String Quartet coaching with the Coull Quartet with Jonathan Barritt, Roger Coull, Philip Gallaway and Nicholas Roberts

Ref: SWE32730

About this course

The renowned and highly-experienced Coull Quartet offer six pre-formed string quartets expert advice and encouragement during a weekend of relaxed and informal quartet playing.

Course Description

This weekend course is for string quartets who play together regularly. Each will receive an hour and a half of coaching from each of the four members of the Coull Quartet during the weekend. Sessions will be spread as evenly as possible through the day to facilitate assimilation and rehearsal of issues discussed with the coaches, and each group will be allocated a practice room, several of these are situated in the historic state rooms in West Dean College.

Groups are free to bring along any repertoire they choose, and you will find the course most beneficial if you are well-prepared both individually and as a group. You are welcome to choose repertoire which will challenge you, but be realistic when selecting the works to be studied. Most aspects of quartet playing will be discussed, including leading, achieving good ensemble, balance and intonation, exploring tonal colours, phrasing and musical style.

By the end of this course, you will have achieved a good working knowledge of your chosen work(s) and will have discussed how to rehearse together more productively. There are no ‘quick fixes’ in performing chamber music, but you will get many useful tips that come from the tutors’ many years of experience in the profession.

The course includes an informal performance by the Coull Quartet at the start of the course on Friday evening.

Please also be aware that time is limited and the weekend flies past! Most groups find that planning and agreeing a structure for rehearsal and coaching sessions with your colleagues in advance is very helpful.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops until 9pm, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials

What students need to bring

  • Students will need to bring their own music and scores for the group to study, and extra scores for use of the tutors.
  • You also need to bring music stands, ideally with clip-on stand lights, and cellists are advised to bring a spike holder.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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