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Violin tutti masterclass


•  Aim

To achieve advanced abilities in adapting all aspects of playing to that of the leader of your section, enabling the production of a truly homogeneous sound of a far better quality than mere unisono playing. By observing and listening to your leader in a specific and precise manner, their playing can be copied exactly, desk by desk. This will result in the complete unity of all sound-relevant factors such as articulation, phrasing, sound colour and volume. The possibilities of bow speed and development, amount of bow used, bow pressure, point of string contact and choice of the string, if monitored with close eye and ear contact, can be used optimally to achieve absolutely homogeneous ensemble playing.

Entire works from well-known audition repertoire will be studied with the result that these works can be presented in later professional auditions focused on tutti requirements of the highest level. These abilities will, if developed in regular practical training during your entire musical studies, lead to significantly higher tutti qualities, and will therefore ease your entry into top orchestras. They will also make your probationary year easier to pass.


•  Practical aspects

There are two possible options: one is a single class over five days with four hours teaching each day, after which at least two pieces, such as Strauß' Don Juan and Mozart's Eb major symphony, will be mastered. This would be available to a minimum of eight participants and a maximum of fourteen.

The second possibility is to integrate the class into a music college year. This class would take place every week for four hours. It would be reasonable to assume that approximately sixteen pieces can be mastered by the end of the course. Again, the number of participants would be limited to between eight and fourteen.


•  Methodology

First of all, the student's ear and eye abilities will be trained using small passages such as scales and single phrases from the literature. Initially, these will be practiced in very small sections, with these then being enlarged up to the full number of participants during the first hour in order to integrate the essential principles into the students' basic abilities. Then a composition will be studied, divided into individual passages and worked on to produce truly concurrent sound in sections of various sizes. Fingerings and bowings will be developed which are individually suitable as well as contributing to integration within the section. These will, of course, have to be suitable for the composition. All participants will be trained to act as real leaders, giving clear impulses, as well as section players first and foremost, which means putting all their abilities into following the section leader.


•  Requirements

All participants must have a mature instrumental technique and be perfectly prepared for the pieces. The class is not meant to merely practice notes or learn to play a piece by sight reading.

The recommendation of a recognised violin teacher, student status at a professional institute of music or a personal audition will be required to participate in this masterclass.


•  Class teacher

The teacher is Radboud Oomens, first violinist of the NDR Symphony Orchestra, Hamburg . His experience and ideas stem from eight years as first concertmaster of the Gelders Orchestra, Arnhem ( Netherlands ), four years as section leader in the Württemberg Chamber Orchestra, Heilbronn ( Germany ), as well as from 22 years' experience in the first violin section of the NDR Symphony Orchestra, Hamburg . Radboud Oomens has worked on many individual projects with amateur, school, youth and student orchestras. Furthermore, he has played piano trio concerts and recitals for over 30 years.


•  Costs

The fee for a five-day class is €125.00 per student, not including board and lodging.

The fee for an integrated class at a musical institute will be negotiated with the management.