After experiencing the wonderful Musica Viva performance given by the Flinders Quartet on Thursday evening the 25th July, many of our talented scholarship students at NECOM were privileged enough to perform the following day to the four master musicians in masterclass sessions.
Student Sarah Hughes spoke of her opportunity to take part in cellist Zoe Knighton’s masterclass:
“I had a really positive experience with the Flinders Quartet, in particular, my masterclass with the wonderful cellist Zoe Knighton. One of the first things she told us was that in her experience, masterclasses were important and useful because you learn just as much listening and watching the other people then you do being the one playing. I definitely found this true with my experience. She was both so positive and insightful to everyone’s performance, having consistent energy throughout the whole masterclass. I also found her communication of ideas was really helpful in understanding how to add to my playing, showing me how to communicate to my accompanist naturally to elevate my piece from a run-through to a performance. This was especially useful as my main aim of the masterclass was to prepare for an upcoming performance assessment. It was definitely one of my favourite and most useful masterclasses I’ve been to.”
Joanna Fairs-Wu was able to sit in on Nicholas Waters’s vibrant and inspiring masterclass for several students. Nick was able to bring the musician out in each student in a positive, humorous and lively manner. “It was wonderful to see each student suddenly have a “lightbulb” moment. Nick’s insights on practice techniques and phrasing shed new light on their playing, musical interpretation and how to prepare for their performances”.
Flinders Quartet cellist, Zoe Knighton noted:
“Flinders Quartet has had a long association with Armidale and we were very much looking forward to our visit this time. What we weren’t prepared for is how the level of enthusiasm for music seems to have increased exponentially since our last visit. It was incredibly inspiring and almost intoxicating. All four of us were incredibly impressed by the level of dedication and artistry that the students are presenting and we confess that we did stop at the real estate window to check out prices. (We did dream for a moment of relocating!) Armidale continues to be the role model of what a regional centre can achieve culturally with passion and dedication.”
Masterclasses allow students to work with musicians of national and international stature, preparing them for high-level performance opportunities such as the Australian Youth Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra Academy etc. These masterclasses also assist in providing links to tertiary institutions and networking opportunities with professional musicians around Australia.