NCH International Master Course

Tuesday 3rd -Saturday
7th August 2021

Applications are
now closed.

The National Concert Hall is delighted to announce that its International Master Course scheduled for August will go ahead online this year. This year's NCH International Master Course is kindly supported by the French Embassy in Ireland.

Scheduled to take place from Tuesday 3rd to Saturday 7th August 2021, the course comprises online masterclasses, presentations and tutorials as well as an all-faculty panel discussion along with a recital by Artistic Directors Gwendolyn Masin & Finghin Collins, all of which will be available to view on NCH YouTube channel. 

View the Schedule for the week

Tuesday 3rd August
10am Piano master class with Finghin Collins WATCH HERE
2pm Katie McGuinness, Vice President of Artistic Operations for Dallas Symphony Orchestra, in conversation with Gwendolyn Masin & Finghin Collins WATCH HERE
4pm Creative Improvisation in Contemporary Classical Music with Ronan Guilfoyle, Cora Venus Lunny, Kate Ellis & Nick Roth WATCH HERE

Wednesday 4th August
10am Viola master class with  Máté Szücs WATCH HERE
4pm A Guided Tour of the Debussy Sonata for Violin and Piano: Performance Perspectives with Gwendolyn Masin and Finghin Collins WATCH HERE

Thursday 5th August
10am Violin master class with Gilles Apap WATCH HERE
2pm Cello master class with Marc Coppey WATCH HERE
7pm Recital with Gwendolyn Masin & Finghin Collins: An Imaginary Tale of Love and Music WATCH HERE

Friday 6th August
10am Máté Szücs: The role of breathing in the process of creating a conscious work of art based on selected Hungarian viola compositions WATCH HERE
12pm Marc Coppey: Harmony in the interpretation of the Cello Suites of JS Bach WATCH HERE
2pm Violin master class with Gwendolyn Masin WATCH HERE

Saturday 7th August
11am Zoë Conway Workshop WATCH HERE
2pm Panel Discussion WATCH HERE

Led by Artistic Directors Gwendolyn Masin (violin) and Finghin Collins (piano) this year’s International Master Course offers Irish and International musicians the opportunity to partake in a series of masterclasses and seminars by a faculty of musicians comprising: leading cellist, and protégé of Lord Yehudi Menuhin and Mstislav Rostropovich Marc Coppey; former principal solo viola player at the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Máté Szücs and Gilles Apap who Yehudi Menuhin described  as ’’A true violinist of the 21st century’’.

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.  

The International Master Course also features tutorials and workshops on such topics as Creative Improvisation in Contemporary Classical Music and Contemporary Traditional Irish Music. These sessions will be led by leading Irish jazz, classical and traditional musicians. 

How can you apply to participate in this year’s International Master Course?   

Deadline has now passed.
Deadline: 5pm, 15th July 2021 (GMT +1)   
Please note you will need to include a link to a recent recording as part of the application process.   

Who Can Apply?

Any player over the age of 16 who has already reach a high standard of playing (ie  Grade 8 / Diploma as a minimum) and has an interest in chamber  music .

Fees:  Due to the ongoing public health restrictions, the decision has been made to present this course online again in 2021, because of this and the generous support of donors we are delighted to provide this course free of charge to the  selected  participants.  

Master Classes   

The course sees a series of five masterclasses, one given by each of the faculty members to both solo musicians and chamber groups. Everybody is welcome to join and view the masterclass online. The masterclasses will be streamed live.   

  •  Máté Szücs: The role of breathing in the process of creating a conscious work of art based on selected Hungarian viola compositions   
  • A Guided Tour of the Debussy Sonata for Violin and Piano: Performance Perspectives with Gwendolyn Masin and  Finghin  Collins   
  • Marc  Coppey: Harmony in the interpretation of the Cello Suites of JS Bach   

Recital with Gwendolyn Masin &  Finghin  Collins:  An Imaginary Tale of Love and Music   

7pm, Thursday 6th August 2021  

Camille Saint-Saëns       Danse Macabre  
Claude Debussy         Sonata  
Claude Debussy         Beau Soir  
Dobrinka  Tabakova    Whispered Lullaby   
Lili Boulanger              Nocturne  
Fritz Kreisler                La Gitana  
Francis Poulenc          Sonata    
Béla Bartók                 Romanian Dances  
Maurice Ravel             Tzigane  

At the  centre  of  An Imaginary Tale of Love and Music  are two major sonatas for violin and piano from the 20th century by Debussy and Poulenc. Shorter pieces by a diverse range of composers from Saint-Saëns to Tabakova seek to put the sonatas into context. An overriding theme which emerges is a string of strong women who were either the dedicatees, the first performers or the inspiration behind virtually all the works, such as Ginette Neveu, Jelly d'Aranyi, and Emma  Bardac.   

