Last year was inspirational and my playing improved out of all proportion so I am hoping for the same miracle again.
I had the most amazing and unforgettable time ... My playing seems to have taken a huge leap forward since August. It's more confident and assured, even on pieces I didn't play in France. But the experience was so much more than musical, it was the company, the food (aaah, the food!) the chateau itself. I'm already saving up in the hope that there will be a Castelfranc again next summer.
The place, the people, the weather, the food, everything was memorable. But the most important thing I took away with me was confidence. Back home, working at the piano has a new impetus since last summer. I no longer feel my difficulties are unique.
I never imagined I could be so keen to practise that I'd queue in my pyjamas to book a piano every morning!
The course at Castelfranc was one of the most enjoyable times of my life.
Music at Castelfranc has a winning formula: to balance fun and challenge with the feeling of a delightful house party. I now feel pianistically invigorated and galvanised to put much more energy into my playing: this is down to Castelfranc.
I have just stepped out of an enchanted experience in which, once again, magic was woven out of old stones, hard labour, high spirits and genius... Students go through genuine and profound change while they're there, and that opens them up to be bonded and elated and also protected from all the lowering grit of everyday life.
The magnificent Priory at Ambialet in the Tarn Gorge is the summer school's new home. Over the years it has maintained and developed the original vision of its founders: to nurture the highest standards of music-making in idyllic surroundings...