How nice it is to work with young musicians at that interesting crossroads when they’re emerging from higher education and developing their own identities as professional musicians. They are no longer dependent on teachers (sometimes they no longer have access to teachers), and they have ideas of their own, but are still open to hearing other points of view – indeed, they’re often eager to hear other opinions which might help them to discover their own path.
The photo shows the Cosima Piano Quintet at the start of a coaching session yesterday, part of the first Marryat Chamber Music weekend which ended last night with a wonderful concert by four young ensembles made up of post-grad and young professional players from countries as far apart as Kazakhstan, Israel and Tasmania as well as the UK. Such a rich cultural environment is a great help when we’re all exploring different ideas and ways of doing things. Some people were surprised and amused or bemused to discover that their way of doing things seemed ‘typically British’ (or Eastern European or whatever) to others. It’s good to be surrounded by examples of other ways to do things, because they can often be directly inspiring, without any need for words or theories.