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Practising Performance series

Masterclasses and performance workshops

Masterclasses offer students an invaluable insight into the musicianship, performance skills and technical expertise of some of the world’s most celebrated performers. Participants and listeners find the experience inspirational and stimulating, both musically and intellectually.

Performance students are able to attend public and internal masterclasses in addition to regular performance workshops run by the Director of Performance, Margaret Faultless and guests.

In the Practising Performance series, the Faculty of Music has hosted classes with Michael Chance, Nicholas Cleobury, Ross Duffin, Richard Egarr, Sir Mark Elder, Ketil Haugsand, Steven Isserlis, Andrew Kennedy, Joanna MacGregor, Nicholas Mulroy, Sir Roger Norrington, Verity Sharp, Jeremy West and many other significant performers.

Collaborations with CMPCP and CRASSH have resulted in masterclasses with Richard Goode, Roy Howat, Yundi Li, Robert Levin and Angela Hewitt.

The 2015/6 series included two workshops for conducting students, singers and instrumentalists with conductor Nicholas Cleobury, and a weekend of conducting workshops designed specifically for young women led by Alice Farnham. The series also included workshops with pianist Andrew West and trombonist John Kenny, and the annual extended session with the Academy of Ancient Music, which this year focused on 17th-century improvisation skills.  The final session in June, was taken by AAM Chief Executive Ed Hossack introducing programming, operations, fundraising and marketing in the arts as part of the new Professional Development series of events.

In the coming year Practising Performance classes will include a conducting workshop by Sian Edwards, an Advanced Performance Techniques class by Sophie Langdon, and a workshop by Steven Devine and Anneke Scott using the Faculty’s 19th-century Erard piano to introduce pianists, singers and brass players curious to explore the sound world of this instrument. It will also be of great interest to singers wishing to develop their knowledge of Leider.


Side-by-side events

These periodic events give select student musicians at Cambridge the chance to gain valuable musical insight by playing ‘side-by-side’ with leading professionals. These events take place each year in collaboration with the Academy of Ancient Music, enhancing students’ understanding of the life of a professional period instrument orchestra and musician. The fact that the AAM’s intimate knowledge of the repertoire and the period-instrument sound world has been passed on to students working alongside AAM players has been a major benefit. Students who have taken part have indicated the value of ‘learning through osmosis’, and when asked to identify the best features of the day, more than one student has responded, ‘Everything’. One student viola player recently commented: ‘Sitting side-by-side with the AAM in an AAMplify workshop was absolutely the best experience of my musical life.

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