Joanna MacGregor – Festival Artistic Director
Established in 1947, Dartington International Summer School can be best described as four weeks of creativity and musical immersion for professionals and students alike. There is something for everyone with over 30 courses available – pick from Middle Eastern to Orchestral, Folk to Opera to Multimedia. Whatever you choose, you’ll be part of a creative and interactive community for a week with an accompanying concert series to die for. Students are free to curate their listening and discovery experience during their stay and what they can be certain of is all the performers and tutors have national and international careers.
Jazz has had a place for many years, (a certain Jazz South Manager had great fun one summer with Keith and Julie Tippett). This year the jazz courses in keyboards, saxophone, double bass, drums/percussion, and open ensemble take place 17 – 24 August. Participants will be tutored by luminaries of the British scene including Steve Lodder, Mark Lockheart, Martin France, Alec Dankworth, and Chris Batchelor. ‘Songs of the Jazz Age’ is led by soprano Sarah Gabriel. Everyone is welcome at a suggested Grade 5 minimum or equivalent – under 16’s need to be accompanied by an adult.
Bursaries are available for saxophone or other melody instruments.
While you visit, you can become fascinated by the history of the Dartington estate, purchased by Dorothy and Leonard Elmhirst in 1925. Setting out to make a real impact by creating an ‘environment that encourages the whole being to flourish’, the experiment developed into many areas and is now home to a range of cultural events, agriculture projects, innovations in sustainability and progressive enterprise. Over the years certain projects became firmly established, including the radical Dartington College of Arts (now incorporated into Falmouth University) and the summer school.
The school has a rich history spanning over 70 years, from its establishment by William Glock in the late 1940s to directors including Peter Maxwell-Davies, Gavin Henderson, and Joanna MacGregor. It quickly became a breeding ground for young professional musicians to flourish, supported by tutors that in the past have included Igor Stravinsky, Elliot Carter, Thea Musgrave, John Williams, Benjamin Britten, Nadia Boulanger and many more. The school is open to all, whether you are a singer, conductor, composer, or instrumentalist.
Learn more about Dartington at www.dartington.org