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December 5th 2017


We are thrilled that next year we will welcome back our resident bar man - Ernie. He will be taking back control of the summer school bar in the wonderful new atrium. We will have large tables and lots of chairs for everyone. Let's hope that Leslie Howard will be persuaded to help out again. Happy times!

November 6th 2017

The website is being updated over the coming weeks. Do keep an eye out for all the exciting new courses and teachers. We will announce when everything is finalised.

12th October 2017

The 5th Manchester International Concerto Competition and 17th Chetham’s Piano Summer School

Though the Chetham’s Summer School has been staged annually since 2001, this August’s course felt like a new undertaking.  There were well over 240 participants on each week of the course, supported by sixty-five leading pianist-teachers from all over the globe.  Additionally the Manchester International concerto competition, returning after a four year sabbatical, proved to be both memorable and exciting.   The competition is for pianists under the age of 23 and in 2017 it attracted 68 entries from 22 countries.  A screening jury chose twenty pianists from this list to perform in the semi-finals, which were scheduled as part of the summer school programme


The brand new 500 seater Stoller Hall, opened in April 2017, added a tremendous new dimension to the evening concerts, which included a remarkable feast of solo recitals: Craig Sheppard performed all 24 Shostakovich Preludes and Fugues from memory, Peter Donohoe the first six Mozart Sonatas (as well as Liszt’s Don Juan Fantasy as an extended encore).  There were also memorable recitals from Leslie Howard, Jonathan Plowright, Michael Lewin, Sandro Russo, Vladimir Tropp  as well as four late night concerts from artistic director/ founder of the course Murray McLachlan who played (in 240 minutes) the complete piano works of composer-in-residence John McLeod.  Symphonically the course was well served by the remarkable locally based Stockport Symphony Orchestra, who under the virtuosic banner of Stephen Threlfall accompanied all Five Beethoven Concertos and Choral Fantasy with soloists Leon McCawley, Noriko Ogawa, Dmitri Alexeeyev, Peter Frankle, Leslie Howard and Murray McLachlan.   This was an extraordinary marathon, a feast of music making that will long be remembered.


Threlfall also conducted internationally acclaimed Manchester Camerata in the finals of the concerto competition in Stoller Hall.   An extended jury of fifteen of the Summer School Faculty enjoyed remarkable performances from the six finalists: First prize was awarded to 19 year old Alim Beisembayev from Kazakhstan, a student of Tessa Nicolson at the Royal Academy in London.  He gave a memorable, commanding and exciting performance of Tchaikovsky’s first concerto which brought the house down and was also awarded the orchestral prize.  Second Prize went to 14 year old Zixi Chen from China for an artistically probing, sensitive rendering of Beethoven’s Second Concerto.   11 year old Zhexiang Li, also from China, gave a barnstorming and heroic performance of Kabalevsky’s Third (‘Youth) Concerto and the other finalists were Tianglang Zhou, 17 from the UK (Chopin Concerto no. 1) Caroline Hsu, 13 from USA (Beethoven Concerto no 1) and Wyn Chan, 21 also from the UK (Liszt Second Piano Concerto). 


All semi-finalists were given special feedback and masterclass sessions following their participation in the competition, and everyone involved benefitted from watching the many hours of teaching in the summer school, as well attending lectures, workshops, student concerts and- for a few- participating in the annual cabaret!  With over 115 practice pianos and seven concert venues as well as full board within the campus grounds itself, Chetham’s Summer School offers unparalleled opportunities for pianofiles of all levels and ages.   Bookings for the 2018 course open in January

November 11th 2016

The faculty for the 2017 course is now finalised - do take a look HERE

The incredible list of events is being updated over the next few days so do come back and see the sensational performances we have to look forward to! RECITAL NEWS

December 6th 2015

New for 2016 - Gala Dinner

An exciting opportunity to soak up the atmosphere of the medieval Baronial Hall. A sumptuous gala dinner will be served, together with fine wines, in this beautiful setting. Available on two evenings during the course - Tuesday 16th and Monday 22nd August. Spaces limited - please book early.


There will also be official guided tours of the historic library at the school.Chetham's Library was founded in 1653 and is the oldest public library in the English-speaking world. The entire collection at Chetham's Library has been designated as one of national and international importance.

November 20th 2015

The exciting faculty list is now confirmed for both weeks. Some very exciting pianists and teachers are coming to the course next year for the first time. Do take a look and get ready for bookings which open open on 10th January 2016. Concerts and events to be updated very soon.

Please note that any children attending the course must be 8 years old by the 1st day of the course.