Van Diemen’s Band Inc.
French Baroque Summer Sessions Workshop

Celebrating the splendour of the French Baroque this summer in Tasmania

Date: Saturday 20 January – Thursday 25 January 2018


St David’s Cathedral, Murray Street, Hobart, TAS
Salamanca Arts Centre, Hobart, TAS
Hobart Town Hall, Macquarie Street, Hobart TAS


Martin Gester, Parlement de Musique
Aline Zylberajch, Parlement de Musique
Julia Fredersdorff, Artistic Director, Van Diemen’s Band

Proudly supported by Salamanca Arts Centre and the Allport Bequest

The Workshops

The French Baroque Summer Sessions Workshop is open to pre-professionals and amateur musicians.

It is a great opportunity for talented early career or emerging Australian Baroque performers and passionate (advanced) amateurs to learn from international guests Martin Gester and Aline Zylberajch from Le Parlement de Musique.

The immersive workshop will run over 5 days from 20 -25 January 2018 and musicians will have the opportunity to work with the international tutors on specifically chosen French Baroque repertoire, the workshop will culminate a showcase concert at Hobart Town Hall on the 24th of January. Workshop participants will also be encouraged to present pre-prepared solo or ensemble material at a series of free lunchtime concerts in St David’s Cathedral throughout the workshop period.

Applications are invited from experienced musicians (instrumentalists and vocalists) who have attained advanced standards and are seeking to further their knowledge of Historically Informed Performance practice.

To ensure all participating musicians get the most possible out of the workshop, applicants unknown to the Artistic Director, Julia Fredersdorff, may be asked for an audition recording or references from their teachers. This information will be used to support the design and scheduling of the different workshop sessions.

The workshop activities combine large ensemble playing and technical sessions with HIP lectures and demonstrations. Participants will have the opportunity to study a variety of aspects of 17th and 18th Century French Baroque HIP.

Sessions will be provided to play and perform informally, access one-on-one tuition, or receive Master-class experience for pre-formed ensembles. Open lessons will provide further informal performance experience.

International Tutors

Aline Zylberajch

After graduating from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, Aline Zylberajch continued her harpsichord studies with Ton Koopman in Amsterdam. She went on to gain her Master of Music from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, working with John Gibbons in the Early Music Department.

Her interest in music and instruments from the late eighteenth century has led Aline to focus on the pianoforte, exploring the sound world of the earliest pianos. She appears regularly as soloist with the Polish baroque orchestra Arte di Suonatori. She has participated in over sixty recordings and has recorded for radio in many European countries.

For many years, Aline has collaborated with Alice Piérot, “and with the trio AnPaPié, she performs trios and quartets with the fortepiano, one of her preferred repertoires. She is currently a member of Les Parlement de Musique as well as a popular accompanist for many soloists, from opera to lieder

Martin Gester

Martin is renowned for his passion of bringing neglected masterpieces back to life. Using his own personal style, he revives the ideal of the Baroque artist: open-minded, multifaceted and humanist. He draws on his dual literary and musical training (instrumental, organ and harpsichord, and vocal); his passion for history and attentiveness to oral traditions; his fondness for dance and theatre; and his special interest in restoring the links between cultures and disciplines which are customarily separated. In 1990, he founded Le Parlement de Musique in Strasbourg.

Martin has been the conductor on some forty recordings at the head of Le Parlement de Musique, most of these being revelations of little-known music from varied repertoires. He has as conducted on four continents in such prestigious venues as the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and Théâtre du Châtelet, the Royal Opera at Versailles Palace, Jordan Hall in Boston and many more.

In 1998, Martin began a lasting collaboration with the Polish Baroque orchestra, Arte dei Suonatori. Their regular work on Baroque concertos over a period of several years led to the recording in 2007 of Handel’s twelve Concerti Grossi Opus 6 for the Swedish label, BIS. This release attracted international recognition.

Martin teaches at the Académie Supérieure de Musique and the Conservatoire de Musique in Strasbourg, and frequently gives masterclasses. In keeping with his natural inclination for combining research, performance and pedagogy, he founded an Opera workshop called Génération Baroque to complement Le Parlement de Musique. It is an organisation which aims to support  professional integration, train musicians and give them exposure. Its annual sessions are devoted to Baroque and Classical oratorio and opera.

Martin Gester was made Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of Art and Letters) by the French Minister of Culture for his direction of Le Parlement de Musique, and awarded the Order of Merit by the Polish Minister of Culture for his work with Arte dei Suonatori.

Workshop Eligibility

The Workshop is open to instrumentalists and vocalists.

There is a minimum expectation that all participating musicians have attained an advanced level. It is further expected that applicants can sight read and confidently play one-to-a-part, at tempo, in a chamber group setting.

