The British Isles Music Festival is a residential masterclass and chamber music course attracting exceptionally gifted conservatoire students and young professionals from around the world. The lower age limit is 18 years of age and musicians are welcome to apply individually or as a pre-formed group.

The aim of this festival is to give young musicians intensive coaching, invaluable performance experience and the opportunity to broaden their knowledge of solo and chamber music repertoire.

The team of professors is drawn from renowned performers and teachers from the leading conservatories within the UK and Europe.

Students attend daily classes with their chosen professors for repertoire guidance and technical advice. They also receive chamber music coaching from a variety of distinguished professors in order to prepare for chamber music concerts, which are open to the public.

On average, 60 musicians attend from 20 countries and more than 120 works are programmed throughout the festival. The concert repertoire is determined in advance by the Director, Susan Milan in consultation with the Professors. This allows for preparation time for the students.

The Director contacts all applicants well in advance to discuss concert repertoire, allowing preparation time. Concerts may be video-recorded professionally.


A library of chamber music is made available on-site throughout the course.

The Festival provides four resident pianists who accompany classes and performances. Additionally, a specialised harpsichordist offers coaching and performs Baroque repertoire with the students.

The festival anticipates a standard reflective of conservatoire and young professionals. Most applicants already have some experience performing solo and chamber music and are aspiring to become, or are already, professional musicians.

A number of scholarships and bursaries are offered, granted on a first-come, first-served basis, taking into account the applicant’s financial circumstances and playing level. These vary in amount and do not usually cover all the fees.

Classes vary in size, with violin and flute classes limited to 12 participants and all other classes to 8.

There is a purpose-built music block with numerous classrooms, providing excellent practice facilities.

Course participants prepare solo pieces, duets, and technical exercises for master classes/lessons, along with selected chamber works for the 8 pm concert series.