undefinedBritish pianist Stephen  Gutman has performed in the Royal Festival Hall, the Wigmore Hall, Carnegie Weill Hall in New York, Ueno Bunka Keikan in Tokyo, and throughout Europe

Anyone who enjoys playing music from the French repertoire, this course is a must!


Resident: £320 Non-Resident: £232 (25% off for under 27s) Code: 22/R05

Booking for Members opens at 11am on Monday 23 August 2021.

Non-Member and online booking opens at 11am on Monday 20 September 2021.

For details on how to become a Member to take advantage of early booking, see here.

What is the course about?

Stephen Gutman returns to Benslow Music for another journey through the world of French piano music. Participants are asked to bring along two or three pre-prepared pieces from the repertoire to work on during the course. Stephen will offer invaluable advice and insight on how to pace, pedal and generally colour your performances of Debussy, Ravel, Satie, Messiaen and the rest in a mutually supportive class environment. If you are unsure of what to prepare for your level, a list of suggested repertoire can be provided in advance. There will also be an opportunity to play duets.

Tutor website: www.stephengutman.co.uk

What will we cover?

Examination of the various composers including their historical context, and their particular defining characteristics. Insights into pacing, pedalling and colouring the pieces. Suggestions for fingering. Help with general technical issues of piano playing. A chance to play duets with the other participants.

What will we accomplish? By the end of this course you will be able to…

By the end of this course you can expect to have a deeper understanding of the particular repertoire you have brought and how to play it. Listening to other people will give you ideas and inspiration for tackling new works and a considerably increased knowledge of the French repertoire in general. You will have had the opportunity to gain insights into how to approach with confidence the structure and performance of this repertoire. There will be guidance for further reading and listening.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

Confident, Skilful

How will the course be taught, and will any preparation be required?

There will be a short opening discussion on French piano music followed by a lecture-recital given by the tutor which will introduce a particular work. The main body of the course consists of three or more individual lessons given by the tutor on the pieces each participant has prepared in advance. Advice from the tutor will be carefully tailored for each student.  All participants are encouraged to follow the score being played during the lesson (scores will be provided). There will be the opportunity for general discussion. A later session of the course will be devoted to playing suitable duets provided by the tutor. Participants are also welcome to bring their own French duets. The final session is a final informal concert which includes both solos and duets. 

Will music be provided in advance of the course?

Participants should bring their own copies of the music which they intend to play on the course. A list of the complete repertoire being brought by everyone will be provided by Benslow Music in advance. Participants are invited to bring their own copies of those pieces too. Copies will be also be provided by the tutor.

What previous participants said about this course…

“Excellent course on French piano music with an authority on the repertoire and related performance practice.”

“Stephen was very sympathetic to everyone's needs, and ensured that we all, got something out of the course, regardless of ability/standard.”

“Very helpful tutorials and fun to play new duets.”