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Pau Codina

Pau Codina

Pau Codina, born in Barcelona, is presently studying at the Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth with Professor Gary Hoffman. Having graduated from the Yehudi Menuhin School in 2006, and from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama with first class honours in 2010, he has taken part in several International Music Festivals and has performed extensively throughout Spain, England and Germany appearing as a soloist with several orchestras, and recently débuting with the RTVE Orchestra in Madrid  playing the Saint-Saens Concerto No 1, broadcast live on Spanish National Radio.   Pau is also a keen chamber musician being a member of the Idomeneo Quartet and the Cellophony cello ensemble.  Away from the concert platform Pau has won several competitions and awards including the MBF’s Guilhermina Suggia award in 2004 and 2007 and the first prize as well as the EMCY award in the Concurso Permanente Competition of Jeunesses Musicales of Spain.

"As a young musician who is on his way out of the education system, I can look back now with some perspective, look at the things I have learnt, and to a certain extent understand how I have learned them.

There is no question in my mind of the significance that the courses organised by Aidan and Susan have had in my development as a musician. What they provided us with, time and time again, was space and time for learning and for making music. The foundations of what I know of how to play chamber music were built in their home, thanks to their trust, their kindness and hospitality. I can hardly find words to express how grateful I am."

Eunsley Park

Eunsley Park

The Maiastra Course I participated in in September 2013 was one of the best musical experiences I have ever had. The combination of: intense rehearsing, coaching from David Takeno, a recording session and the three consecutive concerts created an ideal musical environment.

We four musicians - who had never played as a quartet before, came together for the purpose of making music to the best of our abilities. We were only able to learn and perform, to a high level, three great quartets, because of the respect and love we all have for chamber music. I believe this made for a rewarding and fulfilling experience.  Also, it was a privilege to work with Akiko Ono who guided and inspired us all to always strive for excellence in our playing.

Leander Kippenberg

Leander Kippenberg

The Maiastra Chamber Music Course was an incredibly enriching time for me.The infinite generosity of Aidan and Susan Woodcock is just wonderful and it was almost unbelievable for me to see how one man can be so willing and passionate to offer and give so much to a younger generation of musicians. Thank you so much.

The intense work undertaken together with such wonderful musicians was enormously inspiring musically.  It was also an opportunity to experience others and oneself on a very challenging and deep level. It is intense indeed and there is no way out or back, but to follow through and always to give one's best. This is what makes the course a very strong, professional and very positive experience.

Lisa Bucknell

Lisa Bucknell

The Maiastra chamber music course is such a unique and invaluable experience, and I would recommend it to any musician who is fortunate enough to be offered this wonderful opportunity!  

Arisa Fujita and David Takeno are inspirational mentors, and the amazing hospitality of Aidan and Susan Woodcock ensured that we were able to rehearse intensively and without distraction.

I learnt so much about chamber music and my own playing, and will remember Maiastra fondly throughout my career.

Savitri Grier

Savitri Grier

The recent Maiastra course was a very special experience for me. It was a tough prospect, as none of us had ever played together before, and therefore we had to work extremely hard at trying to produce a unified 'quartet' sound in limited time.

Arisa Fujita's chamber music experience and style of leading made this challenge seem manageable from the first day; I think we were all inspired by her playing as well as her method of drawing out of us the essence of what we were trying to say, without her ever actually telling us how to play!

It was wonderful to have the opportunity to perform the programme four times, and with every performance we grew as an ensemble, something which could only have happened due to the actual experience of performing to the public.

I feel indebted to Aidan and Susan for their wonderful hospitality and generosity, for making me feel so welcome in their home, and for giving me such a special musical experience. I can't wait until the next time!

Eli Bogdanova

Eli Bogdanova

The Maiastra courses at the Woodcocks' house have the warmest, most hospitable atmosphere and I would describe them as the perfect music making environment.

As young musicians we felt incredibly lucky to be provided with the time and space to work intensely on some challenging string quartet repertoire and then to be given the chance to perform at three venues. In that way, not only did we get more opportunities to try and perfect our performance in a variety of acoustics but we also had more time to enjoy what we had achieved and most of all we got to offer our music to three different audiences.

Another vital part of the course were the two days of sessions with David Takeno, a most generous and inspiring teacher who in a clever way plants numerous ideas and suggestions into our heads but then often leaves them unresolved so they can be developed in our own language and imagination.

Finally I must mention what a fantastic experience it was for us to be led by Akiko Ono. Her brilliant playing and wonderful personality made the working process very easy and pleasant!  What a great course!!

Soh-Yon Kim

Soh-Yon Kim

SOH-YON KIM is currently in her final year of the MMus programme studying with Itzhak Rashkovsky.  She is the winner of several prizes including 1st prize at the 12th International Violin Competition 'Shabyt-Inspiration' in  Astana;  Buenos Aires International Violin Competition and the Yampolsky International Violin Competition.    Soh-Yon is a 2013-14 Park Lane Group Artist and has made numerous solo and chamber music appearances in various venues such as the Wigmore Hall, the Royal Albert Hall, Concertgebouw, the Barbican Arts Centre and she recently performed the Elgar Violin Concerto with the RCM Symphony Orchestra.  She has also been chosen for the London Symphony Orchestra’s String Scheme and the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s Pathway Scheme.

“The chamber music courses hosted by the AWCT have given me the opportunity to learn and to perform many major works at the highest level.  It is a privilege to work with people who hold the same passion for chamber music.   These courses have not only helped me to build repertoire but have taught me to work with people in a flexible and efficient way.  I can say without doubt that the experience has been unique - more worthwhile than any other music courses that I have been to.”

