You are an amateur pianist, aiming to improve your practice with an internationally respected expert:
is recognised worldwide for his brilliant career as a pianist and for his outstanding teaching.
It is a great honour and pleasure to welcome him back in Blonay.
You like playing 4-hands pieces or piano duos with friends:
accompanist and coach at the Haute Ecole de Musique in Lausanne,
will be happy to help you achieve outstanding results.
You would like to release tension while playing the piano:
teacher of the Alexander Technique,
will help you improve your posture and coordination.
Music Centre, Paul Hindemith Foundation,
The course takes place at the Music Center of the Hindemith Foundation, in the village of Blonay, ideally situated above the cities of Vevey and Montreux.
The German violinist and composer Paul Hindemith lived in Blonay from 1953 to his death in 1963. His wife created the Foundation in 1968, including the Chalet de Lacroix and the Pavilion. The location of the Music Center offers a great view on the Lake Léman and the Swiss Alps.
The main classes will take place in the Salon Hindemith with its 2 Bösendorffer grand pianos. Six other pianos are available for individual practice.
Twin comfortable bedrooms are available in the Pavilion (and the Chalet). Tasty meals will be served in the large dining room or on the terrace, weather permitting. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be served during the morning and afternoon breaks.
Graham Fitch, piano
Based in London, Graham Fitch maintains an international career not only as a pianist, but also as a teacher, adjudicator, and writer. His workshops and classes, which he gives all over the world, have received high praise for their creative and illuminating approach to the subject. First Prizewinner in the Mieczyslaw Munz Piano Competition, he graduated with honours from the Royal College of Music in London as Hopkinson Gold Medallist. His teachers at the RCM included Stephen Savage, Peter Wallfisch and Roger Vignoles. A Fulbright Scholarship then took him to the United States, where he completed his studies with Ann Schein and Nina Svetlanova, as well as participating in weekly classes with Leon Fleisher.
During much of the 1990s, Graham Fitch’s career straddled the Atlantic with solo and chamber performances in England (where he taught piano at the Purcell School, St. Paul’s Girls’ School, and the Centre for Young Musicians) and in Europe and North America. The New York Times spoke of his playing as “unalloyed pleasure”. In the UK he was recitalist at the Bournemouth Festival, and appeared in repeated engagements with the London Chamber Soloists on London’s South Bank. US activities included concerts with his trio, the Trio dell’Arte, various solo appearances (including a performance of Bach’s Goldberg Variations in Merkin Hall during the 250th anniversary of the composer’s death) and a performance of Bartok’s Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion with Jonathan Haas.
From 1997 to 2008, Graham Fitch was Head of Keyboard at the South African College of Music, University of Cape Town, from where he travelled to Australia, New Zealand and the USA to perform and teach. Graham gave recitals, masterclasses and keynote addresses at four successive Australasian Piano Pedagogy Conferences across Australia from 1999 to 2005. He was in residence at the Royal Academy of Music in London in 2006, giving a masterclass, directing a performance class and teaching the Head of Piano’s studio.
Graham is a principal tutor for the Piano Teachers’ Course UK, Britain’s flagship training programme for piano teachers. He is also a tutor at the Summer School for Pianists in Stowe, and gives regular workshops for pianists and teachers in London, at Jackdaws and Finchcocks. This summer, he will be running his third piano holiday in St Laurent, France, now a regular annual event. Graham is a regular contributor to Pianist Magazine, with articles on technique, style, practising and performance as well as producing an ongoing series of video demonstrations on YouTube. Graham was commissioned by Trinity College London to write the teaching notes for a series of graded piano pieces, Raise the Bar (recently published) as well as for the advanced grades for the new syllabus. He is also doing some consulting work for the ABRSM on the new piano syllabus 2021, advanced grades.
Graham teaches privately in South West London, and counts among his students professional pianists, piano teachers, adult amateurs as well as youngsters. Schedule permitting, Graham’s philosophy is to be available to anyone who wishes to study with him who is serious about developing their piano playing.
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Silvia Fraser, piano four hands and duos
Born in Vancouver,SilviaFraser completed her BMus in Piano Performance under Prof. Lee Kum-Sing at the Vancouver Academy of Music and her Masters of Music in Piano Accompanying and Chamber Music at the Eastman School of Music, studying with Dr. Jean Barr.She subsequently completed two years as Junior Fellow at the Royal College of Music, for which she was awarded a prestigious Wingate Scholarship.She studied there with John Blakely and at the Fondation Royaumont with Ruben Lifschitz.
SilviaFraser has appeared in concert with Renaud Capuçon, Françoise Pollet, Sergiu Schwartz, Christian Immler, Paul Marleynand Guy Johnstonin places such asLondon’sWigmore Hall, Royal Festival Halland Purcell Room, Paris’s Salon des Invalides, Switzerland’sSommets Musicaux Gstaad, the Risør and Oslo Chamber Music Festivals, Aubonne Classeek, Victoria Halland New York’s Frick Collection.She currently teaches accompanying at theHaute Ecole deMusique in Lausanne.Sheworked closely with Pierre Amoyal for two years as class pianist and coachat the Haute Ecolein Lausanneandis nowcontinuing that position with both Svetlana Makarova and Renaud Capuçon.
