MidWinter Composers Course 2017

2-6 January 2017 at St Hilda's College and Jacqueline du Pré Music Centre, Oxford.

Treat yourself to a gigantic creative boost with this intensive five-day course with a track record for taking composers onto an entirely new level, giving them the technical capacity and confidence to realise more ambitious musical ideas and projects.

Following the great success of the 2016 course, we plan the same team for 2017. Composer Alasdair Nicolson offers a friendly and supportive approach that nevertheless is challenging and deeply instructive. With a focus on string writing, composers are required to write for amateur strings as well as a professional string trio comprising Sara Wolstenholme , Ruth Gibson and Zöe Martlew. One session each day is dedicated to writing as a composers’ ensemble.

CoMA Masterclass participants have variously described the course as providing an ‘amazing time’, offering ‘great feedback’ and ‘unique opportunities for collaboration’, and as an ‘inspiring’ way to kick off the New Year. Past composition tutors have included Tansy Davies, Gerald Barry, Sally Beamish, Philip Cashian and Alasdair Nicolson.

Course content

  • Pre-course guidance on writing for strings with option to write for amateur mixed ability string orchestra or chamber size string quintet
  • Group tuition classes and one-to-one composition tutorials with Alasdair Nicolson
  • Attendance at all workshops performing composers’ submitted works with feedback by professional performers
  • Sessions with a professional trio to inspire and develop new musical ideas
  • Working as a ‘composers ensemble’ to create a collective work for performance
  • Right to record all composition sessions
  • Concerts in the Jacqueline du Pré Music Building presented by string tutors


St Hilda’s, one of the more recently established colleges of Oxford University, is located on the banks of the River Cherwell, opposite the Botanic Gardens and the Magdalen Bridge. The Jacqueline du Pré Music Building, the first purpose built concert hall in Oxford since the time of Handel, is located within the college grounds and accommodates the composers’ masterclass and allcomers’ orchestral and quintet sessions, chamber groups and evening concerts.


Booking is now open for day visitor and full board options. We expect to offer a limited number of bursaries for full time students. Many colleges have funds to cover course fees. The course is limited to nine composers and was over subscribed in 2016.

Please download the further details and booking form. Contact info@coma.org if you have any questions.

Further information and booking formpdf


MidWinter Composers Course 2017

2nd January 2017 to 6th January 2017
St Hilda's College and Jacqueline du Pré Music Centre, Oxford

A masterclass with Scottish composers Alasdair Nicholson with a focus on writing for strings.

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