Workshop and masterclass in Cambridge University – 25 January 2011

AAM Chief Executive Michael Garvey writes:

“As if three sold-out concerts in Munich, Cambridge and London weren’t enough for four days in the life of the AAM, today we embark on a brand new area of activity that we have never attempted before. I sit writing this in West Road Concert Hall in the heart of Cambridge University; Richard Egarr, absolutely in his element, stands in front of me on the stage teaching a combined group of AAM players and students from the Music Faculty’s period instrument orchestra Collegium Musicum. This side-by-side training session is part of a ‘Practising performance’ day that the AAM has co-curated with Margaret Faultless, the Music Faculty’s Director of Performance Studies, and it brings established AAM players alongside the next generation of orchestral musician in a collaborative environment to learn from and meet each other, and to work together on JS Bach’s Orchestral Suite No.1.


A discussion amongst the players

This morning Steven Isserlis took a break from the project on which he is working with us at the moment (performing music by JS Bach’s sons), to lead a masterclass for University students: a string quartet, piano trio and piano quintet. The difference his comments and advice made on the student’s playing was dramatic and gave them an insight into his incredible understanding of music and performance. Something they’ll remember for many years to come in their playing careers no doubt.

The AAM is Cambridge University’s orchestra-in-residence, and today’s work demonstrates the versatility of our musicians. Last night they played at their standard standard – world class, of course, and to a very appreciative audience. And today they have readily slipped into teaching and sharing mode, coaching the University’s students, revealing to them insights into Bach’s music that come from years of expertise and experience. What a fantastic opportunity for all to work together and learn from each other. This is a first step for the AAM, but the thing about first steps is that they are always followed by second and third steps and onwards. I can’t wait for this journey to continue – do join us so that you can enjoy it as well !”

One comment

  1. I enthusiastically agree with this having been present as an observer and overheard comments from the students about how much they learnt, enjoyed and progressed from this initial experiment. Perhaps the most significant moment was watching an AAM player offer his instrument and bow to the student beside him and watch her enjoyement as she adjusted to the difference required in her touch and playing.

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