Currently living in Switzerland, sheperforms with artists such as Sergiu Schwarz, Diana Pasko, Alexandra Conunova and Stephanie Gurga.Silvia is also vocal coachwith Nouvel Opéra Fribourg, specialising in contemporary opera, including Gerald Barry’s The Importance of Being Ernest and Thomas Adès’s Powder Her Face.Her first experience with them, jumping in at the last minute as a two-piano team with Stephanie Gurga for five concerts in Paris, was awarded top five best New Operas of 2018 by the Le Monde.
Together with Christian Immler, her baritone-turned-husband, she has performed in Vienna and New York, the lastthe last hailed by the New York Times as “A Harmonious Conversation between a Baritone and a Pianist”.They have recently released a CD on BR Klassik with Danny Driver and Anna Stephany featuring Leonard Bernstein.
Her performances have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3, includingIn TuneandVoices, CBC Radio Vancouver, BBC televisionand the Swiss Espace 2.She was featuredtwiceintheir seriesNomade,whichfocusedontheapproachwhich she has developed incoaching string instruments as well as a separate programme with mezzo-soprano Marie-Claude Chappuis, the mezzo-soprano with whom she frequently collaborates.She has often been a part of theirMasters sur les ondesbroadcast.
Winning first prize for best pianist in a competition she did not even know she had entered was a pleasant surprise: the Concours d’Interprétation Musicale Lausanne awarded her this honour in 2022.Laureate of the 1st International Swedish Duo Competition with cellist Katharine Wood,Silviahas long been interested in the duo repertoire andwas founder andco-artistic director of Rencontres Musicales Lémaniques together with violinist Yuuki Wong.Always interested inchambermusic, she has coached at Lausanne Conservatoireand for the University Association of Chamber Music at the Paul Hindemith Centre in Blonay.
Her experience of playing for masterclasses is extensive.She has had the great honour and pleasure over the years of being the official pianist forthree-day masterclasses withIvry Gitlis, Gilles Apap, Pavel Vernikov, Shmuel Ashkenazi, Jean-Jaques Kantarow, Patrice Fontanorosa,Régis Pasquier,György Pauk,Véronique Gens, Donald Weilerstein as well as participating with Christa Ludwig, Thomas Hampson, Yo-Yo Ma, Zara Nelsova, Tsuyoshi Tsustumi, Natalya Gutman,Anner Bylsma Samuel Sanders, Gaelyne Gabora, Sarah Walker, Warren Jones, Malcom Bilson, Barry Tuckwell, Michael Collins, Cho-Liang Lin, and Steven Doane.
Fanny Gsteiger, Alexander technique
Fanny Gsteiger discovered the Technique during her singing studies at the Conservatory of Music in Neuchâtel and graduated as a teacher of the technique in Geneva in 1990.
She maintains a full-time private practice and works under the auspices of the Conservatory of Music of Lausanne. She participates to numerous international congresses and professional courses mainly in London.Fanny Gsteiger will give private courses on Alexander Technique (pre-reservations required).
The Alexander Technique, named after its creator Frederick Matthias Alexander (1869 - 1955, is an educational process that was created to re-train habitual patterns of movement and posture. Alexander believed that poor habits in posture and movement damaged spatial self-awareness as well as health, and that movement efficiency could support overall physical well-being. Many actors, dancers and musicians use the Alexander technique to improve their body posture and artistic development.
Booking includes teaching fees, food and accommodation in the Music Center (see Application form).
Piano private lessons and Alexander technique lessons are not included (see Application form, pre-reservations required).
Places are limited. Bookings will be allocated on a first come-first serve basis.
The course begins at 12:00 on May 28, and will end by 12:00 on May 31.
Participants organise their own travel arrangements.
Courses are given in English.
Due to the limited number of rooms at the Centre, bedrooms will be allocated on a first come–first serve basis according to availability. We can help people not interested to stay at the Centre to obtain special rates in a hotel within walking distance from the Centre. Participants are free to make their own reservations directly with other hotels, though no transportation will be organised.
Centre de musique Hindemith
Chemin Lacuez 3
Tel. 0041 (0) 21 943 05 20
Informations and administration
1091 Grandvaux Switzerland
Email : email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
By plane: the nearest airport is Geneva Airport, at around 80 km from Blonay, with direct rail connection to Vevey.
By train: from all directions, change in Vevey and take the rack-railway Vevey-Blonay-Les Pléiades to the station “Château de Blonay”. Walk down the main road (5-min walk). At the signpost “Fondation Hindemith”, turn left on the Chemin Lacuez. The entrance to the Centre is on the left side.
By car: exit the motorway A1 at Vevey. Follow the indications Blonay / St-Légier. Drive through the city of St-Légier. Turn left after the 1st railway crossing. Follow the sign “Fondation Hindemith”. The entrance of the Centre is about 30 m to the left, with a large complimentary carpark.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Do my pieces have to be at a good standard or can I bring pieces that are “in progress”? Participants usually find that they get the maximum benefit in class and the most out of the course from playing pieces which are securely “under the fingers” and at a good standard.
2. What are the performance opportunities? There will be opportunities to play your pieces in front of all participants in the grand Salon Hindemith after dinner (mini-recitals).
3. Do I have to attend all sessions that are scheduled in the timetable? You are free to choose and observe sessions that are of interest to you. You may prefer to practice on one of the six pianos at the disposition of the group or take a walk in the surrounding area.
4. What are the conditions in case of special diet or other medical conditions? Please contact Véronique Moret by email for any special need.
5. More information is available on the following websites: http://www.hindemith.info/fr/centre/;http://www.grahamfitch.com/; https://practisingthepiano.com/;https://www.techniquealexander.ch/fanny-gsteiger.