The pitch for the workshop is A=415 although other pitches may be accommodated for the open lessons or Master-classes.

The Artistic Director will confirm participant enrolments and may contact applicants to discuss their enrolment in advance of the workshop as required.

Application Dates

Applications open on Friday 22 September and close on Friday 10 November. As instrumentation balance is a key consideration, applications should be submitted as soon as possible to preserve a place in the Workshop.

Repertoire will be advised once instrumentation has been settled.

Vocalists are encouraged to apply, noting that your participation will involve one to a part repertoire, as opposed to choral works.

Instruments and equipment

Period instruments are preferred for all combined group work and the final performance, as a minimum, gut string set up is required for all stringed instruments.

Music stands (with your name tag) and spare strings/reeds are the responsibility of each player.

All workshop participants must bring concert attire. The dress code is black: long black for women with covered upper arms and black trousers, black shirt, shoes and socks for men.

Instrument care

An experienced luthier is expected to be available for consultations with string players.

Workshop repertoire, sheet music and resources

Sheet music and/or PDFs will be provided to participants in advance for the major works that will be studied at the workshop.

Workshop participants must bring copies of their scores for all open lessons and Master-classes.

Workshop participants nominating for lunchtime concert performances must bring their own sheet music for their repertoire.

Accommodation and transport

Accommodation is the responsibility of workshop participants, some limited billeting may be available on request.

Workshop participants are encouraged to arrange their accommodation well in advance as Hobart is a vibrant tourist destination and accommodation sells out promptly over the January holiday period.

St David’s Cathedral is located in the centre of Hobart, it is within easy walking distance to the Town Hall and Salamanca Waterfront.

Public transport in Hobart is not comparable to that of larger capital cities. This might be a consideration when selecting your accommodation.

Private tuition

Private lessons with the international tutors may be arranged on request and will be charged additional to workshop enrolment fees. This is an excellent opportunity for pre professional musicians to gain specialist feedback on audition or performance material. Please indicate on your application form your preferred lesson topic (e.g. specific aspects of historically informed performance; French Baroque repertoire; continuo styles).

Fee Schedule

Places at the workshop are limited, and it is essential to apply by the closing date of 10 November 2017.

A non-refundable deposit of $100 is payable at the time of application, this deposit secures your place.

All workshop fees must be paid in full by Friday 5 January 2018.

A $35.00 discount will be available to applicants that pay in full by Friday 1 December.

The 5-day Workshop fee is $485.00 This includes:

  • The 5- day immersive workshop;
  • Entry to the Van Diemen’s Band public concert on Friday 19 January in Launceston (optional);
  • Entry to Saturday evening 20 January in Hobart;
  • All workshop ensemble sessions;
  • An open lesson with an international tutor (optional)
  • An open Masterclass with the international tutors (pre-formed ensemble and optional);
  • Lectures and demonstrations from international tutors;
  • Workshop repertoire printed resources.
  • Morning and afternoon tea and refreshments

Salamanca Arts Centre – Allport Bequest Youth Scholarships

Scholarship supported places equivalent to a discount against the workshop fee of $200 per person are competitively available for musicians aged 16-25 years.

Eligible applicants will:

  • be a Tasmanian resident,
  • have attained a significant standard on their instrument,
  • have a passion for Baroque music
  • have a written reference from their teacher
  • have parental/guardian consent if under 18 yrs of age; and
  • have access to a period instrument or have their instrument set up for Baroque music repertoire at 415.

For web applications click here for the Scholarship application form, or contact Chrissie Berryman at for further information.

Workshop performances

Lunchtime concerts

All workshop participants are invited to present pre-prepared works at informal concerts throughout the week. This activity is deemed to be part of the workshop experience and creates a lived experience of historically informed performance practice in advance of the more formal public concert at the end of the workshop in the Town Hall.

The venues for the lunchtime concerts are located to attract walk-in members of the community, thereby offering the general public and visitors to Hobart the opportunity to experience and enjoy the world of French Baroque Music.

St David’s Cathedral is a beautiful heritage building in the centre of Hobart. The Cathedral offers an acoustic experience akin to that experienced by musicians of the 17th and 18th Century.

Other historical venues, courtesy of the Salamanca Arts Centre, a proud supporter of French Baroque Summer Sessions, are suitable for ‘pop-up’ style performances. Further information on locations will be available at the Workshop induction on Saturday 20 January.

Participants offering lunchtime /pop-up concert repertoire may also elect to have a Master class on their repertoire ahead of their scheduled concert performance.

See photos below from our October 2016 session with international visiting artists baroque violinist (leader of the Gabrieli Consort and Players), Catherine Martin, and Paris-based Australian baroque violist, Deirdre Dowling (principal viola Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra & Collegium Vocale Gent).

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