“The Imogen Cooper Music Trust is different. Wonderful summer schools and masterclasses already exist for the most gifted young musicians on the cusp of the profession – but most involve quite a large numbers of participants.
This Trust was set up to allow from two to four young musicians to study with me, and sometimes with a fellow artist, every day for the best part of a week. I offer this twice a year, inviting different young artists each time. Having so few participants means I get to work with each individual for up to three hours a day. My great hope is that these young musicians – mostly pianists and singers – will benefit from specific guidance at a critical time in their artistic development, just as I did.
The experiences I had of being intensively mentored by Alfred Brendel, Arthur Rubinstein, the Amadeus Quartet and Clifford Curzon have never left me. Time seemed irrelevant, the sessions had no boundaries and the immersion in great works with those artists has resonated with me throughout my performing life.
For this relationship to work at its best, the students must be taken away from all distractions; they need the time and the space to apply their creative resources, to uncover the depths of the music they are studying and to have their distinctive qualities reinforced. In a beautiful and quiet place, music lives on longer in the ear and those experiences dwell more deeply in the spirit.
We live in a world that is beset by distractions, and where the lean towards commercialism can sap the concentration on music in all its depths. Young performers are very aware of this, never more so than when they have spent some days in peace and quiet, working intensely. My sincere wish is to enable them to leave an ICMT masterclass week with a fresh and enriched focus.”