Preview: Dartington International Summer School, Dartington Hall, Totnes
It's finally back to school for Maxwell Davies
Thursday 31 July 2008
Celebrating its first 60 years, Dartington International Summer School is swinging into action with a notable coup: Peter Maxwell Davies, Master of the Queen's Music, will be its resident composition tutor, whereon hangs a tale. He originally came as a student in the Fifties, and returned as a performer in the Seventies with the ensembles he led; he then became William Glock's successor as director, but left after an acrimonious tenure, swearing he wouldn't set foot in the place for five years.
His successor, Gavin Henderson, takes up the story: "We've always been good friends, so when the five years were up I asked him back, but he said he wasn't ready, and went on saying so. After a 25-year gap, with all the people he fell out with having moved on, he's finally returning in triumph."
They're celebrating with a retrospective of all the works Maxwell Davies has premiered at Dartington.
This annual jamboree, which offers a huge range of top-class musical events open to the public, is unique. Nowhere do amateurs and professionals mingle on such equal terms as in this bosky Devon manor, which rich Americans Leonard and Dorothy Elmhirst bought in the Twenties, and to which they welcomed artists from all over Europe.
Everyone who is anyone in British music has either studied here, or taught here, or both. Harrison Birtwistle and Richard Rodney Bennett were in the same class as Maxwell Davies; Jacqueline du Pré was the table-tennis ace of her year; and Simon Rattle and Thomas Adès cut their teeth here. There's always some new star waiting in the wings.
This year's highlights include Apparitions, a big participatory work by Stephen Montague. "It's a nocturnal work about hauntings," says Henderson. "Dartington is regarded as spooky, and this will take place in several venues, and come together for its resolution at 2am."
Meanwhile, the routine stuff will go on – everything from viol consorts to gamelan to swing bands – right round the clock.
To 30 August (01803 847 077)
After giving gay film R-rating despite no sex or violencefilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Rice Bucket Challenge: India's take on the Ice Bucket Challenge 'for Indian needs'
- 3 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 5 Teenager dies after suspected ice bucket challenge goes horribly wrong
Whole Lotta Love by Led Zeppelin voted Greatest Guitar Riff of all time
Doctor Who lesbian kiss sparks Ofcom complaints over 'weird lesbian-lizard perv trip'
Emmys 2014: Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman and Stephen Moffat win big awards for Sherlock
Nicki Minaj suffers wardrobe malfunction during MTV VMAs performance with Jessie J and Ariana Grande
Beyonce MTV VMAs feminist performance: Twitter reacts to singer's 'double standard'
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
Jeremy Clarkson is a cultural tumour and needs to be removed, says comedian Frankie Boyle
Air strikes? Talk of God? Barack Obama is following the jihadists’ script after James Foley beheading
- < Previous
- Next >