Dartington International Summer School & Festival Week 1

  • Dartington Hall Dartington TQ9 6EL United Kingdom

About the course

Week overviews

All courses are taught for six days, from Sunday to Friday. There are four main sessions a day, starting around 9am, 11am, 2pm and 3.30pm. There’s also an early morning session for Yoga or Tai Chi Qigong.

Please look at the timetable on the Dartington website to see how your day could fit together; as you can see, some courses run across multiple sessions. If a course title is repeated in separate session blocks, it is possible to sign up for just one session of the course; if the title runs across the blocks, you must attend both/all sessions. And don’t forget, the evening is full of concerts too!

Advanced courses

Dartington Summer School provides a fantastic opportunity for intensive study and there are many courses suitable for music students and graduates as well as music professionals. Some – Conducting and Opera for example – run over two or three sessions per day while others are part-time. You may wish to participate in one intensive course or several shorter courses and use your free time to practise and meet up with other players. The Summer School provides a fantastic opportunity to choose at least one course that contrasts with your principal study. Why not try dance, creative writing, improvisation or multimedia?

Week 1 specialisms

Early and Middle Eastern Music, improvisation, poetry and fairy tales


Emma Kirkby

Emma Kirkby

Week 1 is a fantastic week for singers: the Big Choir is directed by Stile Antico’s Andrew Griffiths in a spectacular programme of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610 and Renaissance motets from Italy; vocalists can study John Dowland’s lute songs with the glorious soprano, Emma Kirkby. William Lyons and Peter Oswald direct an exciting course on London theatre music and song of the 16th and 17th centuries; Emily White and Gawain Glenton direct the gorgeous polyphony of Andrea Gabrieli for cornetts, sackbuts and voices while Nicholas Clapton welcomes singers to his open vocal workshop.

There are classes and workshops for viol consorts, lutenists, reeds and recorders, cornetts and sackbuts, with David Miller, Fretwork, Carole Cerasi, The City Musickand The Brook Street Band. Improvisation and composition courses are led by the jazz pianist, Huw Warren, and composer, fiddle and hurdy-gurdy player, Stevie Wishart. Middle Eastern music and song is directed by the Lebanese oud player, Abdul Salam Kheir and Egyptian singer, Merit Ariane Stephanos, exploring the myriad interconnections between Arabic music and the Mediterranean.

Literary journeys abound this week with performances and poetry led by Alice Oswald and Simon Armitage. The writer and mythographer, Marina Warner, runs a creative writing course, retelling migration and cultural exchange through 1001 Nights and fairytale. Week 1’s concerts are full of flair: from Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier, fiddle fireworks from Corelli, Vivaldi and Leclair, In Nomine settings from Byrd and Purcell, and Terry Riley’s minimalist masterpiece In C, to medieval and Middle Eastern collaborations.

Age range of participants

  • 18+
  • Participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a paying adult

Residential status

Residential and non-residential options are available


Fees for courses and concerts:

  • Standard: £425
  • Student: £385
  • Under 12s: £215

Please visit the Dartington website for full information including prices for accommodation and catering


Dartington Hall, Dartington TQ9 6EL


All Dartington Summer School weeks