2023 Advanced Recorder Course

Sunday 6th August – Thursday 10th August 2023

At Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, UK
With Annabel Knight and Chris Orton

Our Advanced Course is aimed at aspirational recorder players of Grade 7/8 and higher who are keen to develop technique, repertoire and performance skills in a friendly and supportive environment. Coached by two of the UK’s leading recorder specialists, this intensive course will offer opportunities to cover all periods of music from medieval and renaissance through to contemporary styles (including music with electronics), both in solo and ensemble repertoire.

Sunday 6th August, 6pm – Thursday 10th August, 4.30pm
+ Friday 11th August – Early Winds Day (free of charge)

The course is ideal for advanced players who are looking to expand their recorder-playing horizons, prepare for exams or diplomas, meet other like-minded individuals, and get a taste for conservatoire-level study. For those already studying at music college or university, the course presents an ideal opportunity to extend technical and performance skills (including historical and contemporary performance techniques), make new professional connections and broaden knowledge of repertoire.

The majority of our students will be aged 16 or over, although players of any age are welcome. We are giving priority booking (up to the end of March 2023) to players under the age of 25. 

Our experienced Tutors are Annabel Knight and Chris Orton, plus accompaniment and supplementary classes with Robin Bigwood. Participants will have the opportunity to work with all tutors during the week.

Annabel Teaching

Music and Repertoire 
Participants will need to prepare 2 or 3 own-choice works (solo, with or without accompaniment), to work on in the masterclass sessions. Our resident accompanist, Robin Bigwood, will offer harpsichord, chamber organ and piano accompaniment, as well as technical support for students wishing to explore music with electronics. 

Ensemble music will be supplied, but students on the course are also welcome to bring chamber music if they wish.

Course activities will include Dalcroze warm-ups, techniques classes, masterclass-style performance and repertoire sessions, and working in ensembles. Participants will have the chance to learn about and play in a full renaissance consort, as well as take advantage of the baroque and contemporary recorders in the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire collection. We will also be running introductory sessions on working with electronics for those interested in this area, as well as encouraging open discussions covering topics of more general interest such as careers, pedagogical matters and issues surrounding historical and contemporary performance practice.

Special activities 2023
This year we are delighted that the instrument maker Jo Kunath from will be visiting us for a day on Wednesday 9th August, to talk about the history and design of the famous Paetzold Square recorders. Annabel and Chris will also perform important repertoire written for these instruments.

Our wonderful sponsors at the Early Music Shop will also be bringing a Pop-Up stand to the course.

Bonus day
All participants are strongly encouraged to stay on to Friday 11th August for the RBC Early Winds Day (free of charge for applicants, including a slot in a Baroque masterclass). This event will be offering opportunities to explore renaissance and baroque wind instruments, including early flutes and double reeds.

Student accommodation is offered in single rooms in shared university flats (at nearby University Locks), for participants aged 16 and over. Continental breakfasts will be supplied. Lunches and evening meals will be taken independently using nearby cafés and restaurants; however, a microwave oven, toaster and fridge-freezer will also be available for use in the student accommodation. A Co-Op convenience store is also located in the immediate vicinity.

The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire is situated in the Eastside area of the City, about 15 minutes walk from Birmingham New Street Station.

The modern and inspiring facilities at the Conservatoire will allow participants to access an array of specialist recorders, an extensive music library, a range of keyboard instruments for accompaniment and chamber music, as well as the use of electronics equipment for exploring contemporary musical styles.

Full-Time Rates
Full course, with 5 nights’ bed and breakfast (Sun through to Fri) in student halls: £465
Full course (non-residential): £385 (Under 16s £375)

Part-Time Rates
Single day: £100
Two days non-residential: £195
Three days non-residential: £290

Bed and Breakfast accommodation for part time applicants (subject to availability): £30 per night (min stay 2 nights, single occupancy)

Bursary assistance is available – please contact us for details. We also strongly encourage participants to apply to the Walter Bergmann Fund for financial support.


Supported by The Early Music Shop
Supported by Moeck Musikinstrumente + Verlag GmbH
Supported by Mollenhauer Recorders