  • Creative Improvisation in Contemporary Classical Music with Ronan Guilfoyle, Cora Venus Lunny, Kate Ellis & Nick Roth   
  • Traditional Irish Fiddle player Zoë Conway will lead a workshop and offer demonstrations as well as concert-style performances.  Participants will have the opportunity to learn some traditional tunes and also explore embellishments and techniques to get the most from their playing. 
In Conversation with 

Katie McGuinness, Vice President of Artistic Operations for Dallas Symphony Orchestra, in conversation with Gwendolyn Masin &  Finghin  Collins   

Panel Discussion   

The course will culminate on Saturday afternoon with an all-faculty panel discussion at 2pm which will discuss topics submitted by participants and viewers during the week.   


Finghin Collins, piano Artistic Director

One of Ireland's most successful musicians, Finghin Collins’ international career was launched by winning first prize at the Clara Haskil International Piano Competition in Switzerland in 1999. He has performed in recital and with major orchestras throughout Europe, the United States, the Far East and Australia. In October 2017, the National University of Ireland conferred on him an honorary Degree of Doctor of Music. Collins has recorded numerous award-winning CDs for Swiss label Claves over the past two decades, including works by Schumann, Stanford, Chopin and Mozart. Since 2013, he has been Artistic Director of Music for Galway, which was tasked with presenting the major classical programme of Galway 2020, European Capital of Culture. The centrepiece of that programme, the cello festival Cellissimo, was delivered successfully online in March 2021.  He is also the founding Artistic Director of the New Ross Piano Festival as well as the founding co-Artistic Director of the International Master Course at the National Concert Hall in Dublin.   

Finghin Collins
Gwendolyn Masin

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 with her childhood friend, Finghin Collins. 

Gilles Apap, violin

Described by Yehudi Menuhin as “the instance of the 21st century musician” Gilles Apap is known for his virtuosity, unique approach to music and the skill to bring joy to every concert hall. He delivers distinctive performances of the standard classical repertoire combined with genres such as jazz and folk from around the world and the result is unique programming merging the borderlines between musical styles. Gilles has appeared at the Konzerthaus (Berlin), BOZAR (Brussels), Cadogan Hall (London), Philharmonie de Paris, Tokyo, Adelaïde (Australia), Paleo (Switzerland), Mito (Italy), Rheingau, Ludwigsburg, Dresde, Würzburg (Germany), amongst many others. In 2018, Gilles recorded Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with the Nordic Chamber Orchestra which was followed by tours in Sweden. He also is regularly leading workshops and education projects across Europe including Gstaad Menuhin Academy, Kronberg Academy and Paris Philharmonie, working with children as well as young professionals and Ariana Todes, former editor of The Strad, published an interview highlighting these eclectic aspects of his career.

Giles Apap
Hungarian born violist Máté Szücs

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.

As a chamber musician, Máté has been a member of various chamber ensembles including the Mendelssohn ensemble; Con Spirito piano quartet, Trio Dor, Enigma Ensemble and “Fragments” ensemble.

Máté gives masterclasses all over the world including New York, Los Angeles, 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.

Marc Coppey, cello

Recognised for his celebrated interpretations as soloist, his extensive exploration of chamber music with some of the finest musicians today, and a dedication to widening the cello literature, Marc Coppey is considered to be one of the world’s leading cellists.A protégé of Lord Yehudi Menuhin and Mstislav Rostropovich, Coppey first shot to international acclaim at the age of 18, winning First Prize and ‘Prize for the Best Bach Performance’ at the prestigious Leipzig Bach Competition (1988). Passionate about inspiring future generations of musicians, Coppey is a Professor at the Conservatore National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, and is regularly invited to give masterclasses across Europe, Asia, and both North & South America. Since October 2020, he is the Artistic Director of the Saline Royale Academy d’Arc-et-Senans.Marc Coppey performs on a cello by Matteo Gofriller (Venice, 1711), known as the ‘Van Wilgenburg’, and resides in Paris. 

Marc Coppey