Teaching and the education of young people has always played an important part in my professional and personal life.
I studied with three of the UK’s most respected pedagogues: David Martin and Frederick Grinke at the Junior Royal Academy of Music, and Yfrah Neaman at the Guildhall School, and went on to spend a year working with Wanda Wilkomirska in Germany. I was always fascinated by watching these masters at work, and spent many hours discussing the impact of their advice with my fellow students, so it has been a real pleasure to be able to develop my career as a teacher alongside my performing activities.
For 14 years I have taught at the Birmingham Conservatoire (check out our new building!), and I also teach in the Junior department at the Royal College of Music as well as at one of the UK’s specialist music school, Wells Cathedral School.
I have given masterclasses in the UK, for example at the Royal Academy of Music and the Yehudi Menuhin School, and in a number of cities abroad: in Russia I have twice visited the N.G. Zhiganov Kazan State Conservatory to give masterclasses and coach chamber music as well as the Krasnoyarsk State Academy of Music. I have also taught classes at the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts and Beijing Central Conservatoire, as well as Nanyang Academy and School of the Arts in Singapore.
Competitions are a controversial area in music eduction, the very idea of being able to compare and pick a “winner” from a number of interesting and accomplished performances is quite suspect. However, done well, they can represent great opportunities for young players to perform, and receive useful exposure, and, if set up correctly, excellent feedback. I have recently been on the Jury for the Windsor Festival International String Competition and in May 2017 I was the chair of the Jury for a new competition in Russia.
“…training the thinking violinist…”
I am currently looking for a new venue to restart this. Details will follow soon.