We are very excited to welcome British classical concert pianist and composer Beatrice Nicholas for a weekend of musical exploration, inspiration and discussion on the theme of Black Renaissance Music for piano.
Beatrice enjoys an international career as a solo concert pianist, performing works by Bach through to the present day, with notable performances at Wigmore Hall, the Royal Festival Hall and Royal Opera House. Alongside this – and composing – she loves collaborative work with chamber ensembles and The British Black Classical Foundation, which tackles the lack of ethnic diversity in the classical arts and represents and works in communities of colour throughout the UK and beyond.
Included in her repertoire, are many works by female composers of the Chicago Black Renaissance and music by British composer Hannah Kendall, whose piece ‘Processional’ depicts the Montgomery to Selma Civil Rights march.
On this course Beatrice has selected a repertoire of mixed ability (intermediate – advanced) music by black female composers to explore and prepare in advance.
Suggested repertoire (to choose from):
Click the links below to access sheet music. All music can be heard on YouTube.
- The Valley of Bones from the Spiritual Suite by Margaret Bonds (Contact Finchcocks to purchase)
- Autumn Dance from Four Seasonal Sketches by Betty Jackson King.
- Winter Holiday from Four Seasonal Sketches by Betty Jackson King.
- Fantasie Negre No.2 by Florence Price (Contact Finchcocks to purchase)
- Clouds by Florence Price (Contact Finchcocks to purchase)
- Summer Interlude from Four Seasonal Sketches by Betty Jackson King.
- Troubled Water from the Spiritual Suite by Margaret Bonds (Available at Westminster Music Library)
Workshop titles will include:
The Art of Spiritual Song in Black Renaissance Piano Music
Many Black Renaissance composers laid traditional or newly composed Spirituals in the foundations of their compositions. In this session we will learn how to make the piano sing within the African-American style that is so often merged with Western piano techniques from the Romantic era
Jazz Styles and Techniques that influenced Black Renaissance Music
An opportunity to explore the jazz styles and techniques that influenced the work of many Black Renaissance composers. This exploration will help you bring freedom and authenticity to your performances of these works.
In between the workshop and masterclass sessions there will be time for private practise on one of our beautiful grand pianos. During these sessions, Beatrice will give one-to-one lessons on our new Steinway to provide individual pointers and tips.
Guests will also:
- Have the chance to play in and observe two performance masterclasses.
- Will receive a one-to-one lesson with Beatrice.
- 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 private accompanied talk for course participants in the main hall of the family home, performed by Beatrice.
- 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.
Beatrice Nicholas is a captivating Pianist whose performances are full of imagination, freedom and beauty. She plays solo repertoire ranging from Bach to the present day and has performed in the UK’s leading venues. Her music engagements take her around the UK, Germany, Poland, Thailand and the Czech Republic. Notable venues have included the Royal Festival Hall, Wigmore Hall, Royal Opera House, London Coliseum, Berlin Konzerthaus, Sadler’s Wells Theater, Leeds Town Hall and Snape Maltings.
As well as being a solo artist, Beatrice enjoys collaborative work with a variety of opera singers and instrumentalists. She has strong links to the world of dance and has played for the Birmingham Royal Ballet, Royal Ballet and for the English National Ballet companies. Beatrice is also a composer and arranger who has received commissions from the Creative Minds Festival, Nottingham Chamber Music Festival, Dark Design Graphics Company and been showcased by the British Black Classical Foundation as a featured composer for Black History Month 2021.
Beatrice, born in England, was admitted to the Junior Department of the Royal College of Music at fourteen years old. She studied solo piano with Danielle Salamon, composition with David Sutton Anderson and received additional teaching from composer Paul Patterson at the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain Composer’s Course. During her time at the Junior Department Beatrice won the institution’s major prizes for piano and represented the Department as a composer. At eighteen years Beatrice went to the Royal Academy of Music, studying piano with Patsy Toh, composition with Elena Langer, and won the Royal Academy of Music’s Eric Brough Memorial Prize for Piano. She continued her training with concert pianists Michael Endres and Susanne Gruetzman at the Hanns Eisler Music Academy in Berlin. Beatrice believes that music is a powerful tool of communication and enjoys using it to lift and engage the human heart.
For booking enquiries, please contact us on 01580 428080 or fill in the form below.