What a pleasure it was yesterday to give a Masterclass to students from Bart van Oort’s fortepiano class from The Royal Conservatoire, The Hague. They were visiting the astonishing keyboard collection at Finchcocks, where students had the opportunity to play to me on three different Viennese fortepianos (a Lengerer, a Rosenberger and a Graf), as well as a modern Viennese copy from the Adlam-Burnett workshop. 

Repertoire by CPE Bach, Mozart and Schubert had been really well prepared by six Hague students, all at different levels of their studies. How impressive that these students (ably guided by Bart, of course) were already so inventive and technically fluent on these fine instruments – sometimes after just a few months’ study! And what a privilege to be able, therefore, to concentrate exclusively on really fine detail, aimed at polishing their already professional performances (including a memorable Schubert C minor Sonata). 

Two students from the Piano and Organ Department at Trinity Laban were able to join in the masterclass (they studied with Bart while I taught his own students), extending their familiarity with period pianos and giving them fresh insights into possibilities of expression. All in all, an excellent collaborative idea – one well worth repeating!

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