Italian Baroque Sessions Academy

Sunday 1 March to Thursday 5 March 2020

*Please scroll down for full timetable
Please use our online application form to apply.
Applications close January 31st


Sun 1 & Mon 2 March: TBC
Tue 3 to Thu 5 March: Hobart Town Hall, 50 Macquarie St, Hobart


Enrico Gatti (Italy), Baroque Violin
Elena Bianchi (Italy), Baroque Winds
Julia Fredersdorff, Baroque Violin and Artistic Director
Donald Nicolson, Harpsichord/Organ/Continuo

Italian Baroque Sessions Academy

The Van Diemen’s Band Inc. Italian Baroque Sessions Academy provides the perfect opportunity for both experienced and developing musicians of period instruments to work on 17th and 18th Century music in an academy style education project.

The academy will be led by visiting Italian violinist Enrico Gatti (Hesperion XX/Les Arts Florissants/Ensemble Aurora), Italian baroque bassoonist Elena Bianchi (Concerto Köln/Le Concert des Nations/Ensemble Aurora), Van Diemen’s Band’s own Artistic Director Julia Fredersdorff (Latitude 37/Ironwood/Orchestra of the Antipodes), and leading New Zealand keyboardist Dr Donald Nicolson (Latitude 37/Australian Chamber Orchestra). These tutors represent some of the most highly regarded performers in the field. Synonymous with the brand of Tasmania’s leading early music ensemble Van Diemen’s Band Inc., the academy will combine excellence in historically informed performance with a fun, casual and supportive environment, designed to build confidence as well as develop advanced HIP knowledge and experience.

The academy activities include opportunities for ensemble playing, technical studies, masterclasses, and HIP lectures and demonstrations. Participants will have the opportunity to study a variety of aspects of 17th and 18th Century HIP.

The grand finale presents a sumptuous program of some of the most beautiful Concerti Grossi ever written by Arcangelo Corelli and Georg Muffat. These stunning works will be performed by Julia Fredersdorff and Enrico Gatti as soloists with a 20-piece orchestra for which Van Diemens Band will be augmented by selected academy participants. Works of this scale are rarely performed in Hobart – don’t miss it!

Participant eligibility

There is a minimum expectation that all workshop players are competent on their instruments and can 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 you to discuss your enrolment in advance of the workshop as required.

Instruments and equipment

Period instruments are required for all combined group work and performances. As a minimum, gut string set up is required for all stringed instruments. Music stands and spare strings/reeds are the responsibility of each player.


Sheet music or PDF’s will be provided by the Artistic Director for combined chamber group sessions, or if you would like to bring your own music, please do so by consultation with the Workshop organisers. Workshop participants should bring copies of their scores for all open lessons and Master-classes.


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

The tutors

Enrico Gatti

Baroque Violin

Born in Perugia, Italy, Enrico Gatti has dedicated himself to the study of 17th and 18th century repertoire. A pupil of Chiara Banchini, he obtained the diploma in baroque violin at The Conservatory of Music in Geneva, Switzerland, and finished his studies under the guidance of Sigiswald Kuijken at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, Netherlands.

He has concertized extensively in Europe, Canada, America, Russia, Japan and Australia, performing with, among others, La Petite Bande, Ensemble 415, Concerto Palatino, Hesperion XX, La Real Cámara, as leader of Les Arts Florissants, Les Talens Lyriques, The Taverner Players, The King’s Consort, Ricercar Consort, Bach Collegium Japan, Accordone Ensemble, Accademia W. Hermans, Concerto Köln and ARTEK (New York), as well as with directors such as Gustav Leonhardt and Ton Koopman. He directs the Ensemble Aurora, which he founded in Italy in 1986. He has recorded for Harmonia Mundi (France and Germany), Accent and Ricercar (Belgium), Fonit Cetra, Tactus and Symphonia (Italy), Arcana and Astrée (France), Glossa (Spain) as well as recording for the Italian, French, Swiss, Spanish, Dutch, Belgian, German, Swedish, Finnish, Russian Canadian and American radio networks.

Enrico Gatti has developed a distinguished teaching career as professor of baroque violin at The Conservatory of Music in Toulouse, France, the Conservatory of Geneva, the Schola Cantorum of Basel, Switzerland, and the Civica Scuola di Musica in Milan. He teaches presently at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague and at the Conservatorio “G.B. Martini” of Bologna. He has also given masterclasses at the Conservatories of Paris, Lyon, Bordeaux, Madrid, Amsterdam, Utrecht, at the Hochschule für Musik of Trossingen, the University of British Columbia, the University of Texas, the University of Salamanca, the University of Tokyo, the Accademia Chigiana of Siena, the Scuola di Musica of Fiesole, and has taught as well in many summer courses in Urbino, Erice, Venezia, Lanciano (Italy), Barbaste (France), Spa (Belgium), Béjar (Spain), Szombathely (Hungary), and Amherst (U.S.A.).

