West Dean College: Chilingirian String Ensemble Course

The celebrated Chilingirian Quartet return to West Dean College of Arts and Conservation for their annual course. All quartets or ensembles enjoy the idyllic and relaxing surroundings, which make this a perfect setting for ensemble coaching, masterclasses, informal performance and collaborative playing sessions.

This inspirational course offers the opportunity for music student graduates, student or amateur quartets or ensembles to work closely with each of the Chilingirian Quartet. Each group selects a repertoire of their own choice to work on, benefitting from at least two intensive daily coaching sessions each day. Groups can also participate in informal masterclass, performance and collaborative ensemble playing sessions. The course starts after lunch on the first day and ends after an informal student concert on the final afternoon.

Since its first year in 1983, many students have benefitted from the immersive and supportive learning experience offered by this course. Many have used the course as a final preparation for an important performance, international competition or concert engagement. A maximum of six string quartets or ensembles are accepted to the course each year. Bursaries are available to support music students or early-career professional musicians.

Each of the participating ensembles benefits from:

Concentrated study and daily coaching sessions, with tutors
A dedicated practice room allocated to their quartet or ensemble for the week
An informal performance opportunity
Collaborative ensemble playing sessions in the evenings with tutors and/or other students.

The Chilingirian Quartet are one of the world’s most celebrated and widely travelled ensembles renowned for their thrilling and authoritative interpretations of the great quartets and commanding performances of the contemporary repertoire.

Levon Chilingirian (violin), Mark Butler (violin), Susie Mészáros (viola) and Stephen Orton (cello) are highly accomplished musicians, and blend four distinct voices into a single extraordinary sound; their performances are frequently acclaimed by the critics. They are also respected teachers, leading masterclasses at many universities in the UK and around the world.

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