Our first Chamber Music Holiday was in April 1982 in Chelsea College, London. A group of amateur musicians and a few listeners from seven countries came together to play chamber music and enjoy some of the many attractions of this great city especially the concerts and theatre. Gradually Vienna, Budapest, Esterhaza, Corfu, Israel, Paris, Normandy, Tuscany, Prague, Ireland, Asolo near Venice and Florence, then Thailand, Dubrovnik and Sydney were added. The Caribbean Cruise Beethoven on Board organised by the Lindsay Quartet and Chamber Music Holidays and Festivals was an outstanding success with performances of all the Beethoven Quartets and the Quintet.
So many fantastic memories of friends from all over the world. Wonderful experiences – the New Year parties in Paris, Normandy, Vienna and Prague, the Haydn Bicentenary in Eszterhaza, the concerts in stunning private villas in Corfu, cruising on the Danube from Budapest, our superb apartment hotel on spectacular Sydney harbour and a great variety of varied experiences in Thailand and in 2013 the fascinating city of Istanbul. The week cruising in the Caribbean with the world famous Lindsay Quartet was really fantastic. All these wonderful places with such enjoyable chamber music playing, lots of interesting coaching and wonderful concerts.
The organiser Vivienne Pittendrigh has been a member of international Amateur Chamber Music Players inc since her student days in Sydney Conservatorium. She now lives several months of the year on the Greek island of Corfu while retaining an office in England. Having lived and worked in various parts of the world including Sydney, Melbourne, London, Bournemouth, Vienna, Prague, Corfu and Budapest she has an extensive background knowledge of these places as well as many wonderful friends – especially in the music world.
In 1990 festivals developed – the first in Tuscany which we organised along with John Terry and Sasha Brussilovsky then twenty three Divertimenti in Corfu Festivals organised by Vivienne who brought the Lindsays, the Kocian, Nostitz, Herold and Stamic Quartets, the Kinsky Trio also George Sopkin and others to this beautiful island. In the early and mid 1990s we had wonderful Festivals in the Haydn Music Room in Eszterhaza in Hungary first with Alexander Brussilovsky, George Sopkin and friends, then with the Lindsays, the Kocian Quartet with Michal Kanka, and the Aron Quartet. The Haydn ‘Seven Last Words’ Quartet played there by the Lindsay Quartet left most of the audience in tears and speechless – a memory of a lifetime. In 2009 we celebrated the Haydn bicentenary while staying in Eszterhaza over the actual date, amazing concerts and an incredible atmosphere.
In 2007 and 2008 Vivienne and Sasha Stepanova, a Czech Australian working as an international lawyer in Prague, organised Divertimenti in Prague based in Villa Bertramka. The leading Czech String Quartets played six concerts each year – most successful events.
Since 1982 people have come from all over the world to enjoy our classical music vacations with like minded people. Come alone, as a couple or with a group of friends. Come to listen or to enjoy playing chamber music with people from all over the world, ideal for professional as well as good amateur players. While string players are in the majority, we welcome a limited number of wind players. Pre-formed quartets or individuals are all welcome. Players have ample opportunities for rehearsing and being coached, while listeners absorb the musical atmosphere and gain a greater understanding of music. A unique feature of these Holiday Festivals is that the coaches, members of world famous chamber music ensembles, play with the groups they are coaching. Outstanding concerts and operas are in superb venues. Accommodation is in charming hotels with all modern amenities and WiFi with meals in gourmet restaurants, local taverns and historic places with a sociable, informal atmosphere. Extensive sightseeing with visits to places of musical and historic interest and scheduled chamber music playing with coaching by world famous musicians in Budapest, Vienna and Corfu, all make Chamber Music Holidays a unique experience. Ideal Holidays for players and listeners meeting like minded people in interesting places.
How to Contact Chamber Music Holidays and Festivals