As part of Enso Quartet’s recent Australian tour, cellist Richard Belcher stopped by to give a masterclass to students from the Elder Conservatorium of Music and Adelaide Youth Orchestras.
For the two-hour masterclass, the students performed at the University of Adelaide’s Hartley Concert Room on Wednesday, June 15. Belcher, who hails from New Zealand, before moving to the United States in 1998, co-formed the Enso Quartet in 1999. He provided feedback and suggestions to the students in front of a live audience for the masterclass. Musica Viva’s Director of Artistic Development Tim Matthies says these types of masterclasses can be “incredibly informative and important” for students. “Anecdotally, we know that the many of the points that Richard Belcher and other Musica Viva mentor musicians work on with the students are things that have been brought to their attention before by their teachers,” Matthies says. “However having musicians of their calibre speaking about the points for improvement makes a huge difference – it really reinforces and validates the points their teachers have been making.” Matthies says that the musicians are keen to share their knowledge with students. “Ideally, masterclasses take place before the mentor musicians perform as part of Musica Viva’s International Concert Season so that the students (and the public audience) have the opportunity to observe the mentor musician’s concert performance approaches that they talked about,” he says. “This was very much the case with Richard Belcher, where the students also had the opportunity to hear from him and his colleagues in the post-concert Meet the Artist conversation, giving them a fully-rounded musician development/concert experience. “Musica Viva’s touring musicians are the world’s most sought-after chamber musicians, and have a depth of knowledge and connection with chamber music repertoire that is palpable and that they are very keen to communicate and share,” he says. “They also come from a diverse range of musical background and nationalities, the students also have exposure to different technical and interpretative approaches.” The next Musica Viva Masterclass will feature the director of the Choir of Trinity College Cambridge, Stephen Layton, at Elder Hall on Wednesday, July 20 (6pm-8pm). musicaviva.com.au Photos: Jonathan van der Knaap