There can be few things more inspiring that having an world-famous virtuoso violinist as your desk partner! This was the case for one of our young players, taking part in a workshop at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama on 13th October.
We were delighted to be able to take a group of young musicians on a trip from Bath to Cardiff to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity. The students took part in ensemble rehearsals and sectionals with Nicola Benedetti, Leonard Elschenbroich and a team of coaches from RWCMD, including cellist Alice Neary, violist Laura Sinnerton and violinist Cerys Jones.
During the morning 'Benedetti Basics' session, Nicky spent a whole hour working on how to stand/ sit in a balanced way, and how to hold the instrument and bow with complete relaxation. She emphasised the importance of constantly going back to these basics, even as we become more advanced players. The teachers in the room were delighted to have this message reinforced by a player of such stature! The young musicians then studied two recently composed works: Blue Grit by David Le Page and Perpetuum Mobile by Julian Winn. All of our players showed incredible focus, and despite the long day, came away enthused and 'buzzing' from the event.
The following day, we congregated again in Bath to take part in two sessions of chamber music, with four differentiated groups studying quartets, trios and duets, with multiple players per part. Below is a small sample of what one group produced after only an hour and a half's rehearsal. It was a truly inspiring weekend. Nicola Benedetti is a passionate educator whose wisdom had a great impact on us all. Amongst many wise words, the following stood out: