September 7 – December 14, 2024
Donald L. Oehler, Department of Music
The Burch Seminar will give students the opportunity to experience firsthand cultural activities in two of the most exciting metropolitan centers in Europe: London, England and Florence, Italy. The seminar will offer a complete range of musical experiences, both for performers and students of music history, and the consumer of serious art music. Small ensembles (chamber music) in intimate settings, solo performances and recitals, larger orchestra repertoire heard live, and dramatic opera settings – all at world-class level – will be available to augment and enhance the study and understanding of musical performance, composition and history.
London Highlights: Covent Garden, The English National Opera, London’s South Bank (Queen Elisabeth Hall and Royal Festival Hall), Royal Albert Hall and the Barbican Centre offer a wide variety of large ensemble and opera repertoire. The intimate settings of the many smaller venues, Wigmore Hall, St. Martin in the Fields, St John’s, Smith Square, and the Royal Academy of Music, Guildhall, Trinity and the Royal College, to name just a few, will offer the students opportunities to hear live chamber music and solo recitals from world-class artists of all ranges of experiences and levels as well as to identify with the inspired, young emerging professional.
Florence Highlights: In addition to the “Amici della Musica” chamber series, students will have at their disposal the Teatro Comunale’s (Maggio Musicale Fiorentino) double series of operas and orchestral concerts, and the Teatro Verdi’s orchestral programming. And with important concert and opera halls in cities very close to Florence, such as Bologna, Parma, Venice, and Rome, we will be able to enjoy spectacular nearby “field trips.”
Private Study and Chamber Music Performance: Studying with instructors of diverse international training, expectations, and styles will allow the student to reflect on their own training, preparation, and past musical experiences, an exercise in self-evaluation of which the value cannot be over-emphasized.
Additionally, the program will offer limited but important opportunities to present public performances in both London and Florence, fusing students’ performance skills, knowledge of repertoire, and understanding of styles from their academic studies.