Italian Baroque Sessions Academy

Sunday 1 March to Thursday 5 March 2020

*Please scroll down for full timetable


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


It is with regret that we write to inform you that due to current travel warnings in northern Italy associated with the fast-growing outbreak of coronavirus, we have decided to cancel the travel of Enrico Gatti and Elena Bianchi. This decision was not taken lightly but we feel it is the best decision both for the safety of our international guests, and our audiences here.

Because of the excellent array of artists we have on hand for the concerts, we have decided to forge ahead with the Academy and Italian Baroque Sessions concerts as planned. The concert dates and times will remain the same and the programs will be adapted as detailed below.

The chamber concerts on Friday and Saturday will go ahead and the newly devised programs will feature the members of Latitude 37 Trio, as well as Lizzy Welsh on violin, Simon Martyn-Ellis on Theorbo, and James Bush on baroque cello. The Sunday concert will still feature an enlarged Van Diemen’s Band with the talented musicians above as soloists.

We are confident that with such a wonderful group of musicians, we can assure you that the quality of our offerings will not be diminished, but should you like to seek a refund for pre-booked tickets, please contact us and we will process that for you.

Many thanks for your understanding in this unfortunate course of events.
Julia Fredersdorff and the committee of VDB

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

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.

This project was assisted through Arts Tasmania by the Minister for the Arts, and by the City of Hobart.