Principal Conductor for 2022: Dan Watson
Professional string, woodwind and brass tutors


“You get the chance to play music you would never play otherwise. Friendly and welcoming; no competitiveness; some seriously great musicians; tuition first class: what’s not to like?”
– 2018 Symphony Orchestra member

“I can leave the rest of my life behind and spend one week of the year playing music.” – 2019 course member

We welcome Dan Watson as conductor for 2022. Dan has chosen a challenging and varied programme and – in contrast to the Sinfonietta – players will travel further east in Europe, with additional excursions to North Africa and ancient Iraq, with little-known pieces by Saint-Saëns and Rimsky-Korsakov contrasting with relatively familiar works.

Players will work closely with our tutors in sectional rehearsals, whilst full rehearsals vary between works for the final concert and “discovery” sessions; a chance to work on new pieces under expert tutelage.

String and woodwind players from the two orchestras also get opportunities through the week to work with tutors on specific ensemble repertoire. String sessions are co-ordinated by Steve Bingham, and woodwind by Graham Dolby, and the ensembles get a chance to showcase their work in the Ensembles Concert. There will be specific programmed rehearsal sessions for Symphony Orchestra strings and Symphony Orchestra woodwind. These sessions are tutor-led and will explore repertoire chosen to suit each ensemble. They also provide an opportunity to work on some of the specific skills needed to work as an instrumental section. Brass players – not to be left out – have their own ensemble sessions and concert.

In addition to timetabled sessions, there are opportunities during the week to form ad hoc ensembles, and members are encouraged to bring sets of music for that purpose as these are not generally provided by the summer school. Members may also participate in the full range of optional activities, including with the choir and in the Members’ Concert.

The final concert’s programme will be chosen during the week, but is likely to include some or all of the Mussorgsky, plus one or more of the other works.

2022 repertoire:

  • Mussorgsky (arr. Ravel) – Pictures at an Exhibition [parts]
  • Verdi – Overture to Nabucco [parts]
  • Saint-Saëns – Suite Algérienne [parts]
  • Smetana – Die Moldau [parts]
  • Rimsky-Korsakov – Fantasia on Serbian Themes [parts]

This course is intended for instrumentalists of a standard equivalent to Grade 8 or higher, but applications from string players of a slightly lower standard than that, who have good orchestral experience, will be considered.

>> Places for some instruments are limited – Apply Now!