undefinedJulia Bishop

An increasingly popular course for those interested in Baroque performance practice using modern instruments. Three experienced tutors in strings, wind and keyboard guide the course in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere!


Resident: £572 Non-Resident: £435 (25% off for under 27s) Code: 24/340

Booking for Members opens at 11am on Wednesday 28 February 2024

Non-Member and online booking opens at 11am on Wednesday 20 March 2024

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

What is the course about?

Come and explore the mouth-watering temptations of the 'Baroque Buffet', sampling delicious repertoire for permutations of strings and wind, and finding out about ‘le bon goût’ along the way! This is your chance to explore drama, affect, rhetoric, exuberance, good manners (and possibly bad), passion and daring... to name but a few characteristics of this extraordinary period of music and artistic history. Stimulate your musical taste buds through fleeting encounters with strangers or old friends guided by our tutors. This is guaranteed to be fun, challenging and hopefully satiating!

PLEASE NOTE that, as a change from previous years, this course will centre entirely on orchestral playing – see details below!  We will be playing at A=440.

This year we are recruiting for violins, violas, cellos, flutes, recorders, oboes, bassoons and keyboard instruments. We may be able to accommodate other instruments but will refer you to the tutors before accepting your booking.

Tutor websites:

Julia: www.juliabishopviolin.com

Sophie: www.parnassianensemble.com

David: www.duodorado.co.uk

What will we cover?

We look at the works of many of the popular composers of the day, and also some of their lesser-known contemporaries, comparing the Italian, German and French styles and exploring Baroque rhetoric, gesture and articulation.

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

Our aim is for participants to come away from the course feeling they have gained in confidence in their own playing, also playing with others and furthering their knowledge of this period of music, whilst meeting new and like-minded people in the process!

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

The ability to reasonably sight-read a standard 17th or 18th century work, eg a Handel concerto grosso.  Good basic rhythmical ability required.  A rudimentary knowledge of figured bass is needed for keyboard players as there are frequently no piano reductions available in the repertoire that we will be playing.

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

During the course, participants will be coached all together as one orchestra comprising strings, winds and harpsichord (NB the repertoire will not include brass instruments). The tutors will coach 12 sessions in total with half of the sessions as tutti orchestra, half as sectionals which will allow more detailed tuition on the individual instruments.  The afternoons will be free for participants to enjoy informal, untutored chamber music either in a pre-formed group or with others on the course.  No preparation is required!

Will music be provided in advance of the course?

The joy of the ‘Baroque buffet’ is the very wide choice of music which will be available for people to try in their informal chamber groups.  We will provide all the music for the orchestral sessions and will issue a list of repertoire nearer the time for people to have a sneak preview on IMSLP if they would like!  However, we would ask that on the course the music provided is used by everyone as this means we know that editions, bar-numbering etc will be uniform!

Is there anything I need to bring?

For the string players please bring a Baroque bow if you have one, though some are provided too.

What previous participants said about this course…

“An opportunity to play baroque music in a chamber orchestra, as well as sessions in smaller groups to work on quartets etc of own choosing. Support given to find groups and music.”

“Excellent in all respects.”

“Excellent choice of music - varied and appropriate to the composition of groups. First class tuition from all tutors. It was good to work on both instrumental technique and interpretation of the music. We were fortunate to be working with skilled professionals who were nevertheless prepared to teach enthusiastic amateurs at a level appropriate to all, creating an encouraging and safe atmosphere in which all could learn. I very much appreciated the tutors' tolerance and good humour.”

“Lots of interesting, unfamiliar music to choose from for chamber sessions, that was at a suitable level. We got lots of attention from the tutors.”