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Cello Continuo Clinic

Summer School for Adults

Introduction

This September, RCS Head of Strings David Watkin and Alison McGillivray present the fifth annual Cello Continuo Clinic at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

The only course of its kind in the world, this summer school will focus specifically on the art of accompaniment. In an intensive week of masterclasses, talks, solo and group performance students will:

  • explore the art of accompaniment
  • develop and refine their ability to inflect a bass line
  • learn to improvise a chordal accompaniment from figured bass
  • improvise a bass line to a melody
  • be taught by highly experienced, successful artists of international renown

Workshops will focus on accompanying, recit, figured bass and harmony with a day dedicated to Bach’s Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello.

Students have the flexibility to attend for either three or five days. This can be Monday – Wednesday, Wednesday – Friday or for the full week, with the most benefit gained from attending the whole week. Please state clearly in your application form which days of the course you would like to attend.

Student Feedback

‘I would recommend David Watkin’s Cello Continuo Clinic to anyone (even non-cellists!). He imparts fundamental knowledge with such enthusiasm that I’m still inspired nine months on. It has made a real difference to the clarity with which I comprehend the musical decisions we face as bass line players. I can’t over emphasise how inspirational you have been for all of us.’

Nick Trygstad, Principal Cello, The Hallé Orchestra

Introduction

This September, RCS Head of Strings David Watkin and Alison McGillivray present the fifth annual Cello Continuo Clinic at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

The only course of its kind in the world, this summer school will focus specifically on the art of accompaniment. In an intensive week of masterclasses, talks, solo and group performance students will:

  • explore the art of accompaniment
  • develop and refine their ability to inflect a bass line
  • learn to improvise a chordal accompaniment from figured bass
  • improvise a bass line to a melody
  • be taught by highly experienced, successful artists of international renown

Workshops will focus on accompanying, recit, figured bass and harmony with a day dedicated to Bach’s Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello.

Students have the flexibility to attend for either three or five days. This can be Monday – Wednesday, Wednesday – Friday or for the full week, with the most benefit gained from attending the whole week. Please state clearly in your application form which days of the course you would like to attend.

Student Feedback

‘I would recommend David Watkin’s Cello Continuo Clinic to anyone (even non-cellists!). He imparts fundamental knowledge with such enthusiasm that I’m still inspired nine months on. It has made a real difference to the clarity with which I comprehend the musical decisions we face as bass line players. I can’t over emphasise how inspirational you have been for all of us.’

Nick Trygstad, Principal Cello, The Hallé Orchestra

Course outline

Whether you are a continuo player, a quartet player or an orchestral player, this course will inspire you to re-connect your playing using your own informed musicianship.

Throughout the week students will work with ‘accompanees’ (including violinists and singers) on specific repertoire, from Corelli and Bach to Mozart, with the focus on the lower line.

Group classes will work on harmonic inflection using Bach Chorales and Mozart Minuets. You will also study harmonic flow in both Classical and Baroque bass lines, particularly looking at how to engage with ensembles armed with only a row of repeated notes.

In recitative workshops, we will look at how to be part of the drama by using figured bass to accompany and improvising a chordal progression.

One day will be dedicated to playing unaccompanied solo Bach and this will be used as a basis for harmonic discussion. There will also be time to play together as a cello section using orchestral excerpts.

Students have the flexibility to attend for either three or five days. This can be Monday – Wednesday, Wednesday – Friday or for the full week, with the most benefit gained from attending the whole week. Please state clearly in your application form which days of the course you would like to attend.

 

Financial support



Agnes Allan Bursary

Agnes Allan was a teacher, passionate about inclusion, and this bursary scheme exists to offer support to students to participate in the performing or production arts.

The Agnes Allan Bursary provides some support to students who may require financial assistance to take part in a short course in dance, drama, music, production or screen.

Anyone who wishes to take part in our Lifelong Learning courses and faces a financial barrier can apply for bursary support to help meet the cost of tuition fees.

How to apply for Agnes Allan Bursary

Your bursary application must be submitted before you apply for a Lifelong Learning course. You will be asked to provide supporting documents with your application.

Please complete the online bursary application form.

