The Aidan Woodcock Charitable Trust, under the name ‘Maiastra’, provides training for emerging young professionals who are hoping to make chamber music a major part of their career.
The main objective of the Trust is to provide courses for advanced students, usually at undergraduate or postgraduate level, in the performance of chamber music.
Each year we provide four residential courses which are completely free for the participants. They last for approximately ten days and are held in a beautiful converted barn in the heart of the Surrey countryside.
The courses are led by a distinguished professional musician, usually either Arisa Fujita, the leader of the prize-winning Gémeaux Quartett and a former Professor at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, or Akiko Ono, Principal Violin Teacher at the Yehudi Menuhin School and also a Professor at the Guildhall, or Florence Cooke, first violinist of the Pasqualati Quartet and Guest Tutor at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and the Yehudi Menuhin School. Additional coaching is provided by Professor David Takeno, one of the UK’s leading chamber music coaches, David Waterman, cellist of the Endellion Quartet, or Simon Rowland-Jones, founder violist of the Chilingirian Quartet.
Each course culminates in three public concerts for appreciative and discerning audiences in Cobham
and West London and occasionally elsewhere in the UK.
We also provide a number of non-residential courses for more advanced students, many of whom have previously benefited from our residential training. These 3-4 day courses, usually based in London, adopt an approach more typical of a professional chamber group and the musicians are paid an appropriate fee.
Aidan Woodcock, who founded the Trust in 2006, was a member of the London Symphony Orchestra and a pupil of Max Rostal. Music, in particular chamber music, was the great passion of his life and many of today’s professional musicians owe him an incalculable debt for the opportunities and encouragement he gave them. Aidan died in 2016 but his legacy lives on in the work of this charity.
Maiastra is a bird with miraculous powers found in Romanian folklore, said to restore youth to those who hear its beautiful song. This charming image is the emblem of the Maiastra concerts which are organised by the Aidan Woodcock Charitable Trust.