Another short one: today we headed up to London to watch William Bennett’s flute masterclass at the Royal Academy of Music, and with that and the travel time it was a very busy day!

We heard eight flute students across both undergrad and postgrad perform, and it was really interesting to see both the choice of repertoire and the level of playing. In general, I found the repertoire choice quite narrow: Ibert, Hüe, Gaubert and Dutilleux made for a lot of early 20th century French music, and there wasn’t really anything terribly adventurous for the offering. Nor, for that matter, was there anything Baroque or Classical, though I wonder whether, with such a strong Early Music department, the RAM students might be less keen on playing such works?

The standard of playing was overall incredibly high, and several of the students were really impressive. In the afternoon session, nobody said what year level they were in, but there was a stunningly sensitive performance of the third movement of the Widor Suite by a girl that looked pretty new, as well as a student with amazing technical facility performing the Dutilleux Sonatine.

As for Wibb, he is a great teacher, with a very keen sense of the masterclass environment as well. He was humorous, and seemed keen to put students at their ease one stage. That said, he was also very particular about intonation, and how one should phrase! Aesthetically, very similar to Trevor, but with something of a different method of delivery!

More tomorrow, though I’m sure I’ll also have lots to say about our own class, Brahms 4 and Les Folies d’Espagne!

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