Adam Summer School inspires young chamber musicians

February 2015

After a hectic week of performances at the Adam Chamber Music Festival there was no putting our feet up as we plunged immediately into the week-long Adam Summer School for Chamber Music. This was our 21st summer school and over the years 282 students have attended the School, with over half of those attending more than once. Some have returned four, five, six or even seven years in a row so we’re getting to know them pretty well and it’s a great buzz to see their progress from year to year. One of those who can’t seem to stay away is Tabea Squire – perhaps better known to NZSQ audiences as one of this country’s brightest young composers. Upbeat’s Eva Radich interviewed Tabea about why she finds the Summer School so compelling, and you can find a link to that interview below.

This year’s school attracted a record 49 online applications and, thanks to the generous support of our sponsors and donors, we were able to offer places to 30 highly talented young musicians.  The students were formed into seven chamber ensembles, including two string quartets, a viola quintet, a string septet, two piano trios and a piano quartet. We were thrilled that our good friend Diedre Irons, former Head of Piano at NZSM, was available to work with us again as this year’s piano tutor. 

The various practice spaces around Nelson were hives of industry as each group worked on their own, in tutorials, and in public masterclasses on a work which they ultimately presented in the final public concerts at Old St John’s. In those two concerts, audience members were treated to sublime chamber music by Brahms, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Rachmaninov, Ravel, Strauss and Shostakovich.

At the end of such an intense week, it’s always quite sad to say goodbye to each other, but many of the students are vowing to come back again next year. Young cellist Jack Hobbs summed up the experience saying "It's a complete treat to be able to spend an entire week immersing yourself in the process of putting together a piece of chamber music with wonderful colleagues and an enormous amount of very high-level input from the tutors".

Listen to Upbeat interview with Tabea Squire

The New Zealand String Quartet gratefully acknowledges its sponsors and funders