Another summer full of magic moments at Belle Serre, lots of hard work, two wonderful concerts, new friendships forged and old ones renewed, barrels and barrels of laughter and of course, local wines – all fuelled by Bob and Rob’s amazing meals. A huge thank you to all the cellists, tutors, cooks and helpers who took part in Cellos at Belle Serre this summer and made it a memorable fortnight of music-making!!
Two fabulous cello courses with two super groups of cellists here at Belle Serre this summer –
You can see all the other course photos here
Here are just a few comments about the courses:
Thank you so much.
Violoncelles à Belle Serre
CONCERTS DE VIOLONCELLES
Mardi 17 juillet 18:00
avec Judith Choi Castro, violon, Willemijn Knödler
et Susan Urbita, violoncelle
Camille Galinier, piano
Vendredi 27 juillet 18:00
avec Mark Lacey, clarinette, Andrew Wilson-Dickson, piano
et Florian Belbeoch, violoncelle
A l’auditorium du Conservatoire de Musique et de Danse
du Tarn, 12 bd Mendès-France, 81100 Castres
Les concerts clôturent les stages intensifs de violoncelle à Belle Serre
dirigés par la soliste internationale Lowri Blake.
Vous entendrez des solos, des trios avec clarinette/violon, violoncelle et piano,
et un ensemble orchestral de violoncelles, interprétés par les stagiaires venus de
Venez participer à cette fête de violoncelles.
Rejoignez-nous à l’issue du concert pour un apéritif.
Autumn 2018 Cello Day in Hampstead, North London – bookings are now open!
The Belle Serre summer cello courses are fast approaching and I’m looking forward to two weeks of study and sun with cellists and tutors from many parts of the globe. In addition to the summer weeks, I’ll be holding another cello workshop and master class in the impressive Free Church in Hampstead, North London this autumn. Its beautiful acoustics and warm ambiance make it a perfect place for a day of cello study and cello fun – do come along!
Cello Workshop and Master Class Day with cellist, teacher and director of Cellos at Belle Serre, Lowri Blake
Saturday 13th October 2018 9.15-5.30pm
at the Free Church, Central Square, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London, NW11 7AG
Come and enjoy an intensive and fun day of cello ensemble playing, a Cello Clinic and an afternoon master class with Lowri Blake. The workshop is for cellists of all levels of experience from approx. Grade 6 up to diploma standard.
Fee for the full cello day’s events: £70 for all activities, as
observer of the master class (£50 FT student), or £90 all activities including performing in the master class (£70 FT student). Payable on the day by cheque or cash.
Contact Lowri at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your place for the cello day, giving details of your musical experience and approximate standard. Early booking is advisable. There are four places for master class participants.
Programme: Saturday 13th October, 9.15am – 5.30pm
09.15 Welcome and registration
09.45 Lowri’s technical warm-up: a very informal group session exploring effective ways to warm up and imaginative ways to practise.
11.00 Coffee break followed by Cello Ensembles: Lowri will direct and play in an ensemble session for all participants. Whatever your level of experience, there will be a part to suit you. We’ll play two or more to a part – safety in numbers! Please let Lowri know your approximate standard. Parts will be sent to you in advance via e mail so that you can practise in advance of the cello day.
13.00 Lunch – please bring a picnic lunch. Tea and coffee will be provided.
14.00 Master class: Lowri will give individual lessons to four cellists and all participants are invited to observe. Lowri’s tip – ‘As a student, I learnt as much, if not more, from watching my fellow cellists’ lessons as from my own. Whether you prefer to perform in the master class or observe, it’s an equally valuable experience.’
Please state in your application if you would like to perform in the master class and what you would like to play (either one piece or a movement from a larger work). Siobhain O’Higgins is our superb pianist for this afternoon class.
16.00 Tea break followed by Polishing and Performance: More cello ensemble time and after some polishing up of our group work, we will round the day off with a short performance for any friends and family who would like to join us. We will finish the cello day at 17.30.
Who is coming?
Lowri welcomes students (16 yrs and over) and amateur cellists of all levels of experience from approximately Grade 6 level up to diploma standard.
What to bring:
Your cello and bow, your spike holder, a music stand, your cello ensemble parts, a piano part if you are performing in the afternoon master class, and a picnic lunch. Tea and coffee will be provided.
How to find the Free Church:
The entrance to the church is in North Square, where there is also on-site free parking. The H2 bus from Golders Green tube station will stop at the Free Church on request.
What a privilege to be a part of a great team of musicians at the International Chamber Music Festival and Academy of Music in Tenerife last week. Huge thanks to the director, violinist Judith Choi Castro for a superb series of concerts and for her brilliant and unflappable organisation of this very happy and successful festival and competition.
We’ll be seeing Judith again later this year when she returns as one of our immensely popular chamber music tutors for the Week 1 course at Cellos at Belle Serre.
More photos here
of the festival and of my sight-seeing day exploring this beautiful island.
