Set up in 1998 by Christine Anderson, Eilis Cranitch, Elizabeth Wilson, in collaboration with Hugh and Tricia Maguire, Adrian Petcu and Macha Yanouchevsky, the XENIA CHAMBER MUSIC COURSE, this year in its 19th year, is an established international course well-knowned for the quality and richness of the music making program and for the care and attention given to all participants.
The residential course hosts a maximum of 60 students (10 to 24 years old) and is held in Pra Catinat – Fenestrelle, in the splendid alpine setting of the Orsiera-Rocciavrè national park, 30 minutes from Sestrière and 70 km from Turin.
The underlying philosophy of our course is to transmit musical knowledge and technical skills necessary to playing chamber music. This is achieved with an essential spirit of enthusiasm and in a totally non-competitive atmosphere. The students are coached by an exceptional team of teachers, including members of the Prometeo, Delian, Xenia Ensemble quartets and other internationally renowned musicians. Pupils live together with the teachers and the guest artists, giving the opportunity of invaluable artistic and human exchange. Amongs the visiting musicians who have given masterclasses and performed at the course over the years are Natalia Gutman, Valentin Berlinsky, Dora Schwarzberg, Mstislav Rostropovich, Rohan de Saram, Simon Rowland-Jones and Quartetto di Cremona.
The full-time residential course is divided into 3 daily chamber music sessions (75 mins each), string orchestra and individual practice, meaning that each pupil receives 6 hours of coaching a day, and has the opportunity to study a varied chamber repertory with various members of the staff.
We welcome pre-formed string quartets, and can devise special programmes for them. Our priority is to give care and attention to each individual student. This is clear from the teacher/pupil ratio, which remains one teacher to five students.
Parallel to the course, the concert series “Encounters with Chamber Music” takes place at the Pracatinat centre and at historic locations around Pra Catinat, where teachers, guest artists and students perform together. Performing in public with well-known and experienced musicians is of immense benefit for the students’ musical and professional development.
In addition many special and recreational activities are organised: lessons dedicated to posture and movement for musicians are included in the program, and optional daily sporting activities in the splendid mountains at our doorstep. And that’s not all! Evening traditional music sessions, a chance to practice your language skills in english/french/german/italian… and an enriching exchange of knowledge and culture that makes this Course a unique human and artistic experience.