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)

 

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: HOW DO I PAY?
A: PayPal is the quickest and easiest method for participants outside Europe: see the PayPal form on the 'Bookings & Enquiries' page. The disadvantage is it costs an extra 4%, which we are charged by PayPal for every payment received. We collect the 4% when you arrive in France. Otherwise we accept only sterling or euros. The best method is by sterling or Euros transfer directly into our account, details on enquiry. Or participants can mail a sterling bank draft or sterling travellers' cheques to the UK address on the application form.

Q: What standard must I be to attend the course?
A: For the Intermediate Class we do not stipulate a minimum standard. Enthusiasm
for the piano and its repertoire is the only requirement. The atmosphere is extremely supportive, and even the most reluctant, rusty or nervous players feel inspired to contribute. The Advanced Class, however, operates at conservatoire level. Some quite proficient pianists feel happier in the Intermediate Class; others enjoy the challenge of the Advanced Class. Depending on numbers and the differing standards of participants, the Intermediate Class may be divided into two streams. Those unsure which side of the divide they fall should email Paul Roberts at AlbignacMusic@gmail.com with details of their current level and repertoire.

Q: Do I have to audition?
A: No, though as numbers for the Advanced Class are small we choose participants from their CVs and through recommendation.

Q: What is the deadline for applications?
A: There is no fixed deadline. Places are allocated until the accommodation is full.

Q: Can other instrumentalists attend?
A: Most certainly. In previous years duos and chamber groups have participated in the classes.

Q: What is the usual age range?
A: The age range on a single course can be 17 to 76 and rising. Generally 18-25-year-olds predominate in the advanced class, though it frequently contains some older participants too. The intermediate class is always a mix of ages.

Q: How is the day organised and how long are the classes?
A: Please go to the Course Content page for full details

Q: How much opportunity is there to practise?
A: Plenty. Practice pianos – a choice of uprights, four grands, and several digital instruments are ranged around the property and can be booked in hourly slots. Most participants find they can easily fit at least two hours a day between classes and other activities. However we ask for silence from pianos after 7pm.

Q: Is board and lodging included in the price?
A: Fees are inclusive of all classes, concerts, meals and use of practice facilities,
and range from £785 to £1430 depending on the type of accommodation
chosen. For all extra charges (taxis, supplementary breakfast etc.) please refer to Supplementary Charges on the Fees and Accommodation page.

Q: My family has a holiday house nearby. Can I attend the course and live out?
A: Yes. Please enquire about our day-rate.

Q: Can I bring my wife/husband/partner/non piano-playing friend?
A: Yes – and we offer them a 20% discount. Whether they choose
to attend the classes and concerts, or use the chateau as a base for sight-seeing, cycling, hiking etc, is up to them. Please refer to Concessions on the Fees and Accommodation page.

Q: In which language are the classes held?
A: English.

Q: Do you run any similar courses in the UK?
A: Yes, weekend courses in East Sussex with Paul Roberts, including workshops and an evening recital. Details can be found at PaulRobertsPiano.com.

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