3 August 2015
From 4-19 July I attended the Estivo Chamber Music Summer School, a newly established initiative by the Sydney Conservatorium partnered with the Verona Conservatorium whereby around 40 students are selected through a competitive process to participate in two weeks of intensive chamber music-based tutorials and concerts in Verona, Italy.
Students auditioned in their nominated chamber groups; I have formed a trio with Victor Avila (Violin, 4th year at the Con) and William Raftery (Cello, 2nd year at the Con) (St Veaux Trio). As part of the summer school we were tutored on and performed Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio in D minor and Beethoven’s Piano Trio Op.97 (‘The Archduke’).
Our tutors included people from the Con as well as guests from Europe: Georg Pederson (cello lecturer at the Sydney Con), Jorg Fassmann (violin lecturer at the Hochschule für Musik “Carl Maria von Weber”, Dresden) and Christian Wilm Müller (piano professor at the Franz Liszt School of Music, Weimar).
It was a wonderful but tiring experience playing together 6 hours a day (3 hours of tutorials and a further 3 hours of practice and rehearsal time). The tutors were insightful and we became much more cohesive and aware of each other as a group. In total we performed two concerts, one trio per concert. The concerts were held in local Verona venues; churches or small halls, and also at the Verona Conservatorium itself. The concerts were very well attended by the local Veronese community.
Following the summer school I went to Berlin where I had organised a private lesson with Birgitta Wollenweber, the current head of piano at the Hans Eisler Hochschule für Musik in Berlin. It went very well and she said she would like to meet again and we had a discussion about opportunities for completing a Masters in Germany.