Cadeillan Autumn Strings Course 2019
UK violinist, Hazel Ross studied at the Royal Northern College of Music with Maciej Rakowski and Benedict Holland.
Following her undergraduate studies, she then went on to achieve a Distinction in performance at postgraduate level.
She has since built a varied and diverse freelance career which takes her all over the world, performing across Europe, Canada, South Africa, Australia and America. UK solo highlights include concerto performances and numerous recital series with her piano duo partner, piano trio and String Quartet. She has also written, and is now touring internationally, with her own show ‘Tango Tzigane’ and manages the renowned duo ‘Elektra’ which she founded 12 years ago.
Hazel plays with many of the UK’s professional orchestras including the Halle, CBSO, Northern Ballet, RTE Symphony Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra and London Concert Orchestra.
She is also in demand as a session musician and has led tours and recorded with artists from all genres including Michael Buble, Shirley Bassey and Bryn Terfel.
She has made several TV appearances and following her work on Strictly Come Dancing, she was the violin soloist for two consecutive years on the sell out UK tour with two of the professional dancers ‘Kevin and Karen’
She also works with the Royal Shakespeare Company, leading the quartet for Coriolanus in 2018 and playing violin and mandolin in Don Quixote earlier this year.
Hazel is passionate about music education and currently teaches violin and chamber music at the outstanding Sevenoaks School with previous posts including The Royal Northern College of Music.
She also ran the junior department of the international music course ‘LMFL for many years and is regularly invited to give string master classes and run workshops across the UK.
Hazel also works as an ABRSM examiner and has been invited to represent the ABRSM in China and Malaysia. She has also recently been chosen as the UK representative onto the Global Leaders Program.
Stephan Johannes Rieckhoff
Born in Plochingen/Stuttgart (Germany ) in 1953, Stefan discovered happiness while « making music » within his own family at an early age.
His musical abilities were recognised at the age of 10 and he was invited to join the two orchestras in his native town of Marburg, the Gymnase and Kammerorchester, as First Cello.
When 13 and 15 years old he entered the Bundes-wettbewerb “Jugend musiziert competition and won his two first prizes for cello solo and for Trio with piano.
He then went for further studies in Detmold with André Navarra and in Freiburg with Prof. Christoph Henke.
He learned a lot from his mentors: Pierre Fournier, Janos Starker, Alexandre Stein, Werner Thomas – Mifune etc.
At 23 he was invited to play as leader of the cellos in the “Südwestdeutsches Kammerorchester Pforzheim” under Paul Angerer.
Two years later he was invited by Rafael Kubelik to join the “Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks” in Munich. He stayed there for 6 years.
His life was enlightened through meeting great artists of this period – amongst them Leonard Bernstein – with whom he formed a relationship that had a serious influence on his life, Mstislav Rostropovitch, Giulini, Celibidache, Ozawa, Muti etc. All helped to nurture his passion for playing and teaching the cello.
In 1984 he became First cello in the ’OSR, Suisse Romande Orchestra in Geneva /Sutz.
He also performs with the Bachcollegium München, the Südwestdeutsches Kammerorchester Pforzheim and other orchestras. He also plays in chamber music groups and especially with his pianist brother Leonhard Rieckhoff.
His philosophy of music and the cello
- One needs to feel happy while playing.
- Technique needs to become so easy that it makes room for expression and listening without restraint.
In his teaching he uses:
- Improvisation techniques for breathing and singing,
- body balance and unity without clenching the instrument (being one with the instrument),
- flexibility in all technical approaches and focussing one’s energy in the right part of the body,
- development of mental work which allows him to think ahead on several levels simultaneously as the primary key to the path of development,
- a method by which each step is as easy as a fascinating game.
His philosophy in brief: Your instrument is your best friend for life
What Stephen thinks about music
What you need to be a musician:
You need to be able to listen
You need to imagine what is meant
You need to desire to live the music
You need to understand that music is only beautiful and real if it is as perfect as possible
You need to understand that to achieve this beauty you need patience and the will to structure your work path
You need to avoid unnecessary movement, gestures, muscles that block this path
You need to practice perfect movements
You need to assume that each note will be perfect
You need to breathe so as to accompany the singing which is within you and so as to give yourself the utmost energy when singing.
Stephan teaches in German, French, Spanish or English.