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Masterclasses for Advanced students

FOUR NEW Masterclasses “Kickstart to the New Academic Year”
SDMK – National Academy of Music, Esbjerg. 16th- 26th August 2016

1) Individual Solo and Chamber Music
led by
Steven Dann – Canada,  20th August 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. 2016
Benjamin Bowman – US, 20th August 1 – 3 p.m. 2016
Finghin Collins – Ireland, 26th August 10 – 12 a.m. 2016
Richard Lester – England 23rd August 12.30 – 2.30 p.m. 2016


Esbjerg International Chamber Music Festival, in its 17th year, recognised for its innovative programmes and renowned concerts in partnership with Syddansk Musikkonservatorium is offering masterclasses to young musicians, students and future professionals from the 17th – 22nd August.
The aim of the Masterclasses is to offer artistic inspiration and development in a supportive and informal setting, and not least of all help to kick start the new academic year! Participants will be encouraged to interact with the guest artists, regardless of instrument to maximise the experience.
Performance opportunities to those who wish will be offered in an informal setting.
Those musicians who participate along with their families will be given free access to all concerts in the Esbjerg International Chamber Music Festival week.


1) Chamber Music and Solo Sessions led by Steven Dann,
Benjamin Bowman, Richard Lester and Finghin Collins

The Solo and Chamber Music Session offers a unique opportunity of not only gaining inspiration but also working alongside international masters and young artists at the peak of their art. During the session participants will be encouraged to study a work and play with the guest professors and/or with their fellow students.

Participating students are encouraged to bring music with which they are comfortable.

Individual Solo Sessions
Individual tuition offered with artists with a wealth of experience as soloists, recitalists and dedicated teachers. The participants will be encouraged to receive tuition with guests regardless of instrument.

Performance opportunities for participants will be offered on the .(to be announced)… at SDMK, afternoon or evening.

In the masterclass week, repertoire offered to those who wish to play with the guest teachers will include popular masterworks such as:


Open discussions/talks
Discussing the session’s repertoire and performance practice.


dannSteven Dann’s career has covered a wealth of violistic possibilities. As principal viola of some of the world’s leading orchestras, as a veteran of the string quartet and chamber music world, as soloist and recitalist and as a dedicated teacher.
Mr. Dann was born in Vancouver, Canada. Upon graduation from university he was named Principal Viola of the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, Canada, a position he has subsequently held with the Tonhalle Orchestra in Zurich, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, the Vancouver Symphony and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He has also served as guest principal of the Luzern Festival Orchestra, the Boston Symphony Orchestra under Seiji
Ozawa, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Sir Simon Rattle and, in both performance and recordings, with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe under Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Paavo Berglund, Ivan Fischer and Pierre Boulez.
Steven Dann has collaborated as a soloist with such Maestri as Sir Andrew Davis, Rudolph Barshai, Jiri Belohlavek, Sir John Elliott Gardiner, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Vladimir Ashkenazy, JoAnn Falletta and Oliver Knussen. Since 1990 Mr. Dann has been a member of the Smithsonian Chamber Players in Washington D.C. and was a founding member of the Axelrod String Quartet.


benjamin 2

American-Canadian violinist Benjamin Bowman performs to critical acclaim throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Benjamin is very active and engaged as a chamber musician and soloist; he is a member or frequent guest artist for leading chamber music ensembles internationally, including the twice Grammy-nominated ARC (Artists of the Royal Conservatory), Art Of Time, and Leondari Ensemble. Benjamin was featured on the 2013 Juno-winning album ‘Levant’ and the 2011 Juno-nominated disc ‘Armenian Chamber Music’ with the Amici Chamber Ensemble. Other collaborative work includes extensive immersion in contemporary/new music, improvisation and performance with singer/songwriters. Benjamin is concertmaster of the American Ballet Theatre
orchestra in New York.
Bowman’s performances have been recorded for radio broadcast in the USA, in Canada with the CBC, the UK, Poland, Hungary, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Denmark and Korea. His discography includes recent solo and chamber-music releases on the Sony Masterworks/RCA Red Seal, ATMA Classique, and Innova labels. Bowman received his Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.




One of the most significant musicians to emerge from Ireland in recent times, Finghin Collins was born in Dublin in 1977 and studied with John O’Conor at the Royal Irish Academy of Music and with Dominique Merlet at the Geneva Conservatoire. He established his international reputation by winning the 1999 Clara Haskil International Piano Competition. Since then he has performed with leading orchestras such as the Chicago, Houston, City of Birmingham and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestras, the Seoul, London, Rotterdam, BBC and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras, the Budapest Festival Orchestra, the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Northern Sinfonia, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande and the Gulbenkian Orchestra. He has collaborated with conductors such as Frans Brüggen, Myung-Whun Chung, Christoph Eschenbach, Emmanuel Krivine, Gianandrea Noseda, Sakari Oramo, Heinrich Schiff, Vassily Sinaisky and Leonard Slatkin. In 2013 he completed his three-year tenure as Associate Artist of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, in which he performed the complete Mozart and Beethoven piano concertos. His double CD recording for the RTÉ lyric fm label of four Mozart piano concertos directed from the keyboard with the RTÉ NSO was also released in May 2013.

In the 2014/15 season he performed with the Phiharmonie Zuidnederland, the Orchestra of the 18th Century,  the RTÉ NSO and made a last-minute début with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic.  In 2015/16 he performs with the Irish Chamber Orchestra, RTÉ Concert Orchestra and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.

Finghin Collins has been Artistic Director of the New Ross Piano Festival since its inception in 2006, and has also been Artistic Director of Music for Galway since 2013.




One of Britain’s foremost cellists, Richard Lester has earned distinction as a concerto and recital soloist and as an accomplished chamber musician. He is equally at home in period instrument performance and in ‘modern’ and is associated with some of the finest performers from both fields. Alongside his activities with the Florestan Trio, he is principal cello with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

He has appeared as soloist with conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Roger Norrington, Paavo Berglund, Myung Whun Chung and Sandor Vegh, and has performed frequently as director/soloist with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe in some of the world’s most prestigious venues. In the UK he has played concertos with, among others, the BBC Scottish SO, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Manchester Camerata, and is frequently called upon to be guest-leader of the cello sections of the major London orchestras.

Richard Lester was a founder member of the celebrated ensemble Domus, with whom he toured worldwide and recorded most of the repertoire for Piano Quartet. His interest in period performance led him to join Hausmusik, a flexible ensemble performing and recording classical and early romantic chamber music on period instruments. He is a frequent guest with the Nash Ensemble, especially in their series at the Wigmore Hall, and has been invited to take part in many chamber-music festivals around the world, most recently in the USA, Canada, Japan, Italy and Sweden.

Recent highlights include a televised performance of Schubert’s Trout Quintet with pianist Andras Schiff as part of the Wigmore Hall’s centenary celebrations, and a new, much acclaimed CD release of Boccherini Quintets with the Vanbrugh Quartet.

His recording with Susan Tomes of the complete music for cello and piano by Mendelssohn and a disc of Boccherini sonatas on period instruments, both available on the Hyperion label, have received enthusiastic critical acclaim.




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