Why this masterclass?
As a small country on the North Sea, The Netherlands is, surprisingly enough, home to 2 internationally renowned professional choirs. In 2001 the Nederlands Kamerkoor and the Netherlands Radio Choir initiated the biannual Eric Ericson Masterclass for young choral conductors, with the maestro’s kind permission, and indeed participation. (See the letter written by him on the subject). Each subsequent masterclass has been given by a specially invited team of masters of the conducting profession.
The aim of the Eric Ericson Masterclass is to train promising conductors to work with the very best professional ensemble singers. The EEM is not a competition or contest. The participants undergo development and improvement under critical and expert supervision by experienced teachers. Each of the teachers deals with a different type of repertoire, and employs his or her own personal approach and skills to increase the understanding of the art of conducting among the participants.
The following questions give an idea of the content of the masterclass:
- How do I prepare a score adequately?
- What may I expect of the singers?
- What will the singers expect of me as conductor?
- Which musical, vocal and compositional techniques must I understand?
- How can I use these techniques when working with professional singers?
- How should I relate on a daily basis to the musicians?
- How should I do so when there are 24 of them or 75?
- How can I function as a choirmaster when working with top orchestras, conductors and managers?
A period of intensive preparation is followed by a number of sessions in which the participants work with the Nederlands Kamerkoor and the Netherlands Radio Choir. All the singers contribute actively to the participants’ learning process by effectively translating the thoughts and actions of the participants into musical and vocal form, and by means of lively and constructive comment and criticism. bserving conductors may join in the process by putting forward their questions and ideas. So it promises to be a lively and interactive affair! Working with members of two of the world's leading professional choirs, we shall endeavour to equip the next generation with the skills needed to succeed in this exciting and challenging field.
Past Masters (!):
2001: Eric Ericson, the master himself, and Martin Wright
2003: Uwe Gronostay and Hartmut Haenchen
2005: Simon Halsey and André Thomas
2007: Simon Halsey and Robert Sund
2009: Jos van Veldhoven and Stephen Cleobury
2011: Jos van Veldhoven and Michael Gläser