If you have any questions about the application process please contact us on 0141 270 8213 or lifelong@rcs.ac.uk and we will be happy to help you. You can also download a FAQs document here: Agnes Allan Bursary FAQs



Staying in Glasgow

Many of our students travel from across the world to join us for an open day, study on a short course or attend a summer school at the Royal Conservatoire.

Residential accommodation for summer school students travelling within the UK or from overseas is available at Liberty House. This is the student accommodation that our full-time students use during term time. Please note that this accommodation is only for students aged 16+.

The modern, self-contained flats are located in the city centre of Glasgow, just ten minutes walk from the Royal Conservatoire. They consist of single en-suite units and have a communal kitchen that you can use to store and prepare food during your stay. You can find more information on their website.

For 2017 summer school students, the prices start at £139.50 for 7 nights (excluding bedding pack). Kitchen packs/items are included as standard for Summer School students. Bedding packs are not provided in the bedrooms, but can be purchased from Liberty House for £30 on application.

Places are strictly limited so please book early to avoid disappointment.

If you have any access requirements, Liberty Living are happy to discuss accommodation arrangements to ensure they suit you.

The Conservatoire is not able to make reservations on your behalf. Please contact Liberty Living with any queries on +44 (0)141 248 9949 or libertyhouse-glasgow@libertyliving.co.uk.

If you are having trouble finding accommodation, please contact us directly and we will aim to help you find somewhere to stay.

If you would prefer to stay in hostel, B&B or hotel, click see our list of short term accommodation in Glasgow for a list of alternative accommodation or you can see the Visit Scotland website.

 

Indicative schedule

Monday and Tuesday will be dedicated to:

  • The art of accompanying
  • Recit
  • Figured bass
  • Harmony
  • Group workshops working with violinists and singers
  • Talks
  • Masterclasses

Wednesday

  • This day will focus on solo playing and the Bach Cello Suites as a source of music for harmonic exploration. Each participant is asked to prepare two movements of their choice from Bach’s Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello

Thursday and Friday will be dedicated to:

  • The art of accompanying
  • Recit
  • Figured bass
  • Harmony
  • Group workshops working with violinists and singers
  • Talks
  • Masterclasses

Students have the flexibility to attend for either three or five days. This can be Monday – Wednesday, Wednesday – Friday or for the full week with the most benefit gained from attending the whole week. Please state clearly in your application form which days of the course you would like to attend.

Entry requirements

This course is aimed at those playing a minimum of conservatoire entry level up to a professional standard. We will encourage a friendly atmosphere of shared learning – whether you are a professional, student or amateur. Please be prepared to learn from any source.

Students will be asked to submit a short recording which best demonstrates their playing level and approach for consideration by the Course Leader, David Watkin.

Recordings can be uploaded to your online application form as an unlisted YouTube link or mp3. This can be done using your mobile phone, tablet or any hand held recording device. No need to worry about recording quality, it is to access whether this course is best suited to your current level.

Preparing for your course

Students should prepare two movements of unaccompanied Bach in preparation for the course. In addition, students can also chose to bring a bass line from a Baroque or Classical piece of their choice (e.g an aria they are working on. If so, please inform shortcourses@rcs.ac.uk of their chosen repertoire no later than two weeks before the beginning of the course.

A knowledge of figured bass is also preferable.

Participants can bring either a modern or Baroque cello but the pitch standard for the course will be A=415

Observer Places

This course is open to observers who play any instrument. The daily rate for observers will be £50 per day and places will be strictly limited.

 

At a glance...

Cello Continuo Clinic 10am - 5pm 20170908 505 Application Deadline: 20170807

Offers

Promotional Offers

We also offer a selection of promotion offers from 25% off the overall tuition cost for current undergraduate/postgraduate students and staff, to 10% off when two summer schools are booked at the same time.

View a full list of promotional offers here. Contact lifelong@rcs.ac.uk to request your code prior to booking a course.

How to apply

Please note a deposit of 25% of the total tuition fee will be required upon application to this course, this deposit will be refunded in full if your application is unsuccessful. Payment of the 75% balance of the tuition fee is payable once applicants have been notified that they have been successful in their application to the course and have been sent the second-stage booking link.

