Berkhamsted Group | 15.11.2016

Valuable Masterclass could be ‘instrumental’ to the progress of Berkhamsted pianists

Valuable Masterclass could be ‘instrumental’ to the progress of Berkhamsted pianists

Edmund Wilson (Year 12), Ben Howell (Year 10) and Joe Beadle (Year 11), took part in the recent music masterclass amongst other advanced pianists. 

The internationally renowned pianist, accompanist and chamber musician Michael Dussek has provided inspiration and tuition for Berkhamsted School’s most advanced pianists. 

Edmund, one of the School’s most accomplished musicians has played cello for 10 years, piano for eight, as well as the electric guitar for the last seven years.  In the workshop Edmund focused on the Prelude and Fugue in C Minor by composer and musician Johann Sebastian Bach. 

The performance techniques that the group developed included the different types of articulation a pianist can use. On reflection of the masterclass, Edmund said, “The subtleties of articulation and tone are fine shades of grey in piano playing, and this was the principle theme of our learning in Michael Dussek’s masterclass. 

“The process of understanding a composer’s music and exploring its possibilities is a fulfilling and an emotional experience. It was a thoroughly enjoyable masterclass for Ben, Joe and me. 

“It was inspirational for us to work with a musician of Mr Dussek’s international acclaim. Not only will we benefit from refining our piano skills, but also the passion and feeling with which he played and encouraged us will have a lasting effect on our performances.”

Ben Noithip, Director of Co-Curricular Music was delighted that Michael Dussek, who is also the head piano accompaniment at the Royal Academy of Music, was able to visit to the school. He said “The sessions highlighted why Michael is considered a highly inspirational coach and each of the students involved were challenged to think about both technical and expressive aspects of their performance.”

With the boys’ performances in the House Music Competition and the Music Scholars’ Concert already drawing acclaim this term, the next event in the school music calendar is the St Cecilia’s Day Concert on Tuesday 22nd November.  Performances will include major ensembles such as Orchestra, String Orchestra, Junior Girls’ Choir, Senior Choir, Big Band and Barbershop, as well as a preview of the Senior Musical ‘Grease’. 

Later this term many of the students involved in the workshop will be taking Grade 8 piano including Ben Howell, followed by Edmund Wilson next term. Joe Beadle is taking LTCL Diploma in December.

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