NCH International Master Course

Tuesday 1st - Sunday
6th August 2023
Closed for applications

Deadline has
now passed

The National Concert Hall's International Master Course returns from August 1st- 6th offering Irish and international musicians the opportunity to partake in a series of masterclasses and seminars by prominent, distinguished artists. This intensive summer school strives to build confidence in students and promote participation in chamber music.

Over six days, participants will receive one-on-one masterclasses, chamber music coaching with new ensembles and performance opportunities. Building on the 2022 course, the 2023 course will include workshops by improvising musicians. On Wednesday 2nd August the faculty will give a unique chamber music concert and on Sunday 6th August the faculty and students will take part in concerts in the National Concert Hall’s John Field Room to mark the end of the International Master Course.

The International Master Course is led by one of Ireland’s foremost musicians, Artistic Director violinist Gwendolyn Masin. Gwendolyn is one of today’s most significant concert violinists and an innovator in classical music. She is much in demand globally as a soloist and collaborator, regularly performing throughout Europe and the US as well as Asia, South Africa and the Middle East. Notable partnerships include the St. Petersburg State Symphony Orchestra, the Bernese Symphony Orchestra and the Hungarian National Philharmonic. Gwendolyn is an Orchid Classics and Naxos recording artist.

She leads this year’s faculty of musicians which comprises a stellar line-up of international talent including acclaimed recitalist and chamber musician, cellist Adrian Brendel, who performs regularly with such esteemed artists as Henning Kraggerud, Lisa Batiashvili and Lars-Anders Tomter. Also bringing their expertise to IMC 2023 is Professor of Violin at the University of the Arts Berlin, Mark Gothoni and multiple award-winner and former violist in the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Máté Szücs, who was part of the faculty in 2021. The faculty is completed by world-renowned pianist Silke Avenhaus, whose numerous distinctions include the Diapason d’Or, the Supraphon Award and a Grammy Award nomination for Best Chamber Music Performance.

Collectively they are all highly regarded soloists and chamber musicians who have performed in some of the world’s most illustrious concert halls and festivals with renowned conductors and ensembles. The wealth of their combined experience is outstanding, providing a unique and rare opportunity for aspiring musicians to learn from.

Kindly supported by TJ O’Connor, the Sheridan Family in memory of Patricia Sheridan, and Blánaid Hayes in memory of her father Roy Hayes.

How can you apply?   

Applications are now closed. Please note you will need to include a links to recent recording as part of the application process. Each video will be reviewed by the faculty.

Who Can Apply?

Any player over the age of 18 who has already reach a high standard of playing (i.e.  Grade 8 / Diploma as a minimum) and has an interest in chamber  music .

Fees:  €600 to be paid in full in advance of the course, please note due to the generosity of the donors, there will be a number of burasies available.


Gwendolyn Masin, violin Artistic Director

Gwendolyn Masin is one of today’s significant concert violinists.

She performs internationally to praise from press and audiences alike as a soloist, chamber musician and as guest with orchestras. Gwendolyn teaches violin and chamber-music master classes at institutes and festivals throughout Europe and North America and gives talks concerning her areas of expertise. She is also an artistic director and PhD scholar. She is Professor of Violin Studies at the Haute École de Musique de Genève, Switzerland, since September 2013. She is also the author of the award-winning book, Michaela’s Music House, The Magic of the Violin which is available in English and German and is part of the ESTA Edition collection available via Müller & Schade. In 2017, born out of the wish to shine a light on home-grown talent and offer international perspectives to young musicians and audiences in Ireland alike, she shaped a chamber music series and later the National Concert Hall International Music Course.

Gwendolyn Masin
Mark Gothoni

Mark Gothoni, violin

Mark Gothoni was born in Finland and began his musical training at the age of six at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki.
Mark has performed as a soloist and as chamber musician around the globe, including major festivals in Europe, Israel, the United States, and the Far East and concert halls like the Berlin Philharmonie, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Lincoln Center New York, Library of Congress Washington, Wigmore Hall London and Kioi Hall Tokyo.
As professor of violin at University of the Arts Berlin he is giving master classes all over the world and he is head of the chamber music department of the Savonlinna Music Academy in Finland.
He served as concertmaster of the Zurich and Munich Chamber Orchestras amongst others and in 2004-08 he was the leader and musical director of the European Union Chamber Orchestra. He is the first violinist of the Orpheus Quartet and member of the award-winning Mozart Piano Quartet, with which he records exclusively for the German label MDG - Dabringhaus&Grimm.

Máté Szücs, viola

Hungarian born violist Máté Szücs has had a career as an award winning soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player.

Máté was principal viola in the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra from 2011 to 2018 where he also appeared as a soloist playing the Bartók Viola Concerto in September 2017.

Máté is also a sought after pedagogue. He has been a regular professor at the "Thy Masterclass" chamber music festival in Denmark, and the Britten-Pears Festival in England. He has taught at the University of Music in Saarbrücken, the Karajan Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the "Hanns Eisler" University of Music in Berlin and the Music Academy of Budapest.

Máté gives masterclasses all over the world including New York, Los Ange-les, Michigan, London, Berlin, Brussels, Shanghai, Taipei, Seoul and Tokyo.
Since 2018, he has been the Professor of Viola at the Geneva University of Music in Switzerland. In 2020 he got his PhD Diploma and became Doctor of Arts.

Mate Szucs viola
Andrian Brendel, cello

Adrian Brendel, cello

Creative innovation and musical versatility rank high among the list of attributes cultivated by Adrian Brendel. The cellist, raised in the great central European tradition of music making, has forged strong and lasting partnerships with many fine artists and appeared with them at the world’s most prestigious festivals and concert halls.

As a tireless champion of new music, Adrian always seeks to include contemporary work in his programmes.

Born in London in 1976, Adrian studied cello with William Pleeth and soon shared his teacher’s profound attachment to chamber music. He later received lessons from Alexander Baillie and Frans Helmerson in London and Cologne, and participated in masterclasses with Kurtág, Ferenc Rados, members of the Alban Berg Quartet and with his father, Alfred Brendel. A critically acclaimed recording of Beethoven’s cello sonatas with his father is available on Philips.

Silke Avenhaus, piano

Numerous solo concerts and appearances in chamber music ensembles have taken Silke Avenhaus throughout Europe, the USA and South East Asia.

Her approach to piano and chamber music literature, characterized by joy and creativity, has led to numerous distinctions by music critics such as the Diapason d’Or, the Supraphon Award, as well as earning a nomination for the Grammy Award. Avenhaus is a much-in- demand chamber music partner as well.

Silke Avenhaus holds an honorary professorship at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Munich and is a regular lecturer at the Villa Musica Music Academy. She is also visiting professor at Musikhochschule Lübeck and a judge in competitions such as ARD  International competition and Leeds International Piano Competition.

Furthermore, Silke Avenhaus joins in "artists for a better future", a group of artists who engage in welfare projects around the world and is a co-founder of ` Sounds and Science`, a concert series running at Konzerthaus Wien for several years.  

Silke Avenhaus, piano