Last week was a busy one for us here at Finchcocks, hosting two fantastic course for advanced and lower intermediate pianists. Much music was played, refined and enjoyed by guests in the beautiful surroundings of Finchcocks and the early promise of spring with the February heatwave. Here’s a look into what took place on our Advanced course with Graham Fitch, David Hall and Lucinda Mackworth-Young…
A brief summary
The course was structured for advanced players and catered specifically to the needs of those who attended. Guests enjoyed performance masterclasses with both Graham and David, each with a different approach to analysis and practice approach. Lucinda delivered a fascinating workshop on performance psychology and anxiety with very practical solutions to performance preparation. Graham dedicated two sessions to practice strategies, as well as a style masterclass on Baroque, Classical and Romantic performance techniques.
On the second day, guests worked on improving their sightreading skills with David in preparation for an evening workshop on how to accompany. It was a very special and musical end to the day with an open fire, a glass of wine and David and Jenny, the course host, taking it in turns to be accompanied on their respective solo instruments.
The last day saw David give a theoretical and practical introduction to jazz piano. We had great fun learning to improvise as a soloist and in pairs. Over the course of the three days, everyone benefited from a one-to-one lesson from Graham. They also had plenty of time for private practice and to try out all the grand pianos, some guests even getting up for a pre-breakfast tinkle of the ivories! Looking back, I don’t know how we fitted it all in: a truly immersive and thorough course, accompanied with some truly delicious food and wine!
Here is some of the repertoire we got to enjoy over the three days. Perhaps it gives you an idea of what to prepare if you’re considering an advanced course yourself!
- Intermezzo in A Op. 118 No. 2 (Brahms)
- Berceuse (Chopin)
- Rosemary (Bridge)
- Sonata in B minor K27 (Scarlatti)
- Sonata in A major, 1st mvt K331 (Mozart)
- Op. 23 Prelude V1 Eb major (Rachmaninoff)
- Capriccio No. 1 in F# minor op. 76 (Brahms)
- Nocturne in F# minor op. 48 No.2 (Chopin)
- Romanse (Shostakovich)
- Poem (Fibich)
- Tango in D (Albeniz)
- Por una cabeze (Gardel)
- Sonate-Elegie Op. 11 No.2 (Medtner)
- Marchen-Sonate Op. 25 No.1 2nd mvt (Medtner)
- Prelude Op. 34 No.21 (Shostakovitch)
- Sonata in Bb D.960 1st mvt (Schubert)
Like the sound of an Advanced course? Some spaces are still available on our newly released course on the 7th-9th June with Andrew Dunlop. We are also running a 5-day summer school with Graham Fitch and Penelope Roskell, and another with President of the World Piano Teachers Association and Steinway artist Vedrana Subotic.