Enrico Gatti was a member of the jury for the international early music competitions at Bruges (1993), Brescia (1995), Rovereto (1997 & 1998, president of the jury in 2010), “Symphonia en Perigord” (1998) and “Principe Francesco Maria Ruspoli” (2012, president of the jury in 2014). From 1997 to 2005 he has been artistic director of the Urbino Early Music Course. He is now member of the Scientific Committee for the national critical edition of the complete works of Alessandro Stradella and will be the President for the Scientific Committee for the international Symposium “Arcomelo 2013” which took place in Fusignano in November 2013 to celebrate the tri-centenary of Arcangelo Corelli’s death. He has published several articles on early music performance practice as well as facsimile editions of Italian violin music, and more recently an essay on the history of diminution.

Elena Bianchi

Baroque Winds

Elena Bianchi completed a certificate for baroque bassoon at the Conservatoire Populaire de Musique of Geneva (Switzerland) with a special mention from the jury, studying with Lorenzo Alpert. She also studied at the Accademia Internazionale della Musica in Milan with Alberto Grazzi. Previously she completed a diploma for recorder at the “G.B. Martini” Conservatory in Bologna with Giorgio Pacchioni, and a degree in musicology at Bologna University.

After playing in the European Union Baroque Orchestra, touring in many European countries with directors such as Ton Koopman and Roy Goodman, for whom she also played as a soloist a bassoon concerto by the English composer Capel Bond, Elena started playing recorder, dulcian, and baroque to romantic bassoon in Italy and abroad (Europe, Egypt, US, Mexico, Colombia, Turkey, Korea, Japan, and Australia).

She worked with many different groups such as Concerto Köln, Cantus Cöln, (Konrad Junghänel), Ensemble Elyma (Gabriel Garrido), Modo Antiquo (Federico M. Sardelli), Balthasar-Neumann Ensemble (Thomas Hengelbrock), Complesso Barocco (Alan Curtis), Le Concert des Nations (Jordi Savall), Musica Saeculorum (Philipp von Steinacker), I Turchini (Antonio Florio), Accademia Bizantina (Ottavio Dantone), and Atalanta Fugiens (Vanni Moretto).

She regularly plays with Concerto Italiano (Rinaldo Alessandrini), Academia Montis Regalis (Alessandro De Marchi), Risonanza (Fabio Bonizzzoni),Ensemble Aurora (Enrico Gatti). She has recorded for many European broadcasts and labels, such as Opus 111, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, Amadeus, Emi Classics, Tactus, Deusche Grammophon, L’Oiseau-Lyre, Brilliant Classics, Dynamic, Naxos, and Glossa.

Elena Bianchi has been assistant to Alberto Grazzi at the Accademia Internazionale della Musica in Milan and teacher of baroque bassoon at the Petrollo Conservatory in Vicenza and at the Haute École de Musique de Genève (Switzerland). She also teaches baroque bassoon and chamber music at the Early Music Courses of F.I.M.A. in Urbino.

Julia Fredersdorff

Baroque Violin & Artistic Director

Melbourne-born violinist Julia Fredersdorff studied baroque violin with Lucinda Moon at the Victorian College of the Arts, before travelling to The Netherlands to study with Enrico Gatti at The Royal Conservatorium in The Hague. Based in Paris for almost ten years, Julia freelanced with some of the finest European ensembles, such as Les Talens Lyriques, Les Folies Françoises, Le Concert d’Astrée, Le Parlement de Musique, Ensemble Matheus, Les Paladins, Il Complesso Barocco, New Dutch Academy, Ensemble Aurora and Bach Concentus.

Now resident again in Australia, Julia performs regularly as concertmaster for the Orchestra of the Antipodes and is the Artistic Director of the Tasmanian baroque ensemble, Van Diemen’s Band. She is a founding member of period string quartet Ironwood, and the twice ARIA-nominated baroque trio Latitude 37, and a core-member of Ludovico’s Band.

Julia has participated in CD recordings for Virgin Classics, Deutsche Grammaphon, Accent, Accord, Naïve, Erato, Passacaille, Ambronay, ABC Classics, Vexations840 and Tall Poppies. She teaches baroque violin at the Conservatoriums of Sydney, Hobart and Melbourne.

Donald Nicolson

Harpsichord, Organ & Continuo

Melbourne-based harpsichordist, organist and pianist, Donald Nicolson is a prominent figure in performance and research of the music of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe and continues to work on both sides of the Tasman as keyboardist for the MSO, SSO, ACO, and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. He has directed numerous performances from the harpsichord including the Melbourne Symphony and Australian Chamber Orchestras, and regularly teaches historically-informed performance practice at the University of Melbourne.

