Music at Lavethan – 13-16 MAY 2018

Join us for four days of intense music-making, study and performance in the enchanting setting of Lavethan, an ancient manor house tucked away in a peaceful wooded valley near the Camel River in central Cornwall. This is a small course for up to 16 dedicated amateurs – string players and one or two pianists – who may come either as pre-formed chamber groups, or as individuals wishing to work on chamber music repertoire with like-minded people. Each group will have daily coaching sessions with members of the Dante Quartet, and there will also be concerts and evening chamber-music reading sessions. Complete immersion in the greatest music will be balanced with delicious meals and some time to relax and explore the beautiful surrounding countryside.

Accommodation and surroundings

Accommodation is in beautiful and characterful rooms in the manor house and adjacent cottages at Lavethan, with additional accommodation a short distance away in Blisland Village and Tressarret Manor. There are several comfortable and spacious living-rooms for relaxation and rehearsals. Concerts take place in a superbly restored barn. Delicious meals are lovingly prepared on site by Judith our local caterer, and served in our 16th century dining room or in the Concert Barn.

Views from the house are breathtaking, featuring enormous trees and abundant birdlife, extensive gardens, a river running through the fields below, and many delightful walks starting from the front door. Half a mile away is the idyllic village of Blisland, with its 15th Century church (beloved by John Betjeman), an old-fashioned pub and a thriving village shop. The dramatic North Cornish coast can be reached in 30 minutes by car.

Repertoire for groups and individuals

Each pre-formed group is encouraged to bring one major work of chamber music, prepared beforehand. Individuals applying independently will need to indicate their level, previous chamber music experience and the repertoire they would ideally like to study. Works will then be selected and parts sent out to practise before the course. To ensure everyone’s satisfaction, before confirming places for individuals, we will first need to know that we have the right number and combinations of instruments to form suitable groups.


Although Lavethan feels extraordinarily peaceful and remote, access is quite straightforward. By car, Blisland lies a few minutes off the A30, fifty miles West of Exeter (4-5 hours from London). The nearest station is Bodmin Parkway, 5 miles away from Lavethan, taking 4 hours by train from London Paddington. By air, Newquay Airport is 22 miles west of Lavethan.


We meet at Lavethan on Sunday 13th May for lunch at 1pm; arrivals are welcome any time from 11.30am (or the previous night – see Extras).  After lunch and a couple of hours to acclimatise, chamber music sessions will begin in the afternoon. After dinner there will be a short performance in the Concert Barn by the Dante Quartet, followed by chamber music reading for all who wish to take part. We will schedule rehearsal and coaching sessions each day, also allowing time for relaxation, chamber music reading and local exploration. Private instrumental lessons can also be arranged (see Extras). On Tuesday 15th May the Dante Quartet will give an evening concert in Blisland Church. On Wed 16th May all the groups will take part in an afternoon performance in the Concert Barn, followed by a classic Cornish Cream Tea and home-baked pasties, finishing by 6pm. At this point people may either set off for home, stay for an additional night (see Extras) or head off for a further Cornish holiday.