Oscar Perks

Oscar Perks

Oscar, a member of the Dante Quartet, performs regularly as a soloist and chamber musician on both violin and viola;  he is also a composer and arranger and his composition for string quartet, The Twin Towers (2001), won the BBC Guardian Young Composer Competition. He has had the opportunity to perform at many leading London venues and recently took part in the IMS Prussia Cove autumn UK tour.   Oscar is a founding member of the Perks Ensemble, a flexible chamber group co-founded with his brother and sister.   He read music at Cambridge where he studied composition with Robin Holloway. He has just graduated, with distinction, for his Masters at the Royal College, where he studied with Lutsia Ibragimova. He is also a teacher at The Yehudi Menuhin School.

“I have found it extremely interesting and stimulating to work under the guidance and expertise of Arisa Fujita, and Akiko Ono. It really helps with the structure of the rehearsals and the course to work with these established  professionals, and I feel very strongly that they are able to raise my own standard of playing when I work with them.  The coaching that I received from David Waterman, David Takeno and Robert Max was also extremely useful and I learnt a great deal from each. I found the six hour lesson from David Waterman (on Schubert, Brahms and Shostakovich quartets) to be one of the finest chamber music lessons I have had with a teacher and musician of the highest calibre.”

Rosalind Ventris

Rosalind Ventris

Rosalind performs widely as a soloist and chamber musician.   In 2012/2013 she gave recitals at the Slovak Philharmonic (Bratislava), Het Concertgebouw Kleine Zaal and other Dutch venues in an International Holland Music Sessions (TIHMS) tour, and also, in the UK, at the Wigmore Hall, St Martin in the Fields, and Aldeburgh Festival.  In 2014 she will perform at the Wigmore Hall as part of Tabea Zimmerman’s Viola Day, St David’s Hall Cardiff, Lauenen Festival,(Switzerland) and she is also an artist in residence at the Banff Centre, Canada. A keen chamber musician, Rosalind appeared last summer at the Salzburg Festival and in the IMS Prussia Cove Sandor Vegh Centenary celebrations and tour.  She won the Max & Peggy Morgan Prize at the Guildhall School, and received five prizes, including Yuri Bashmet’s President’s Prize, at the 2013 Tertis Competition.

"Having the opportunity to play with Arisa Fujita has helped us all so much in developing our own playing, and as a group.  Arisa's moving playing would stimulate any young musician to want to improve.  Obviously, having a wonderful and inspiring ensemble leader naturally lifts the whole standard of a performance, but her influence on the course participants goes much deeper than this.  She helps open our minds as to how we think about music, never by telling us how to play, but always through questioning us and exploring the content and the context of the music.  I can safely say that these courses have been some of the most rewarding I have ever had.”

Matthijs Broersma

Matthijs Broersma

Matthijs, both as soloist and chamber musician,  has performed extensively worldwide, performing in venues such as the Concertgebouw and the Wigmore Hall. Recently he performed the Elgar Concerto conducted by Christopher Warren-Green, and gave solo recitals at the Royal Festival Hall, Purcell Room and the Menuhin Hall.  Matthijs is also the cellist of the Gémeaux Quartett, an established international prize-winning Swiss quartet.  Recently it was the guest quartet at festivals in Germany, Austria and Sweden and has performed in Hong Kong, at Kings Place in London, the Philharmonie in Köln and during the World Economic Forum in Davos.  A Trustee of the AWCT, Matthijs has taken part in 13 of the main Maiastra courses.

"The 13 courses which I have attended have enabled me to study and perform more than 35 major works in the chamber music repertoire. They have been, in addition to my studies in London, an important part of my education. When the Basel-based Gémeaux Quartett was looking for a new cellist, I was asked to perform with them in Augsburg, Germany, with less than a week's notice. The programme consisted of two Mozart String Quartets and the Brahms Clarinet Quintet. Since I had played one of these Mozart Quartets and the Brahms Quintet during the courses I was able to agree. The concert was a great success and I was subsequently asked to join the quartet. The quartet has won prizes in international competitions and has a busy concert schedule. Life in a professional string quartet is a full-time commitment.  Apart from the daily rehearsals working on a variety of programmes, it involves travelling, regular performances in major concert halls, collaborations with world-class artists, and recordings. In addition, the quartet leads an undergraduate course for string quartets at the Hochschule für Musik Basel.

Without the invaluable experience I gained from the Maiastra courses I would not be in this position now."

Rachel Lanskey

Rachel Lanskey

I had the most fulfilling and fantastic time on The Maiastra Chamber Music Course. I was a little nervous to be working with new musicians so intensely in a different environment and I wasn't entirely sure what to expect but Susan and Aidan Woodcock were so welcoming and kind that they made every day enjoyable to be there.

Working with Arisa Fujita was a brilliant experience. I have never had the chance before to work with such a professional musician in a quartet before. The lessons I learned from her on work ethic, musicality and different techniques when playing in an ensemble were invaluable. She is an incredible musician and teacher but above all she really made the ensemble feel like a team. We worked together intensely for ten days and by the end of the course, it really felt like we had bonded as a group and were making music to a standard far higher than I could have imagined.

I am deeply grateful for having had the chance to be a part of this course and if I was ever given an opportunity like this again to participate, I would do so in the blink of an eye. I only wish I could have stayed working in that environment for longer. I was very sad to leave and I still think of the whole experience with great fondness.

The Maiastra course really opened my eyes to how it is to play professionally in a quartet and it made me realise that is exactly what I want to do. Thank you so much Aidan, Susan and Arisa. You all gave me such a wonderful opportunity here and I will never forget my time on the course. It really has been the highlight of my musical career so far.