Donald graduated with a PhD in Musicology at the University of Melbourne in 2018, investigating societal and rhetorical elements in the keyboard preludes of Louis Couperin. Previously, he undertook postgraduate studies at the Royal Conservatorium in The Hague, the Netherlands studying under Ton Koopman and Tini Mathot, focussing on the interpretation of the sixteenth-century English virginal music and the keyboard music of seventeenth-century France.

Donald is co-founder of ARIA-nominated Melbourne baroque trio, Latitude 37. The ensemble performs regularly at the Melbourne Recital Centre, other venues in Victoria, and undertook two Chamber Music New Zealand tours. Three CDs have been released with ABC Classics.

Donald is also a key member of Anja & Zlatna, an ensemble which examines the folk music of the Balkans and infuses it with the improvisational practices of the Baroque. They have released two albums; Ruse Kose and Oj, Vesela Veselice!

Workshop Timetable

Sunday 1 March 2020: TimeActivity
12.00 -1.00Registration
1.00 – 2.30Session #1: Introduction, goal setting, chamber groups, rehearsals for lunchtime concert
2.30 – 3.00Coffee & Tea provided
3.00 – 5.30Session #2: Chamber groups, rehearsals for lunchtime concert
EveningGreetings evening at pub. Evening meals & beverages own responsibility.
Monday 2 March 2020: TimeActivity
9.30 – 11.00Session #1: Masterclasses
11.00 -11.30Coffee & Tea provided
11.30 -1.00Session #2: Rehearsals for lunchtime concert & private lessons
1.00 – 2.00Lunch meals own responsibility
2.00 – 3.30Session #3: Masterclasses
3.30 – 4.00Coffee & Tea provided
4.00 -5.30Session #4: Lecture & demonstration with Enrico Gatti
EveningEvening meals own responsibility, practice
Tuesday 3 March 2020: TimeHobart Town Hall: Activity
9.00 – 10.30Session #1: Masterclasses
10.30 -11.00Coffee & Tea provided
11.00 -12.15Session #2: Rehearsals for lunchtime concert & private lessons
12.15 – 12.45Lunch meals own responsibility
1.00 – 1.50Lunchtime Concert
2.00 – 3.30Session #3: Chamber & Solo rehearsals for Academy Participants’ Concert
3.30 – 4.00Coffee & Tea provided
4.00 -5.00Session #4: Lecture & demonstration with Elena Bianchi
EveningEvening meals own responsibility, booked lessons or practice
Wednesday 4 March 2020: TimeHobart Town Hall: Activity
10.00 – 11.15Session #1: Chamber & Solo rehearsals for Academy Participants’ Concert
11.15 -11.30Coffee & Tea provided
11.30 -1.00Session #2: Lecture/demonstration with Donald lecture
1.00 – 2.00Lunch meals own responsibility
2.00 – 5.00Session #3: Festival Concert #4, rehearsal #1 (open to academy)
Private practice/concert preparation as required
EveningEvening meals own responsibility, booked lessons or practice
Thursday 5 March 2020: TimeHobart Town Hall: Activity
10.00 – 11.00Session #1: Masterclasses
11.00 -11.30Coffee & Tea provided
11.30 -1.00Session #2: Chamber/solo rehearsals/soundcheck for Academy Participants’ Concert
1.00 – 2.00Lunch meals own responsibility
2.00 – 5.00Session #3: Festival Concert #3, rehearsals #1 (open to academy)
Private practice/concert preparation as required
5:00 – 5:45Evening meals own responsibility
6.00 – 7.00Academy Participants’ Concert**

*Only some academy participants required for rehearsals. However, all academy participants are welcome to attend.

**Only some academy participants required to perform in Academy Participants’ Concert. However, all academy participants are welcome to attend.

Please note, private lessons available on request for all aspects of historically informed performance and advanced repertoire with Enrico Gatti, Elena Bianchi, Julia Fredersdorff, or Donald Nicolson. If you would like to schedule a private lesson, please indicate on the application form.


All academy participants are invited to attend the Italian Baroque Sessions Festival for FREE. The festival runs from 5 to 8 March at Hobart Town Hall.

Fee Schedule

Full workshop$300
Single day attendance (Monday-Thursday only)$80 per day
Individual private lessons$50 per ½ hour*
Observer pass for the workshop (Monday-Sunday)$120**

*Please request private lessons on the online academy enrolment form. We appreciate your understanding that private lesson spaces are limited and will be allocated, as scheduling allows, on a first-in-best-dressed basis.

**This option is ideal for aspiring or younger students, family members, friends, partners and Baroque enthusiasts, and includes a free ticket for the Gala-Concert (Festival Concert #4) on Sunday 8th March.

To apply to participate in the Italian Baroque Sessions Academy, please complete the application form.