Dear JDCMF and Thomastik-Infeld Vienna

Thank you so much for sponsoring me to go on this Arpeggione Course! I am already very excited and can’t wait to be tutored by some of the leading chamber musicians in the world. I hope that this course will give me a chance to develop and mature as a chamber musician; I love the intimacy of a small ensemble, and the repertoire written for it. I feel that I need to understand my individual line within the whole texture of the music. Hopefully this course will give me a greater knowledge, therefore allowing me to expand upon this skill.

Thanks again

And after:

Dear JDCMF and Thomastik-Infeld Vienna,

I have just come off the Arpeggione viola course following our two fantastic concerts in Suffolk and London. I can honestly say that it has been one of the most enjoyable music courses I have ever been on. The lessons were intense and extremely stimulating, yet there was always a feeling of happiness and relaxation; never was it austere.

My small-chamber piece was Villa-Lobos’ ‘Embolada’ for eight violas (originally eight cellos) which proved to be a very exciting and exhilarating experience! It had the savage beauty of Latin American music with brutally loud rhythmic passages and flowing, seductive melodies.

I was also one of the ten violas in Kurt Weill’s ‘Kiddush’. With dense, rich harmonies originating from Jewish music it was a beautiful piece to be part of. We could explore the possibilities of folk tuning with small microtonal inflections here and there to further richen the authenticity of and the experience of listening to the music.

The orchestral pieces were great fun, ranging from Mozart to Miles Davis, resulting in a programme of great enjoyment with the rapid pace of Shostakovich and the smooth jazz sound of Sinatra.

I cannot thank you enough for this experience,


Joan Dickson Chamber Music Fund