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Corfu - 2005

Melos Brass Summer Academy 2005

The participants of this year's course with the teachers.

  • Philosophy
  • Corfu city
  • Review of this years academy
  • Outdoor concerts
  • Evening concerts
  • Relaxing
  • Faculty staff
  • Conclusion

MELOS BRASS Quintet, in cooperation with the Municipality of Corfu and the Department of Music of the Ionian University, organized the 3rd Ionian Summer Music Academy on Corfu, which took place from July 1 till 7 - 2005 at the Ionian University.
Musical praxis is not only a matter of technical excellence, but also a transgression of the daily reality and a forerunner of a better life's quality for all of us. Having this strong belief, a constellation of eminent musicians decided not only to instruct instrumental lessons, but to give those interested the chance to participate in brass ensembles, daily concerts and a variety of cultural events.
In the course of the seminars the participants have the opportunity to attend instrumental lessons, led both by the guest professors and to combine their vacations with music lessons and music activities, such as participation in brass ensembles and daily concerts scheduled in Corfu from July 1 to 7.

Corfu city

Corfu city is located on the beautiful Island of Corfu in Greece, Its beautiful green surroundings, the blue Mediterranean sea, the picturesque city with its great restaurants, the location of the University in the old fortress made this event an �once in your lifetime� experience.
View over the Island of Corfu.

Review of this years academy

Here follows a review of this years great event.
Teachers at work.
A week full with coaching sessions gave the participants lots of material to work on. Mainly focused on many different brass related matters like:
    •    Breathing-relaxation-warm-up exercises
    •    Instrumental technical issues
    •    Interpretation of the main instrumental repertoire
    •    Ensemble playing
    •    Orchestral audition repertoire and how to prepare for an audition
Intermission time was used to study in the open air.
It was very nice to see that all teachers worked in the same direction. During the many fine hours they spend together there were good conversations about the level of the students and how to approach curtain problems. The team was very open minded and all tried to benefit from these moments.
Tuba class with Hendrik Jan Renes.


Outdoor concerts

Every day, early in the evening, the students had the possibility to play outdoor concerts in the beautiful city of Corfu. These concerts were well attended and appreciated by the local people of Corfu and passing by tourists.
Different ensembles like:
    •    Brass Quintets
    •    Trumpet- ensembles
    •    Trombone-choirs
    •    Tuba-ensembles
gave some very interesting concerts which were good experiences for all participants.

Evening concerts

The teachers join the Melos Brass
for a spectacular concert.
Besides these outdoor concerts there were 3 big evening concerts in the concert hall of the Ionian University. 

- A concert by the MELOS BRASS Quintet with every brass teacher of this year's course as soloist. 
Besides the great playing of all soloists it was a treat to listen to and work with the MBQ. 
This quintet is absolutely a world leading ensemble. Solid playing in combination with a very musical touch made their accompaniments of a high level. The ensemble switched style as quick as a chameleon and the showed great endurance and virtuosity in this sold out concert.

Backrow: Antonis Lagos, Henrik Halen, Ben van Dijk, Hendrik Jan Renes, Yorgos Rarakos, Kostas Avgerinos, Spyros Faroungias, Jorgen van Rijen
Frontrow: Panayotis Kesaris, James Thompson, Frits Damrow, Sokratis Antis.

-The second concert was given by a 10 piece brass ensemble made up by the MBQ and the teachers of the course. A spectacular concert was the result and for all who were there, either playing or listening, it was a great experience. With only 2 rehearsals an ensemble full of energy was put together. The concert was a big success and after the concert many students told their teachers that they now understood even better what they were learning during the teaching-sessions.

Ben van Dijk conducts the students 
final brass ensemble concert.

-The final concert was given by a symphonic brass ensemble under my direction. I was very pleased with the end result on the concert. During the weeks rehearsals together with the students I succeeded in making a real solid brass ensemble. It was clear that not many students were used to play as an ensemble very often but the lessons during the day sessions and the concert on the previous day helped to make this last concert into a big success.


Time to relax for the faculty staff.
This wonderful week had moments of hard serious work but there was also plenty of time to enjoy the good life of Corfu. The food on the beautiful Island is of high quality and diversity. The green landscape gave also extra color to the free time we had.


 New friends were made.....

Faculty staff

This year's guests were the internationally acknowledged soloists and professors:

James Thomson
 Soloist and 
Professor Eastman School of Music-USA

Frits Damrow
 Solo trumpet Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
 and Professor Amsterdam Conservatory

Henrik Halen
 Solo Horn Malmoe Symphony Orchestra 
and Professor at the Academy of Music in Malmoe-Sweden

Jorgen van Rijen
 Solo trombone Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra 
and Professor at the Rotterdam Conservatory

Ben van Dijk
 Solo bass trombone Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra 
and Professor at the Rotterdam Conservatory

Hendrik Jan Renes
 Solo tuba Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra 
and Professor at the Rotterdam, The Hague and Antwerp Conservatories

Just some more snapshots 
to give you an idea of the great ambience!


I have done many summer courses over the last 15 years but this 2005 Melos Brass Summer Academy will have a special place in my memory. 
This well organized summer course begins to grow into one of the leading summer courses in Europe. It is my hope that this article will help to give more international attention to this event. 
The concept of the course, the level of the Melos Brass and the faculty staff in combination with the wonderful Island of Corfu makes this summer course a must for every student. This year showed great enthusiasm among the participants and teachers for this event and I hope next year will even bring more international students to Corfu.

Thanks to Effie Triandafyllidou
for her great organization and support to all of us!
When ever there is new information about next years course you will find information about this on this website.




Corfu Hotel said:

Corfu. Musik history... Great blog. Wonderful pictures. Congratulation admin.

February 5, 2011 11:38 PM

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Bass trombonist of the Rotterdam Conservatory "Codarts" Ben is professor at the Rotterdam Conservatory "Codarts. He plays exclusively "Thein" tenor-bass and contrabass trombones.
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