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Case Study: Kings Place and MusicWorks

‘MusicWorks is a charity which exists to promote the study of chamber music for young musicians. We present a series of courses for young musicians aged between 7 and around 30.

We had been running our residential summer courses for twelve years and while these were very successful there was always a gap of a year between them. We had a beautiful vision of how regular opportunities to meet and study together would benefit the musical community but we needed to find a venue.

In 2015 we were introduced to Kings Place. They invited us to make MusicWorks Sundays come to life there and I couldn’t imagine a more ideal venue.

MusicWorks Sundays held at Kings Place are a series of eight Study Days in which pre-formed ensembles receive coaching from a team of very experienced and dedicated chamber music specialists. Kings Place offers us the use four of their rooms from 11.30 to 5.00 on eight Sundays throughout the season from September to May. This programme is about providing the musical nourishment to create the next generation of chamber ensembles and of audiences.

Very often young musicians have most of their opportunities to play for others in situations in which they are being judged or assessed so it is particularly important to have forums in which they can feel free to take musical risks and to try out ideas. With this kind of support and focus it is somehow possible for people to play in the most magically inspiring way and I have honestly heard some of the finest, most memorable performances of my lifetime in these settings. When you hear that kind of playing you know that music has taken up residence in that person’s life; whether or not they go on to pursue this professionally, they understand what it is there for!

Without Kings Place, we would not be able to present MusicWorks Sundays as we could not pass the cost of hiring a suitable venue on to the students. Having several perfect working rooms near to each other really helps to build the sense of community. The welcoming atmosphere that the Kings Place staff create is very special for everyone taking part; they always make all participants feel like they belong in the building.

We want young musicians with talent and curiosity to be able to come and take part in forming chamber ensembles, performing for each other, studying music in great depth…this is a thriving musical community and without Kings Place it would cease to exist.’

Thank you to Catherine for sharing the MusicWorks story, and to all supporters of Kings Place who enable this magical work to take place.