WEEK ONE 29 July to 5 August
WEEK TWO 5 to 12 August
The George Hurst Conductors’ Course
The George Hurst Conductors’ Course enables students to understand and conduct orchestral works in a way that is clear and musically rewarding. This is best achieved through careful study of the score and in the usage of an effective conducting technique.
Frequently Asked Questions
What will I learn on the course?
Whilst we recognise other effective conducting techniques, the basis of this course is the long-established Toscanini/Barzin technique. This method of conducting is founded upon clear communication through the integration and control of the body and the baton. The course also passes on a performing tradition of interpretive skills for the core orchestral repertoire that has been passed down through a direct line from Liszt, Wagner, Richter and Nikisch, via Pierre Monteux and George Hurst to the current tutors.
What is a typical day?
The day starts with a warm-up focusing on baton technique, the left hand and use of the body.
The majority of the classes which follow are in small groups (10 to 15 students). These take the form of workshops with pianos or small ensembles formed from the class with the tutors rotating between the groups so that each student has a 10-15 minute individual lesson with each tutor. The purpose of these sessions is to develop technique and communication using the set works.
Other classes include musicianship sessions that concentrate on aural awareness, aspects of score preparation and instrumental techniques pertaining to the scores being studied. There are also orchestral repertoire sessions (with a large orchestra) which aim to develop musical understanding and an awareness of the works as a whole.
The course timetable can be very full, with sessions running from 09.00 until 21.30 on some days. ‘First time students’ may find the course rather intensive and tiring, though most find it enjoyable and fulfilling.