Students have the option to attend for either three or five days. This can be Monday – Wednesday, Wednesday – Friday or for the full week. You can benefit from attending either or both parts of the course. Please state clearly in your application form which days of the course you would like to attend.

The course fee for the full week is £505
The course fee for 3 days, Monday to Wednesday or Wednesday to Friday is £300

Teaching staff

Alison McGillivray

GlAlisonasgow resident Alison McGillivray studied modern cello at the RSAMD (RCS) with William Conway. She became hooked by Early Music while studying with Jennifer Ward Clark in London – her love of the viola da gamba stems from accompanying the Early English Song Class at the Royal Academy of Music. Alison played in London for many years as principal cellist and soloist with the Academy of Ancient Music and the English Consort.

She has performed as a soloist and director in the UK and throughout Europe. Her solo recordings include CPE Bach’s Cello Concerto with the Academy of Ancient Music and Geminiani Cello Sonatas with David McGuinness (Linn Records). Recent and in the pipe-line albums include Tobias Hume’s Songs and Viol Music with Concerto Caledonia, Vivaldi’s L’Estro Armonico with Rachel Podger & Brecon Baroque, and Nine Daies Wonder with The Society of Strange and Ancient Instruments – a celebration of Will Kemp’s 9 day dance in 1600 from London to Norwich.

Alison teaches baroque cello and viol at the Royal Conservatiore of Scotland. She is also a qualified Feldenkrais Method practitioner and is combining her skills to explore how the way we move can influence the music we make.

David Watkin

“He not only brings that dedicated scholarly view of playing characteristic of period instrument specialists, but he plays with such huge commitment. He is a great inspiration to me, especially in Mozart.”
Sir Charles Mackerras, BBC Music Magazine

“…admirable continuo and solo cellist and now also a conductor”
Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Music in the Castle of Heaven

“Hushed and flawless Bach…”
The Observer

Watkin’s tastes are catholic…. [he has] a passionate belief in the juxtaposition of scholarship and musicianship
Grove Dictionary of Music

As Principal Cello in some of the world’s leading ensembles – English Baroque Soloists, Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, the Philharmonia Orchestra and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra – David Watkin has played a key role at the heart of some ground-breaking performances.

He has made a wide range of solo recordings: of Vivaldi (Hyperion) Beethoven (Chandos) and Francis Pott (Guild), Haydn’s Sinfonia Concertante with OAE (Virgin), Schubert Quintet with the Tokyo Quartet (hmusa). He has been a soloist at Wigmore Hall, Barbican, Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Carnegie Hall, New York and performed the Schumann Concerto with Sir John Eliot Gardiner and ORR at Lincoln Center, New York. As a guest artist he has collaborated with, among others, Robert Levin and Fredericka von Stade.

He has played solo Bach at Bach’s birthplace in Eisenach, at Frederick the Great’s Palace, in the Prague Spring Festival and featured in Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s TV programme “Bach, A Passionate Life”. He has twice been a juror for the Leipzig Bach Competition. David’s recording of Bach’s Cello Suites won both a Gramophone Award and a BBC Music Magazine Award. It was one of three recordings included alongside Casals’ in Gramophone’s list of “The 50 Greatest Bach Recordings”.

As a member of the Eroica Quartet he has performed all over Europe and the US and their recordings of Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Debussy and Ravel have received great acclaim.

He read Music at Cambridge whilst studying the cello with William Pleeth and singing with Kenneth Bowen. He was a Shell/LSO Finalist, received the Bulgin Medal and was Principal cello in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. Conducting is now a major part of his music making.

He has conducted groups including the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Malta Philharmonic, the Swedish Baroque Orchestra, the Academy of Ancient Music, the Manchester Consort and has been Assistant Conductor at Glyndebourne Festival Opera. He conducted Mahler’s First Symphony with the European Union Youth Orchestra at European Forum Alpbach and completed a cycle of Brahms Symphonies with the Meadows Chamber Orchestra. He has conducted ensembles at the Royal Academy of Music, The Guildhall School of Music, the Royal Welsh College and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

www.davidwatkin.com