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An Introduction to Medieval Music; An Easter holiday course for singers and players


Tuesday April 11th – Friday April 14th 2006

Directed by Clare Norburn (centre) and Pastorella

This course for singers and instrumentalists is designed for people of all abilities including those who have little or no experience of performing medieval music. We will look at how you approach medieval repertoire and will focus on the collection of Cantigas de Santa Maria (Spanish, late 13th century), a collection of pilgrim songs called the Libre Vermell and troubadour songs from 12th century Provence.

Instrumentalists will learn how to accompany the songs and also work on creating their own estampies and other instrumental pieces. The content of the workshop will be tailored to the experience of participants, who will work together and in groups. Music will be sent in advance and the course will culminate in a concert on the Thursday evening. There will also be an informal concert given by Pastorella at the start of the course.


Bringing together three of the UK’s leading medieval musicians, Pastorella is a new group which aims to bring medieval music to life for 21st century audiences. The members of Pastorella have performed together on many occasions and have wide experience of teaching and leading workshops. They play with some of the UK’s leading early music groups, including Musicians of the Globe, Tintagel, Sociall Musick, Fontanella and The Troubadours. They are all members of Mediva who are famous for their dynamic approach.

Clare Norburn sings with a number of early music groups, including Mediva, Pastorella and The Troubadours. She regularly performs at festivals and venues all over the UK and has made a number of broadcasts on Radios 3 and 4. With the ensemble Vox Animae she recorded Abbess Hildegard of Bingen’s Ordo Virtutum on CD and video, and on BBC Radio 3 & Danish Radio. Together with the soprano Deborah Roberts, Clare is co-Artistic Director of the Brighton Early Music Festival which has expanded rapidly over the past three years into the UK’s second largest early music festival.

After graduating in his native Iceland, Arngeir H. Hauksson studied the Classical Guitar and the the Lute with Robert Brightmore and David Miller at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, in London. He won the Portallion Solo Guitar Prize in 1998 and the Portallion Chamber Music Prize in 1997 and 1998. Arngeir now specialises in music from the medieval,

renaissance and baroque periods on authentic instruments. He regularly plays with the ensembles The New London Consort, Musicians of the Globe, The Sixteen, Ex Cathedra, Broadside Band and Mediva in Early Music Festivals throughout Britain, Europe and Japan.

Rebecca Austen-Brown graduated in 1995 from the Royal Academy of Music, London with the Francis Ayling B Mus prize. She went on to study on a postgraduate course in early music at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Having studied recorder, she decided to commission a medieval fiddle in 1997, and now plays early fiddles, flutes and recorders on an equal basis. With the Young Vic Theatre Rebecca played 17 instruments in the production of Arabian Nights, touring Brazil, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Broadway, New York. She has performed in several established early music ensembles, such as Mediva, Fontanella and Tintagel at music festivals throughout the UK, and has toured Europe and the US, as well as recording live broadcasts for BBC TV and BBC Radio's 2,3 and 4.

The course begins on the Tuesday evening and ends after breakfast on Good Friday morning. There will also be plenty of opportunities to explore Triora and the surrounding countryside.

Booking closes on March 1st but we recommend you book soon in order to get the cheapest travel deals.

Cost of tuition for the course is £75 (students £50).



The cheapest  available flights at the moment (Feb 2006) are shown below. We would advise you to book your flights as soon as possible in order to get the lowest prices. For general info on getting to Triora from UK, click here . We can provide private bus transport from Nice airport to meet the latest of the flights that arrive within an hour or so of each other if there is demand. Please note that the final price of the bus would have to depend upon the numbers involved, but a deposit of £25 is required at the time of booking.

Please do contact Deborah Roberts before making any flight bookings. It might be that more people decide to travel via Genoa (see below) and that the group from Nice will be small enough to fit one car.

Recommended Flights to Nice leaving Tuesday April 11th and returning Friday April 14th: 

Gatwick: dep. 6:00, arr. Nice 9:00                     (return: dep. Nice 9:30, arr. Gatwick 10.30 )
Luton: dep. 07:10, arr. 10:15;                             (return: dep. 10:40, arr. 11:45 or dep. 14:50, arr. 15:55)

Gatwick: dep. 12:45, arr. Nice 15:45 		(return: dep. Nice 16:10, arr. Gatwick 17:10)
Luton: dep. 14:25, arr. Nice 17:30 		(return: dep. Nice 14:50, arr. Luton 15:55)
Stanstead: dep. 13:10, arr. Nice 16:20 	(return: dep. Nice 16:50, arr. Stanstead 17:55)
Bristol: dep. 10:20, arr. Nice 13:25 		(return: dep. 13:50, arr. Bristol 15:00)
Liverpool: dep. 13:25, arr. Nice 16:40 	(return: dep. 17:05, arr.Liverpool 18:25)

The bus would therefore leave Nice at approx. 6 pm if there are passengers from the Luton Flight, or earlier depending 
on the latest flight used. The return bus time would also depend upon the requirements of the group as a whole, but may 
have to leave around 6 am to drop those already booked on earlier, cheaper flights...
Nobody would be stranded!!

Flights from Stansted to Genoa 

These flights are very much cheaper and certainly worth considering.

Tue, 11 Apr:  London Stansted: dep 09:55, arr.Genoa 13:00 (current cost 0.79 GBP excl tax!!)
Friday 14 Apr:    Depart  Genoa 13:25, arr. London Stansted 14:25 (current cost 14.99 GBP excl tax)

Although this flight arrives earlier than SOME of the flights to Nice, it would allow time to take the shuttle bus to Genoa 
(and have a leisurely lunch!). There is a train service from Genoa to Arma di Taggia where our  bus from
Nice airport can do a pick up.  The train journey is around 2 hours. The specific train time can be arranged once we 
know how many people are travelling this way and what time the bus is likely to leave Nice. Keen train spotters can
research on this link! (


Accommodation will be in the Columba d'Oro,  a friendly family run hotel in Triora – where most of the singing will also take place.

 Prices per person are;

Sharing triple: €210
Sharing double: €230
Single room: €250

Price includes all meals and room from dinner on Tuesday evening to breakfast on Friday.

 The menu features much delicious, local cuisine*. More details on the hotel can be found here and at at

( Email: -  you can also enquire about extending your stay beyond the course. Tel: 0039 018494089

*Vegetarian meals can be requested. Please advise on application