National Concert Hall Announces
its International Master Course
for August 2020

Media Release 13th January 2020

• Four Bursaries Offered to the total value of 2,800euro
• Five Public Masterclasses
• Three Concerts
• Application Deadline - 31st March 2020, 5pm

The National Concert Hall (NCH) is delighted to announce its International Master Course 2020 for up to 32 advanced piano and string students and young professionals. The course, scheduled to take place from Monday 3rd to the 8th of August 2020, will comprise of coaching, workshops, masterclasses and tutorials by a stellar cast of Irish and International musicians led by Artistic Directors violinist Gwendolyn Masin and pianist Finghin Collins.

Aiming to attract Irish and International musicians, the course offers the opportunity to partake in a series of workshops, performances, masterclasses and coaching of the highest level, provided for by a faculty of musicians comprising: Professor at the Musical Chapel in Brussels and leading cellist Gary Hoffman, Grammy-Award-winning violist Kim Kashkashian who teaches at New England Conservatory and leading French violinist and tutor Giles Apap, described by Yehudi Menuhin as “a true violinist for 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.


In addition, the NCH is pleased to announce four bursaries will be made available to select participants including at least one Irish player. There are three bursaries valued at 600euro each – The TJ O’Connor Bursary, Young European Strings Bursary and Mary McGlynn Bursary - and The Patricia Sheridan Bursary valued at 1,000euro. The bursaries are intended to support musicians in furthering their musical development, creating opportunities to learn and progress in their career.


Third level musicians will benefit from a minimum of seven solo and chamber music coaching sessions with world-class musicians, enjoying tuition in an intimate yet formal and professional setting.


Participants will also enjoy performance opportunities as there will be a concert on Wednesday 5th August comprising of faculty musicians and two concerts comprising of both participants and faculty members on Saturday 8th August 2020. (details of these concerts will be announced in due course).

Public Masterclass

This year, each of the faculty musicians will conduct one public master class each, allowing other musicians, students and those interested in accessing masterclasses to attend.

Application Deadline for 2020 NCH International Master Course is Tuesday 31st March 2020, 5pm.

Terms and Conditions

• The deadline for applications is 5pm on Tuesday 31st March 2020. This is the time and date by which all applications must be received.
• A maximum of 32 participants will be accepted, approximately six pianists, twelve violinists, six violists and six cellists. Pre-formed Ensembles are also welcome.
• The fee for the International Master Course is €600
• Successful applicants will be notified of acceptance by the end of May 2020
• Applicants should be performing at Bachelor of Music level or higher.

Media Contact: Sinéad Doyle, Marketing & PR Manager, National Concert Hall, Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2. Tel: 01 417 0057 / 087 1775334

About NCH International Master Course 2020 Faculty

Finghin Collins, piano and International Master Course 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. Finghin Collins has been Artistic Director of Music for Galway since 2013 and is also the founding Artistic Director of the New Ross Piano Festival.

Gwendolyn Masin, violin and International Master Course 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.

Gary Hoffman, cello

Gary Hoffman is one of the outstanding cellists of our time, combining instrumental mastery, great beauty of sound, and a poetic sensibility in his distinctive and memorable performances. He gained international renown upon his victory at Rostropovich International Competition in Paris in 1986. Playing with the world's most noted orchestras, he shares his engagements between Europe, America and Asia, and is the guest of the main venues throughout the world. Gary Hoffman performs on major recital and chamber music series, and prestigious festivals. He devotes time to teaching, having been the youngest faculty appointee in the history of the Indiana University School of Music. He is Professor at the Musical Chapel in Brussels.

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.

Kim Kashkashian, viola

Winner of the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Classical Instrumental Solo Album for her recording Kurtág/Ligeti Music for Viola Kim Kashkashian is recognized internationally as a unique voice on the viola. Kim was awarded the George Peabody Medal for outstanding contributions to music in America, as well as the prestigious Golden Bow award of Switzerland. She was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016. As an advocate of contemporary music, she has developed creative relationships with György Kurtág, Krzysztof Penderecki, Alfred Schnittke, Giya Kancheli and Arvo Pärt and premiered commissioned works by Peter Eötvös, Betty Olivero,Ken Ueno, Thomas Larcher, Lera Auerbach and Tigran Mansurian. As a soloist Kashkashian has appeared with the orchestras of Berlin, London, Vienna, Milan, New York and Cleveland in collaboration with Eschenbach, Mehta, Welser-Moest, Kocsis, Dennis Russell Davies Blomstedt Robertson and Holliger