The Dorset Cello Classes

Presented by Rebecca Gilliver and Guests


I’m delighted to announce that the Dorset Cello Classes are returning for another year.

This packed week of masterclasses and performances offers the opportunity to study each day with Rebecca Gilliver, as one of a small group of select musicians in this residential course set in a historic and inspiring environment.

The DCC House

The Dorset Cello Classes were set up in 2019 with the concept of providing a few days of focused study for young professional cellists. Young musicians nowadays have so many distractions in the form of bombarding emails, social media, the need to finance their studies and the difficulty of beginning a career in music. Creating a peaceful space in a beautiful place where they can simply study and learn is the key to the Classes. Eight advanced students will be invited to Wimborne for an intensive week of music making.

Coming originally from Dorset, I wanted to bring the music home, to where I had my first inspiration in the forms of the Dorchester Schools Orchestra, the Dorset Youth Orchestra, Music clubs at the Dorford centre in Dorchester and of course my extraordinarily inspiring first teacher, David Norton. Whilst my connection with Dorset is in the Dorchester area, the person who really set me on the path to music was the man who bought me my first little cello - Donald Hall, a wonderful family friend, my godfather and my headmaster! Although he has sadly left us, he lived in Holt just outside Wimborne so I decided to site the course in and around Wimborne in his honour.

Bringing music to my home county is very important to me and therefore in 2021 we will be expanding the concept of the Adult Learners’ Day into a full weekend of events with the help of new staff member and experienced cellist and teacher, Judith Fleet. The Adult Learners event (which took place on-line in 2020), is aimed at amateur cellists who would enjoy a long weekend of study, music making, chamber music and (very!)informal performance. Details of the 2021 course will be updated when a date is found but will certainly be in the late summer, rather than the usual Easter holidays.

Judith and Student

The main Cello Classes will then begin on the Sunday evening and we hope to have the same personnel as were booked for 2020 - pianist and teacher Paul Janes; composer and improvisation class, Zoë Martlew. This year, depending on social distancing at the time, the intention is to include some musical outreach in the local area, with the option to create something online if necessary.

The classes are open for students over the age of 18 who either are or have studied at a major conservatoire and preference will be given to older postgraduates or young professionals who are preparing for a specific project, for example, an audition or final exam, although younger students will be considered.

As the course of the pandemic comes clearer we will be able to make more concrete decisions on what might be possible this year, but even if they’re online, the Classes will happen!