The Music at Hand

Guest blog by Hawkwood tutor Robert Hollingworth

Hawkwood is a rare chance to batten down the hatches and focus entirely on the music at hand.  This seems to happen quite rarely otherwise. Our courses there have enabled me to dig deep into my own practice but also to meet our supporters, who for the rest of the year, are hidden behind an email address.

My particular area of work has always had a close connection between professional and amateur work. In some ways that’s a peculiarly British phenomenon – and our Hawkwood course is the main annual moment that this can really come together: the chances to talk to people who (for the rest of year) and experiencing your work gives you a proper understanding of how it’s coming across.

Of course, the setting and congenial atmosphere is important for city-dwellers such as me and many of our participants but this includes subtler details like where the food comes from and even that one generally has to share a bathroom (it does us good to think considerately!)

We’ll miss it this year but we’ll be back.

Robert Hollingworth

Robert Hollingworth founded the vocal ensemble I Fagiolini in 1986 and has spent most of his life catching up ever since. He also directs Stour Music (an early music festival in East Kent) and teaches Music at the University of York.

The group has a unique reputation for innovative and creative productions such as ‘The Full Monteverdi’ (Lincoln Center New York before transferring to film), ‘Tallis in Wonderland’, the South African collaboration ‘Simunye’, the Circus piece ‘How Like An Angel’ (in UK cathedrals with the Australian company, Circa) and the Gesualdo project ‘Betrayal – A polyphonic crime drama’.


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