My experience at Ambialet was truly unforgettable and re-energizing. The instruction, performances, the scenery, the people, and the FOOD was absolutely amazing. I gained so much insight with my studies and hope that I can revisit in the future.

Molly Roseman, Professor of Piano, University of Wisconsin

Thank you for an amazing experience in France. It is something that I will never forget.

Jack Westwell, Edinburgh University music student

What an extraordinary week we spent with you! It wasn't just the music. It was such a beautiful place, the food was perfect, and we met so many interesting people. But it was even more than that: there was such a wonderful atmosphere of warmth and friendship. It was a truly unique experience. Well actually I hope it doesn't turn out to have been a unique experience as both I and Andrew would love to come back next summer.

Annette Andrews, retired amateur pianist, Dublin

The last two courses were simply amazing ... the teachers, the atmosphere, the people, the place and of course the music make it something special. Seriously, thanks a lot for gifting me with an opportunity to live something like that.

Daniel Fernandez (19-year-old piano student at ESMUC, Barcelona)

Thank you so much for a fabulous, inspiring and utterly delicious week!  I really feel that I have come away ready to perform in front of an audience, which is what I set out to do.

Ginevra House (PhD student at York University, England)



La Bastide d’Albignac, Tarn, southwest France

MUSIC AT ALBIGNAC is open to full-time music students, or those planning to study music at university or conservatoire (Advanced Class); and to adult amateurs with reasonable proficiency (Intermediate Class). Skilled amateur players may also put themselves forward for the Advanced Class.

A maximum of 24 resident participants are accepted on each of the three eight-day courses throughout August. It is usual to have around 10-12 participants in each class. The team of four teachers provides daily teaching for all participants.

There is no upper age limit, and a lower age limit of 17. Non-playing partners are welcome at a substantial discount (see Fees page). Observers are also welcome.

Dining Room
Main House - Wing

Tutors 2018

Course I - August 1 - 9     Charles Owen and Paul Roberts
Course II - August 11 - 19    Stefan Bojsten and Paul Roberts
Course III - August 21 - 29    James Kreiling and Paul Roberts

Both tutors on each course teach all piano classes

Courses Overview

Meals and Recreation

Meals and refreshments are usually served outdoors, where there is plenty of shade. The 20 metre swimming pool provides an inviting focus for either relaxation or exercise. There are walks following the stream through the valley and into the woods. On the free half-day, trips can be arranged to the river Tarn or further afield to Albi. A meal in a local restaurant is organised for the evening.

After the final concerts on the last day, and after dinner, it is a summer school tradition to present a cabaret. Contributions are invited.


For repertoire and optional set works please go to Repertoire page



Download 2018 application form


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Dates for 2018 at Albignac

A Typical Day

  • The day begins with breakfast at 8am, followed by practice until 10am. There is often a general class for everyone at 9.30, involving warm-up exercises, rhythmic and vocal, away from the keyboard. The Intermediate and Advanced Classes usually run simultaneously from 10am until lunchtime (with coffee break), but there will be ample opportunity in the timetable for participants in the Intermediate Class to observe the Advanced Class.


    Everyone is timetabled to play every day, either in class or in an individual lesson.


    Lunch is taken in the shade outside, or in the cool of the dining room. Afternoons are for leisure, or practising, and classes begin again at 4pm. All practising stops at 7pm so as to restore tranquillity to the domain. Short concerts take place between 7pm and 8pm. Drinks are purchased at the bar. Dinner is served at 8pm.


    Workshops and Masterclasses

    Teaching and learning is conducted principally through group sessions. Advanced players will be familiar with the masterclass format, but for the Intermediate Class it should be stressed how supportive the classes are and how enlightening it can be to observe others as well as to receive teaching in front of others. Participants without exception develop considerably in skill and confidence during the course, once the natural apprehensions of the first session are overcome. The whole ambience of Albignac – the inspiring and sympathetic teaching, the setting, the social mix and the food – enables this transformation.


    Individual Lessons

    A timetable of individual sessions is arranged for all participants. James Kreiling and Janneke Brits (see Tutors page) provide detailed individual lessons every day, and the two principal tutors on each course offer individual lessons as well as group sessions and master classes.