Summer School 2011
Cambridge Piano Summer School 2011 Report
CSYM students Books 2 and beyond had the rare opportunity to receive lessons from Valeria Szervansky, a former piano student of the great Hungarian composer and internationally-renowned chamber music coach, Georgy Kurtag. Valeria studied alongside such pianists as Andras Schiff and Zoltan Kocsis, and has continued her studies with Kurtag over the past forty years.
Hopefully many of you have by now referred to YouTube to hear Kurtag's Games and Bach transcriptions performed by Valeria in piano duo and duet partnership with her husband Ronald Cavaye. In all her lessons throughout the week, with students of varying ages and stages, Valeria emphasised the relationships between one sound and another, focused on understanding and expressing music in terms of conversations, and of primary importance, of singing through the instrument, all of which she demonstrated with great beauty of tone, character and expressivity.
Valeria's overall aim for students is to strive for beauty of tone and musical expression, echoing Dr Suzuki's
The Elementary/Intermediate Course schedule was an extremely busy one for Suzuki Piano Book 1-3 students, and included: Piano Lessons with Stephen, Betty & guest teacher Ulla Falkenstrom from Sweden; Kodaly Musicianship classes with Betty Power; Dalcroze Eurhythmics with Jacqueline Vann; Composition sessions with Composer-In-Residence Cheryl Frances-Hoad, and Parent Talk with Stephen on the importance of maintaining Review for developing ability. Lunchtime Concerts throughout the week included Solo Suzuki Piano Repertoire, individual Compositions, selected pieces from Kurtag's Games and Bach transcriptions. The Friday concert featured Advanced students collaborative compositions and duet and duo works by Kurtag.
On Thursday Valeria gave an introductory talk to parents and students on Kurtag's Games, how they came about, his purpose in composing them and the meaning they have for pianists from beginners to advanced levels of performance. The Minstitute morning sessions for new 3-4 year-old students proved a great success, as parents joined along for rhymes, songs and singing games with Betty. All five new families had the special treat of meeting CSYM families and Summer School faculty members at a Get-Together Barbecue graciously hosted by Judith Somers-Heslam on Thursday evening, bringing us the best weather all week, and perhaps the most gourmet pot-luck outdoor DIY banquet ever! Thanks Judith!!!!
At the Perse Music Block we enjoyed easy parking and exclusive use of the building during the week, while many other activities (and building work!) carried on around us. Lunches and break-times were enjoyed in the adjoining outdoor courtyard, and several practice rooms could be utilised throughout the day. However in future we do look forward to returning to West Road Concert Hall, et al, for the use of two pianos for teaching, and top model grands to provide students with the best-quality instruments in their lessons and ensemble work. The best environment comes at a cost, but pays dividends in focus, motivation & improvement.