Guildhall School offers first Festival of Classical Improvisation

Guildhall School of Music & Drama will present its first Festival of Classical Improvisation. Running from 1-3 May in partnership with Imperial College London, the festival includes free performances, talks, workshops and masterclasses.

Performance highlights are an opening concert featuring flautist Philippa Davies, soprano Marie Vassiliou, cellist Adrian Brendel, pianists David Dolan, Bert Mooiman, Karst de Jong and trombonist and recorder player John Kenny (1 May); a performance from trio Keys, Bones and Bellows (2 May); and a concert and discussion of Corelli’s Op 5 Sonatas, led by Christopher Suckling and Oliver Webber (3 May).

Other highlights are masterclasses led by Bert Mooiman, Karst De Jong and David Dolan (1 May); lectures from Dolan and Imperial College’s Henrik Jenson (2 May); and a session on functional analysis led by Guildhall School violinists Sophie Prodanova and Sam Staples (3 May).

Commented Dolan: “Guildhall School of Music & Drama has been a pioneer and visionary institution in fusing uncompromised standards of excellence in performance with the search for creativity and one’s personal voice. As such, it was one of the first world-leading conservatoires to bring classical improvisation back to its curriculum, practice and research agenda.

“We look forward to sharing with you the working process, risk-taking and mind-reading involved in the journey towards the revival of improvisation in the classical music-making context, enhancing the performer’s creative space and the musical experience of all involved.”

All events are free except for the Keys, Bone & Bellows concert.