Loading Events

Debussy 3-day course with Paul Roberts – Upper Intermediate to Diploma – waiting list

3 May @ 10:00 am - 5 May @ 3:30 pm

We are thrilled to be welcoming concert pianist, writer, lecturer, teacher and leading authority in Debussy Paul Roberts to lead this 3-day course.

Paul Roberts is an exceptional musician, a fine and deeply sensitive pianist, teacher and an author of the greatest distinction. His books on Debussy and Ravel are quite simply the most outstanding and perceptive I have read. ~ Bryce Morrison

Debussy’s piano music is notable for the vividly descriptive titles he added to the pieces. How can thinking about these titles add to our understanding of the music, and indeed to our ability to perform it? The range is wide, from images of moonlight and water, to slapstick entertainment and ragtime; from the songs and dances of Spain and Italy, to humorous and touching tales of childhood; from poetry and folklore, to the art and culture of the ancient world. In his workshops Paul Roberts will reveal Debussy’s imaginative world and explore the enigma of Debussy and impressionism.

I applaud this generously illustrated book, Images, which is a significant contribution to our understanding of the literary and artistic influences on Debussy’s piano works. This is a task that few pianists would be up to. ~ Charles Timbrell

Each day will begin with an interactive workshop, led by Paul. Afternoons are spent exploring and enjoying each other’s repertoire, applying new gained knowledge, and confidence, in performance classes – as well as some private practice!

Repertoire suggestions are (but by no means excluded to):

Upper Intermediate
  • Reverie
  • Clair de lune
  • La fille au cheveux de lin
  • Bruyère
  • Selected pieces from Children’s Corner
Advanced and beyond
  • Selected pieces from Children’s Corner
  • Le sérénade interrompue
  • Puerta del Vino
  • Soirée dans Grenade

In between the workshop and performance class sessions, there will be time for private practice on one of our beautiful grand pianos. During these sessions, Paul will give one-to-one lessons on our new Steinway to provide individual pointers and tips.

A highlight of any Finchcocks weekend is seeing our tutor in action. Guests will enjoy a private salon-style recital entitled Cross Currents of France and Spain in which Paul will also include some Spanish music by Falla and Albeniz and show how Debussy’s piano music draws on these influences.

Guests will also:

  • Have the chance to play in and observe two performance masterclasses.
  • Will receive a one-to-one lesson with Paul.
  • 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 Paul.
  • 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.

Pianist, writer, lecturer, inspiring teacher – and a leading authority on the music of Debussy and Ravel – Paul Roberts has earned the admiration of audiences, critics and fellow professionals world wide. ‘Paul Roberts’ master classes and public lectures immerse the listeners in a magical world of images and ideas .  . . His communicative abilities, whether as performer, writer or teacher, are without equal,’  wrote Harold Gray, the founder of Portland Piano International, and director until his retirement in 2013. Invited every year to the summer festival of Portland Piano International since its inception in 1999, Paul Roberts has established a unique profile in Portland, where he regularly performs, gives master classes and private tuition.

In Europe Paul Roberts is the artistic director of the international summer school for pianists Music at Chateau d’Aix, in southern France. In July 2021, and again in 2022, he was invited to give a week of master classes and a lecture recitals at the International Piano Foundation Theo and Petra Lieven in Vienna. His new book Reading Franz Liszt was published in June 2022 and launched at the London Piano Festival in October, where he gave a lecture recital on Liszt’s Petrarch Sonnets. His acclaimed Reflections: The Piano Music of Maurice Ravel (Amadeus, 2012) followed his first two books: a biography Debussy (Phaidon, 2008) and Images: The Piano Music of Claude Debussy (Amadeus, 1996). Images has become a seminal text on the subject. ‘It is a complete picture of Debussy’s poetic world,’ Richard Goode has written, ‘and is one of the few indispensable books on music that I know.

Recordings include two discs of Debussy’s piano music and his most recent Ravel & Liszt. ‘Roberts doesn’t play like an Englishman,’ wrote a critic for BBC Music Magazine on the release of his first Debussy disc. ‘Space, concentration and fire take their turns in this fine start to a Debussy cycle. He characterises directly and, at speed, fiercely. In slower music there is unhurried poise and fluidity.’

Among extensive appearances throughout the United States, Paul Roberts has been a guest of the Juilliard School in New York, the Peabody Institute, the Golandsky Institute, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the University of Washington and Portland Piano International. He has presented at the International Keyboard Institute and Festival in New York.

His sensitive approach to the sublime music of Debussy and Ravel, and his illuminating explanations of the relationship between the two composers and their music, were utterly fascinating. Roberts seems to give each piece precisely the perspective it wants, with particular emphasis on expressivity and clarity.. . . It was easily one of the best recitals I’ve been to this year, and I could have listened for another hour. ~ – Brett Campbell, Oregon Arts Watch

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

Scotney bedroom

    3-day courses

    from £825 (inclusive of accommodation, food, wine and tuition)

    Start: 3 May @ 10:00 am
    End: 5 May @ 3:30 pm