There are a couple of places still available for Week 2 (21-28 July) at Belle Serre. The course is open to cellists of approximately ABRSM Grade 8 standard and above, with experience of ensemble playing. Amateurs, students, teachers and performers are all welcome. Cellists this year are coming from Switzerland, Spain, Holland, France, the UK and the USA. Please contact me via this site for more information about the course.
The two summer courses at Belle Serre are almost fully booked but there are still a couple of places left for a wonderful week of intensive, hard-working study in a non-competitive and supportive atmosphere. Come on down to South West France for a cello holiday of a lifetime!
The two courses are for intermediate level players and for more experienced cellists: for amateurs, students, teachers and performers – if you’re not sure which course to apply for, do contact me to discuss which week would suit you best.
It’s a truly action-packed week: our daily schedule includes technique sessions, cello ensembles, trio chamber music with two superb professionals, a cello clinic, master classes, individual and group teaching, and of course some time to practise and time to chill out by the pool or simply saunter round the village or the woods. We’ve also got a baroque afternoon scheduled with our hugely popular visiting experts, Lucy Robinson and Andrew Wilson-Dickson, and in Week 2, we also welcome for the first time Ross Harbaugh from the Frost School of Music in Miami as guest cello tutor, working on how to practise and how to perform.
If you’re looking for maximum cello time and tuition expertise, this is the place to be!
Happy New Year from all of us at Cellos at Belle Serre. We wish you a very happy and successful year ahead, full of joyful music-making.
We’re gearing up here for the July 2018 courses and if you’re planning on joining us for one of the summer weeks, please contact me or complete the online booking form as soon as possible – there are just a few places left!
We have a great team of tutors and a jam-packed week of activities for our Week 1 course (11-18 July). This week is for intermediate players with some experience of playing in ensembles and as a guideline, the level for players on this course is from about Grade 7-8 ABRSM standard and above, up to diploma level.
Whatever your level, there are cello ensemble parts to suit the less experienced as well as the highly experienced, and the beauty of playing trio chamber music with two superb professionals (piano and violin) is that you can really enjoy high quality chamber music at any level of experience!
Join me and my team, cellists Willemijn Knödler and Susan Urbita, pianist Camille Galinier and violinist Judith Choi Castro for a week of intensive study in a relaxed setting. We’ll also have our ever-popular Baroque Day when Lucy Robinson and Andrew Wilson-Dickson join us with Lucy’s consort of viols and Andrew guiding us in the art of playing baroque cello sonatas and continuo.
My Week 2 (21-28 July) tutors are pianist and harpsichordist Andrew Wilson-Dickson, clarinettist Mark Lacey, cellist Florian Belbeoch, another wonderful team to coach us through a great selection of cello ensembles and a fabulous range of trio chamber music repertoire, in addition to the daily master classes and technical workouts.
I am also delighted to welcome our visiting guest cello professor, Ross Harbaugh who teaches at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami in the USA, who is going to be giving a couple of technique and performance classes during our Week 2 course.
The Week 2 course is for cellists who are post Grade 8 ABRSM level and are generally more experienced in ensemble playing. We welcome amateurs, students and professional performers and teachers – again, there is quite a range of experience amongst the players, with ensemble parts to suit each individual cellist; if you’re not sure which course would suit your ability best, do get in touch with me.
Come on down to Castres for a week of cello cool and summer sun!
Come on down to sunny Castres in SW France and enjoy one of our fabulous cello courses at Belle Serre next summer. Bookings will open on this site in mid-November. Watch this space!
The dates are:
“Yet another incredible week at Belle Serre!”
Just one of the great feedback messages we have had from this summer’s cellists here at Belle Serre. Our 2017 guests came from as far afield as Spain, Canada, France, Switzerland, Ireland, Norway and the UK. Here are some more of their comments:
” I enjoyed the friendship new and old, the music playing as well as the opportunities to advance my skills as an adult cello student. I have learned so much in the past week. You teach with kindness and expertise and always find something positive to build upon. It was for me, a great experience. I also loved playing trios with Mark and Camille. They made it so easy for me to participate in a wonderful musical journey. I look forward to returning to Belle Serre soon.”
“A very enjoyable week in great company. Lovely music and setting as always.”
“I was enchanted by everything; the quality of your teaching and of the other musicians working with you, everyone’s kindness, the amazing organisation, the food, the accommodation, the setting, the participants etc….I’ve come home full of motivation to improve my cello playing!”
“Thank you for making this such an unforgettable week. I appreciated not only your warm welcome and kindness, but also your incredible expertise. You are an inspiration.”
“We were all so lucky to have coaching from you, Camille, Mark and Sue – without exception you were all so kind, encouraging, helpful and instructive and I could not have enjoyed these sessions more.”
“It must involve you in an immense amount of work to put on this course but it was all brilliantly done and everything worked like clockwork. What a team – all of you made this a magical week.”
“Thank you Lowri and co for this marvellous week of music. I had a very very enjoyable week!!”
“Once again it was a marvellous week at Belle Serre. Music, company, food and, last but not least, inspiration; and everything impeccably organized. A huge thankyou to you and your team for all that you do.”
“Thanks so much for a fabulous week at Belle Serre – I felt that I really learned a lot and had such enjoyment playing with everyone.”