Primrose Piano Quartet Visits to Universities and Music Colleges
The most popular format is that of a lunchtime concert followed by masterclasses or workshops. Below are some suggestions for themed concerts and related workshops; these can be adjusted to suit. For college departments, greater emphasis can be on the HIPP coaching/Primrose Plus aspect detailed below.
Suggested programmes for lunchtime concerts to be followed by open sessions with the Quartet could be:
1) Schubert’s Influence on Brahms
Schubert String Trio in Bb
Brahms Piano Quartet in A major
Schubert’s influence on the expansion of the tonal and thematic content of Brahms’s sonata form
2) Brahms the Progressive – Evolution or Revolution?
Schoenberg String Trio
Brahms Piano Quartet G minor.
This programme explores the development from late 19th Century Romanticism to modernism based on the direct link between Brahms and Schoenberg and the latter’s arrangement of the G minor Quartet
3) Contextualising Fauré
Saint Saëns Barcarolle for Piano Quartet
Françaix String Trio
Fauré Piano Quartet G minor
4) César Franck’s Disciples – late 19th century Franco-Belgian Romanticism
Lekeu Piano Quartet (1894, unfinished)
Chausson Piano Quartet
5) National Pride and The Influence of Folk Music
Bartók Duos for Two Violins
Rimsky Korsakov Hindu Song for Cello and Piano
Beethoven “Gassenhauer” Trio
Dvorák Piano Quartet in Eb
The open sessions would focus on various aspects relevant to study and performance of the works featured.
Specific ideas for workshops include:
a) The Quartet would illustrate how the study of Historically Informed Performance Practice influenced and changed their performance of Brahms in an open rehearsal of the two Brahms works featured in the concerts.
b) The Quartet would show the differences in performance of French and German Romantic works with a focus on the use of texture in Fauré compared with Brahms in particular. This will also be of relevance to Tonmeister students as it illustrates how to capture natural balance in chamber music.
c) The Quartet would coach student ensembles, ranging from duos to larger groups, with a particular focus HIPP. Students have universally found this to be a very liberating and empowering experience and of huge benefit in terms of building up confidence in performance.
d) The Quartet would coach from within the group; accomplished students can join the Quartet to make up “Primrose Plus” sessions. These might involve a violin student joining the group to make up a piano quintet, violin, viola and cello students joining the three strings for a sextet, a clarinetist joining for a clarinet trio etc. This method of coaching has huge benefit for the students; an interactive experience like this tends to have a much bigger impact than spoken words alone.
e) Members of the Quartet would focus on an individual instrument and its history with particular focus on the 19th century. This would include specific changes in actual instruments, playing techniques and performance practice as well as focusing on some key exponents of the instrument through recordings and writings.
All four members of the Primrose Piano Quartet are highly skilled educators with decades of experience behind them.
Susanne is regularly invited to teach and give masterclasses at many UK music colleges and summer schools. From 1993-2000 she was visiting lecturer of violin and chamber music at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff, and between 2002 – 2006 Head of Strings at the London College of Music and Media. She now teaches violin and chamber music at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.
Dorothea teaches viola and chamber music at the Royal Welsh College of Music and is an instrumental and ensemble coach at James Alleyn’s School in South East London. She has given masterclasses and coached ensembles in most music colleges and universities throughout the UK as well as Pro Corda and Benslow.
Andrew was a visiting teacher at the Birmingham Conservatoire until 2003 and taught cello at Cranleigh School until 2015. He is much in demand as an orchestral coach including at the Royal Academy of Music and with London and Ulster Youth orchestras. He is a regular chamber music tutor at Benslow and other summer schools.
Formerly Head of Piano at Christ’s Hospital School, John’s more recent teaching career includes posts at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Purcell School and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Since 2010 he has been Head of Keyboard at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, transforming the department into one of the most thriving in the UK. He is Course Director of the Cadenza International Summer Music School, a piano and strings festival resident at the Purcell School