National Centre for Early Music

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Strand 3: Masterclass for young string players with violinist Rachel Podger, NCEM, Saturday 29 March 2014

In the final strand of the project Rachel Podger worked with the young string players from York Arts Academy Symphony Orchestra who took part in the Christmas concert. Four individuals - two violins, viola and cello - had the chance to play a piece of baroque music that they were learning and to receive specialist coaching on it. All of the young players worked as an ensemble, forming the orchestra for the first movement of the Bach A minor violin concerto with Rachel Podger as soloist and director, in an informal concert at the end of the day. Ruth Alford (cello) from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Andrew Passmore (harpsichord) were also available on the day to play continuo.  
Part of this workshop was live streamed, where Rachel discussed and demonstrated topics that the group had worked on, including bowing, phrasing, articulation and ornamentation, and got the participants to try them out. The video of the masterclass and the concert is available to watch online at  

Violinist Rachel Podger is one of the most exciting performers of baroque music today, with an international career as a soloist and ensemble director. Her recordings have received a glittering array of awards, including the Diapason d'Or and a Gramophone Award. She is also an experienced teacher, both of conservatoire students and younger musicians. As a leading interpreter of baroque music, she has a huge amount of knowledge to pass on to teachers and young people and the communication skills to ensure that participants truly benefit from her experience.