Guest blog: 4 weeks, 90 events and one big fat wedding

Corporate members Dartington Summer School explain what this years' courses have to offer, including a special Florentine wedding

On top of four weeks of courses spanning the whole gamut of musical experience, and over 90 events in August, the staff at Dartington International Summer School and Festival of Music are also planning a wedding.

The Florentine Intermedi of 1589 were part of an extravagant celebration for the nuptials of Ferdinand of Medici and Christina of Lorraine in Renaissance Italy. Featuring gods, flying machines, demons, a singing competition, poets, dolphins and 286 specially made costumes, these theatrical interludes, all accompanied by gloriously rich music, were the earliest forerunner of opera.

The Big Choir, which meets every morning during the Summer School, will rehearse the Florentine Intermedi under the guidance of Andrew Griffiths, accompanied by musicians from the Advanced Renaissance Wind Band directed by Wiliam Lyons, in the first of four full weeks in August.

Dartington International Summer School and Festival is itself a marriage of musical elements in the beautiful surroundings of Dartington Hall in Devon. It is an extraordinary mix of young musicians, celebrated virtuosos and passionate amateurs, working together in an environment of exceptional learning, listening and participation.

From 29 July to 26 August, in four separate weeks, we run classes and courses by day, led by some of the world’s most experienced musicians and teachers. In the early evening we throw open the doors of the magnificent medieval Great Hall, and present concerts of all kinds of music, for everyone. From opera, jazz, chamber music, folk, poetry and music theatre, to illustrated lectures, Brazilian rhythms, gospel, film music and choral music, performed by the same artists who you’ve been learning from all day.

Our artists this year include Emma Kirkby, Stile Antico, The City Musick, Marina Warner, Eliza and Martin Carthy, Laurence Cummings, Paul Nilon, Alfred Brendel, Pascal Rogé, Heath Quartet, Sian Edwards, Black Voices, Michael Finnissy, Andy Sheppard, Neil Brand and our artistic director Joanna MacGregor.

It’s a wedding, a celebration of an incredible marriage, and you are all invited, come and  join us!

Find out more about corporate members Dartington Summer School.