensive course that will give you an holistic perspective over your development as a pianist, and highlight key aspects that must be addressed, and options on how to deal with them.

We will start by looking at practical issues – learning to decipher the music that we study by decoding the written score, finding concrete ways of bringing to live during performances all the written signs and indications, and also by looking at how the broader context of each composition determines its spirit, and finding ways to interpret that as a key towards to heart of the music. I am hoping to inspire you to achieve this in a vivid and living way, not as a dry act of decryption.

We will move on to discussing how to organise your learning best, making sure that you are taking care of your technical development, with ideas of how to achieve this through as varied means as possible (involving exercises, etudes, and carefully selected pieces that will gently stretch your ability), as well as accumulating repertoire, and fundamentally, getting to learn the music that you love and cherish.

We will study Beethoven simply because he started a tradition of music notation. Understanding his language will unlock for us the ability to understand almost all composers that followed him. We will then be discussing the concept of ‘the composer’s intentions’. Following my presenting some arguments, involving historical and practical facts, I look forward to this becoming a free discussion, in which we all share our views towards this controversial topic.

The time we spend at the piano is very precious and limited, so we need to make the best use of it. During our third workshop, I am keen to offer you a potential studying structure, leading to more efficient learning. Whilst I cannot promise to offer a solution out of the necessity to practise consistently, I believe I can propose healthy learning mechanisms and practice methods that will not only lead you to the desired result more quickly, but will also make practising fun, exciting, and interesting.

Towards the end of the course, we will be delving into the wider topic of how to progress, how to choose appropriate repertoire for each stage of our development, and how to move away from the clearly structured environment of grade examinations in a carefully controlled manner, avoiding learning random pieces that may not be suitable for your goals.

Finally, I would love to share my take on the idea of nerves and performance anxiety. I have done battle with this for years now and, in the process, I have acquired concrete techniques that have helped me cope and regain my confidence. I believe you may also find these helpful, and the workshop will involve both a lecture/presentation, and some quick exercises to get you going.

All this of course will be the backdrop for our daily masterclasses and lessons. I look forward to us working together on the music that you are learning, and I will tailor my teaching to whatever stage of learning you are at, regardless of whether you are just starting out on a new piece of music, or whether you are getting ready for a forthcoming piano group performance, an informal concert, or an examination. The key to this course will be our shared love for music and for life-long learning. With this in mind, I look forward to an exciting and galvanising week.”

Like our weekend courses, formal tuition takes place in workshops, performance classes and one-to-one lessons.

This courses focuses will be:

  • Workshop 1: Discovering the language of Beethoven – Beethoven started a tradition of notating music that has perpetuated to our days. Analysing in depth how to bring to live a Beethoven score will unlock our capacity to understand and learn almost all music written after him.
  • Workshop 2: The composer’s intentions – What are they? Can we really know them? Do we have a duty to follow them?
  • Workshop 3: Learning to learn – a closer look at the process of taking a piece from scratch to performance-ready level; looking at gaining healthy learning habits and making our practising more efficient.
  • Workshop 4: Life beyond the grades – what does one do after Grade 8? How do we go forward, how do we choose which pieces to learn? Diplomas – any point in taking them? Finding a balanced way of keeping music as part of our lives, and most importantly, keeping progressing in our musicianship level beyond the structured environment of the grades.
  • Workshop 5: Responding to nerves – learning key techniques for dealing with crippling nerves.
Man sitting at Steinway piano listening to tutor

As usual, everyone will have access to their own grand piano for the week including our new Steinway, and have plenty of time to practise in our vaulted piano cellar.

We’ll also have a bit of fun! We’ll explore the private gardens at Finchcocks, experience a local wine tasting, be able to go for beautiful Kentish countryside walks to Scotney castle and enjoy a session or two in the family’s new heated swimming pool, weather permitting.

Scotney bedroom

And of course, it goes without saying that you can expect the usual!

Guests will:

  • Have the chance to play in and observe multiple performance masterclasses.
  • Will receive one-to-one lessons with Florian.
  • Enjoy access to play on our 9 grand pianos anytime between 7am and 8pm. (There are enough pianos to go round that everyone can play a piano at any given time.)
  • Experience a salon-style concert performed by Florian exclusively for guests.
  • Have the chance to take part in a recital on the Bosendorfer in the main hall of the family home.
  • Join and socialise with a group 8 fellow piano enthusiasts during lunch and dinner.
  • Dine in style with lunches and three course dinners prepared by our fabulous chef.
  • Experience the Finchcocks bubble, hailed as a “paradise for pianists” by BBC Music Magazine and stay in a grade 1 listed country manor.

Plus ones are very welcome on our courses, with a room surcharge dependant on whether they are a playing or non-playing guest. Please ask for further details.

Food at Finchcocks

This is a unique, luxury UK-based piano gem and an experience that you won’t forget anytime soon. Many guests continue friendships made on these courses, encouraging each other on in the piano playing on Whatsapp, organising private piano meet ups further down the line… and bumping into each other again on future courses!

For booking enquiries, please contact Jenny on 01580 428080 or fill in the form below.

Saturday recital

5 day courses

from £1400 (inclusive of accommodation, tuition and all food and wine)


    Start: 28 June 2023 @ 10:30 am
    End: 2 July 2023 @ 3:30 pm