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Leiston Abbey Masterclass

The Leiston Abbey Masterclass is a program designed to provide advanced conductors of all ages the opportunity to work under Maestro Kiesler's tutelage with the finest professional London musicians in a quiet intensive retreat in Europe.  This program welcomes professional and advanced conductors as well as those in training who are interested in revisiting and refining technical and artistic elements of their conducting while 

working with a professional orchestra in a collegial and supportive atmosphere.  


Applicants for the apprentice positions should have some conducting experience and/or training.

Observer positions are open to conductors at all stages and also members of the general public who are interested in learning more about conducting.


This program will include advanced score study sessions, technique sessions, conducting sessions with sextet (principal string players of the orchestra and piano), a vocal coaching session, two full orchestra sessions, and a final public concert in the idyllic setting of Leiston Abbey. Participants will also be taken on a guided tour of Benjamin Britten's 'Red House' and catalogued historic collection in the neighbouring town of Aldeburgh.


2014 Masterclass Dates:

November 17, 2014 - November 22, 2014


Repertoire for this masterclass includes:


Beethoven Symphony No. 7

Britten 'Les Illuminations' Op.18

Mendelssohn The Hebrides Overture Op. 26

Mozart Ballet Music from Idomeneo

Mozart Marriage of Figaro Recitatives and Arias

Shostakovich Chamber Symphony Op. 110a



All conductors are asked to prepare the complete repertoire

list and may be asked to perform any movement for the final

concert.  Requests will be considered.



Tuition and Housing costs: (includes all on-site meals and housing for five days) 

Fellow $3400

Apprentice $1625

Auditor $1075

Non-refundable application fee $40


There are currently two openings for this class. Please send your application in to be considered.



Participants will be selected and placed according to skill level and experience. An understanding of Maestro Kiesler's approach and prior participation in a workshop under his tutelage, though not required, will be given consideration in the admission process. All sessions will be video recorded, and participants will be provided with an SD card for their use.


Participants are responsible for organizing their own transportation to and from Leiston Abbey.  Participants are required to arrive at the Abbey the afternooon of Monday November 17th.  Participants will be responsible for the cost of their midday meal on the outing day in Aldeburgh.













Directions to Leiston Abbey from London:


Trains go from London Liverpool Street (Central, Circle Line tubes) roughly every hour on the hour. You board the Norwich train and transfer at Ipswich (journey time is 59 mins).


At Ipswich you board the Lowestoft train and disembark at Saxmundham (journey time is 38 mins). There is a short layover of approximately 15 minutes at Ipswich but you'll need to change platforms so the time is welcome!


Should you wish to reserve your ticket there are very good deals on and the earlier you book, the better.  Train times can be viewed on


There is a taxi rank at Saxmundham Station and the fare to Leiston Abbey is approximately £10.00 depending on number of people and luggage.


Leiston Abbey is a beautiful historic site dating from 1363, set in the Suffolk countryside only a short drive from the seaside towns of Aldeburgh and Southwold. The beautiful abbey ruins are incorporated into the buildings providing a stunning backdrop.  Parts of the ruins were purchased in the 1970s by Pro Corda, the International Chamber Music Academy, a charity running music courses for children and adults.




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