Our course grew this year! We had a great many more enquiries and eventually rather more students on the Lythe Chamber Music Course 2015 in the beautiful North York Moors. As well as graduates of the GSMD, Trinity, Boston Conservatoire, Birmingham Conservatoire, Royal Welsh College and Royal Academy of Music, we had some current students from Bristol University, Sheffield University and Oxford University. Three students from 2014 came back for more! Keyboards, clarinets, bassoons….. lots of interest in discovering how to approach early repertoires on copies of historical originals, and (judging from the feedback) already lots of food for thought in applying these new skills in modern playing.
This year we had to expand into three spaces, now including the local School, allowing a number of parallel sessions. There were also daily lunchtime Performance Platforms, allowing performance opportunities for ‘work in progress’ with valuable and constructive feedback from fellow student and tutors.
There were three concerts at the Alan Davies Stained Glass Gallery (a beautiful intimate space for Bach’s French Suites); the Turnstone Gallery, Sandsend (seeing two world debuts: (i) Johannes Secker’s new Italian Virginals, copied from a 1586 original; and (ii) Jane’s Booth’s appearance as a continuo player on the Basson de Chalumeau – possibly the only one of its kind in the UK presently); and St Oswald’s, Lythe, setting for a very high-quality student concert closing the course.
Tutors Jane Booth (clarinets), James Brookmyre (recorders), John Irving (keyboards) and Johannes Secker (keyboard manufacture and maintenance) were joined this year by Dr Peter Bullett (Course Accompanist) and legendary baroque oboist Anthony Robson who came to give a wonderful afternoon Masterclass for all the students on Baroque interpretation.
Many thanks of course to the Lythe Early Music Performance Group committee; the Normanby Trust (this year we were delighted to see Lord & Lady Normanby at one of our concerts); and above all, Johannes Secker, whose wonderful keyboard instruments (fortepiano, harpsichord, clavichord, virginals…) make the course possible. We’re already planning 2016…