This morning we were treated to a master-class by internationally renowned harpsichordist, fortepianist and organist Neal Peres Da Costa. Several ensembles and soloists shared pieces by J.S. Bach, which led to some fascinating insights on baroque style, ornamentation, harmony and pulse. Neal was very generous with his time and shared a vast wealth of knowledge of 17th and 18th century music in particular. It was great to see performers loosen up as they experimented with playing passages in different ways, with Neal encouraging us to appear as though we are playing the notes for the first time in a seemingly improvisatory way. I was listening particularly closely as I’ll be playing a Bach Fantasia and fugue for my LMusA exam later this year!
There were no concerts today as the artists were given a well-deserved day-off from performing. This meant that after the masterclass we were free to explore the sights of Townsville, so we headed to the beach! There was a bit of a cool breeze so very few people were swimming, but we still enjoyed relaxing in the shade of palm trees, testing our Frisbee skills in the wind and sampling some interesting ice cream flavours including caramelised fig! I think we could get used to this lifestyle.