What a joy to spend an entire week playing cello music! This surely is one of the greatest sets of repertoire there is – composers over the centuries have clearly responded to the richness and intensity of what this instrument offers. Sue Lowe's Cello Gathering courses (known as the Gathering of the Clans!) have built a superb reputation over the years, and manage to offer just the right help and inspiration to all the cellists, whether they are at school, at university, at music college, or out in the world! As a team with the wonderful other pianists, John Thwaites and JP Ekins, our responsibility was to play for the eight or nine hours of open masterclasses each day, with incredibly inspiring teaching by Pierre Doumenge and Sandy Baillie. Alongside this we rehearsed with and coached the cellists on the wide range of repertoire they had with them (from Haydn to Elgar to Brahms to Rachmaninov to Barber to Shostakovich… and with a good dose of the current Grade 8 set pieces amongst those at school!). They also received private lessons from a varied faculty of teachers (Sue Lowe, Anna Shuttleworth, Matthew Lowe), baroque input from Charles Medlam, classes with William Bruce, and Alexander Technique from Vivien Mackie and Clare Finzi, all in the stunning setting of Bryanston School. Many congratulations to Sue on running such a successful course yet again.
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