Bath Strings Academy - Adult Chamber Music One-Day Retreat

Sep 22, 2019 at 10:00 — 16:30 (BST)

String Quartet playing at Rudge Hall with Afternoon Cream Tea

Join us for a one-day musical retreat as we explore the art of string quartet playing in the beautiful and tranquil surroundings of Rudge Hall in Somerset, located just 12 miles from central Bath.  Adult string players will find a relaxed and friendly atmosphere in which to play chamber music.

Course Details:

Led by Co-Directors of Bath Strings Academy, Michelle Falcon and Ruth O’Shea, the day will focus on Mozart’s celebrated Dissonance Quartet, K465.  We will also explore tips, tricks and techniques used by successful chamber musicians, taking a holistic approach incorporating mind, body and music.

The aim of our day will be to offer both pre-formed quartets and individuals an introductory exploration of the piece, with the possibility of further ongoing coaching if desired. 

The day will start with group quartet playing, with more than one player to each part, building confidence as well as listening and ensemble playing skills.  Michelle and Ruth, highly experienced chamber players, will teach the musical elements of the quartet, focusing on phrasing, style, articulation, bowing techniques and communication skills. Participants will gain a flavour of this wonderful work and learn new techniques which they can then put into practice during their own post-course rehearsals.

During the day, pre-formed quartets will have the opportunity to split into their own groups during the lunch break if they wish. At the end of the day we will have an informal play-through of the whole work (split into quartet groups wherever possible), to which participants may invite their friends and family*.

Refreshments, including Afternoon Cream Tea will be provided for the breaks throughout the day. Participants will have full use of the beautiful gardens and barn during the day.


Michelle Falcon & Ruth O’Shea

Who is the course suitable for?

Pre-formed string quartets or individual violin, viola or cello players wishing to gain experience in the art of chamber music. Players should prepare the music in advance and will be approximately Grade 5+ level in their playing.



Mozart Dissonance Quartet K465. Please print and bring your own part, ensuring the bars are numbered. Parts can be downloaded from the IMSLP website here.  If you have any difficulty downloading parts, please just let us know and we can send a pdf.


              Bar Numbering:

              Numbering bars aids swifter rehearsal on the day – rehearsal marks (letters) vary between editions.

              Top Tips:

  • Ignore partial bars at the beginning. Bar 1 is the first full bar
  • Partial bars at the end receive a number
  • Restart each movement at bar 1
  • First and second time bars have the same number (e.g. If bars 25 & 26 are the first time bar the sequence will go as follows; 23, 24, [first time bar: 25, 26], [second time bar: 25, 26,] 27, 28)


Course Fees:

***Introductory Price***

Our fees include tuition for the day, break time refreshments including tea, coffee and afternoon cream tea and a 20% donation towards our educational projects promoting Music For All.**

Adults (over 18 years): £50 for the day + ticket platform booking fee.



Registration & Coffee: 9.45am

Course Times: 10.00am – 4.30pm

Informal play-through for family & friends*: 4.00pm



Rudge Hall, Rudge Hill, Rudge, Somerset BA11 2QG


What to bring:

  • Music stand
  • Seat cushion if required
  • Refill travel mug
  • Printed part & pencil
  • Packed lunch


Follow-up Coaching:

Chamber groups wishing to continue their study of the Mozart (or other works) after their own post-course rehearsals will be able to book further coaching if they wish, at a date and venue of their choosing.  Bath Strings Academy offer a two hour coaching session for £160 plus travel expenses.  Additional hours can be booked on a pro rata basis.  Our coaching fees include a 25% donation towards our educational projects promoting Music For All.



Disabled participants should contact us regarding their specific requirements.  There are two steps up into the barn for which a ramp can be provided.



Rudge Hall is approximately 1.5 miles from the A36.  Travelling South on the A36 turn off LEFT at The Bell pub at Standerwick. Drive along Rudge Lane. Passing The Full Moon pub on the Right Hand Side, continue up Rudge Hill. We are at the top of the hill on the RIGHT hand side. 



On arrival participants will be shown to a suitable parking space. There is limited parking at Rudge Hall, so participants are encouraged to share lifts wherever possible.


With thanks:

We are grateful for the support of Melanie & Ewen Maclaine who have kindly donated the use of their home for this event, in support of Bath Strings Academy educational programmes.


*Please note, there is limited space for audience which may be standing room only.

** Bath Strings Academy is committed to promoting music for players of all ages and backgrounds; supporting inclusion, student bursaries and first access opportunities for adults and children.

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