Advanced Course: 10th – 13th August 2020

Our 2020 Advanced Course will once again be held at the beautiful Owlpen Manor estate near Uley in Gloucestershire. Daily classes will be held in the historic Cyder House, whilst meals and shared accommodation will be offered in the characterful setting of Grist Mill, a unique eighteenth century mill house in the grounds of the estate.

The Advanced course is aimed at keen and aspirational players of a pre-professional standard (Grade 8+/Diploma), and aged 16 or over. There is no upper age limit, although full residence is only offered up to the age of 25: we are especially keen to support these younger players, who benefit from a strong social experience meeting other people with a shared enthusiasm for the recorder. For sixth-form age students, the course is a particularly good opportunity to get a feel for Conservatoire-level teaching; for those already studying at Music College or University it presents new perspectives and an opportunity to extend repertoire and study performance techniques in further depth. It is ideal for those preparing for auditions, examinations or diplomas, or advanced players simply wishing to develop performance skills and enhance existing knowledge.

Monday 10th – Thursday 13th August 2020
Arrival Monday 10th August from 5pm; classes commence after supper
Departure Thursday 13th August, 5pm 

Annabel Knight : Head of Recorder at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, specialist in recorders and early flutes, professional performer
Robin Bigwood: Professional Harpsichordist, keyboard accompanist, producer/engineer and technical author

Residential, full board in shared rooms (16-25 years only): £415
(Early Bird rate of £395 if booked by May 31st 2020)

Non-residential (includes lunch Tues-Thurs): £395
(Early Bird Rate of £380 if booked by May 31st 2020)
Single day rates may also be available on request, depending on numbers

Fees include a public concert given in the Cyder House by the course tutors, on Tuesday 11th August 2020

Course Bursaries of up to £200 for students up to 25 years of age have been generously donated by The Early Music Shop. To apply, fill in the appropriate section on the Enrolment Form, telling us about your current recorder playing ambitions and why you would like to attend the course.

You can also apply directly to the Walter Bergmann Fund which supports young recorder players under the age of 30 with financial assistance towards courses, instruments and other development costs. Next deadline is 30th April 2020.

Participant numbers are limited to 8 places, so you are recommended to enrol as soon as possible. 


Please note that a non-returnable £100 deposit is payable on application in order to secure your place. The remainder of fees become payable on 10th July 2020.

Venue and accommodation

Owlpen Manor is a Tudor Manor House nestling in a beautiful, quiet valley in a secluded corner of Gloucestershire. Surrounded by private woodlands and historic Cotswold cottages, Owlpen offers a peaceful and artistically stimulating environment in which to study and meet other like-minded musicians. We are very fortunate to have use of the historic Cyder House in the grounds of Owlpen Manor for daily masterclasses. 

The Grist Mill, next to the Manor, offers accommodation in shared rooms, for students up to the age of 25, and also forms the base for meals for all course participants.

Please see links at the bottom of this page for accommodation suggestions for non-residents

Level and Ethos
The course aims to provide and relaxed and friendly environment in which to study both solo and ensemble repertoire from all periods, with the emphasis of the course on personal achievement and acquiring new skills, knowledge and techniques. With the guidance of our tutors, participants can expect to explore their repertoire in some depth, drawing on relevant historical and contemporary performance practice, as well as exploring matters of technique and interpretation to a high level. 

You will be working with others in a small group of up to 8 players; we suggest you bring 2 or 3 solo pieces which you are prepared to perform and work on in the class. Ensemble music will be supplied, but you are welcome to bring your own if there is something you want to try. Equally, do bring other instruments along if you would like a chance to play chamber music.

Course content
Each day of the course is structured to include technique and masterclass sessions, as well as special topics and ensemble music. Topic-based sessions can be on student demand and in the past have included historical and contemporary techniques (including using laptops and electronics), ornamentation, repertoire of specific periods, baroque dance, rhetoric, and instrument maintenance. Students are also encouraged to make use of books, materials and music available in our course library.

Other course highlights include

  • Professional ‘on-tap’ accompaniment on piano and harpsichord
    Beautiful countryside surroundings to relax and inspire
  • Professional tutors’ concert
  • Home-cooked food
  • Course library of books, music and CD recordings

Travel and Directions
Owlpen Manor Estate is a mile east of Uley, between Tetbury, Stroud (both 6 miles) and Dursley (3 miles west). Full directions can be found here.

For those coming by public transport, pick-ups can be arranged if required from Stroud railway station (trains from London Paddington, approx 1.5 hours)

Accommodation suggestions for non-residents
Owlpen Manor Holiday Cottages (beautiful holiday cottages all within the grounds of the Estate)

Old Crown Inn, Uley
Underhill House, (B&B) Dursley
Horsley Manor (B&B)


We are very grateful to our Course Sponsors, Moeck Instruments, Mollenhauer Blockflöten and to The Early Music Shop