String ensemble course with the Chilingirian Quartet with Levon Chilingirian, Mark Butler, Stephen Orton and Susie Meszaros


Ref: SCQ10593


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2 places available

About this course

Select repertoire of your own choice for intensive daily coaching with each of the Chilingirian Quartet. Participate in informal masterclass, performance and collaborative playing sessions. Open to music students, early career professional or amateur ensembles. Bursaries are available.

Course Description

The celebrated Chilingirian Quartet return to West Dean College of Arts and Conservation for their annual course. All quartets or ensembles enjoy the idyllic and relaxing surroundings which make this a perfect setting for ensemble coaching, masterclasses, informal performance and collaborative playing sessions.


This inspirational course offers the opportunity for music graduate, student, or amateur quartets or ensembles, to work closely with each of the Chilingirian Quartet. Each group selects a repertoire of their own choice to work on, benefitting from at least two intensive daily coaching sessions each day. Groups can also participate in informal masterclass, performance and collaborative ensemble playing sessions. The course starts after lunch on the first day and ends after an informal student concert on the final afternoon.

Since its first year in 1983, many students have benefitted from the immersive and supportive learning experience offered on this course. Many have used the course as a final preparation for an important performance, international competition or concert engagement. A maximum of six string quartets or ensembles are accepted to the course each year. Bursaries are available to support music students or early career professional musicians.

Each of the participating ensembles benefit from:

• Concentrated study and daily coaching sessions, with tutors

• A dedicated practice room allocated to their quartet or ensemble for the week

• An informal performance opportunity

• Collaborative ensemble playing sessions in the evenings with tutors and/or other students.


Generous bursaries are offered by the College, to music students and early career young professional musicians, funded by donors and West Dean Friends. If you wish to apply, please download the Chilingirian String Ensemble Course Bursary Application Form, from the website

The applications should be received no later than 24 May 2021.

LEVEL: Grade 8 and above.


Timetable for Chilingirian Quartet

Arrival Day

All students to arrive from 12.30pm for lunch (included).

1.45pm: Welcome, followed by first teaching session, 2pm - 5pm.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included).

Evening working - students may have access to teaching rooms, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 4pm, lunch is included.

Residential students should vacate their rooms by 10am please.

Course Materials

What students need to bring

  • Your instrument, music and a music stand.
The course begins at 12.30am with lunch on Friday, 2 July and ends on Tuesday, 6 July at 4pm.


Levon Chilingirian

Levon Chilingirian was born in Cyprus to Armenian parents and was introduced to music from a very early age through his pianist mother and violinist great uncle. When the Chilingirian family emigrated to London in 1960, Levon concentrated on the violin, studying at the Royal College of Music where he is now a professor. His early influences in music were his uncle, the violinist Manoug Parikian, his teacher Hugh Bean, musicologist Hans Keller, and the Amadeus Quartet.

Mark Butler

Mark Butler, violin, a member of the Chilingirian String Quartet from its formation in 1971 to 1992, toured world-wide and made over 30 quartet recordings for RCA, EMI, Chandos and other labels. He is a member of the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields and with violinist Iva Fleischhansová in a duo called Violins Two! In 2018 he returned to the Quartet as second violin.

Stephen Orton

Born in Ripon, Yorkshire, and studied with William Pleeth at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He has been principal cello with the Bournemouth Sinfonietta and the City of London Sinfonia and was also a member of the Delme Quartet for ten years. He has acted as guest principal cello with the London Symphony Orchestra and Philharmonia.

Susie Meszaros

Susie Mészáros studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School. She has been principal viola with the Camerata Salzburg, as well as a regular chamber music partner of her teacher, violinist Sándor Végh. She made her Wigmore Hall debut as a duo with Yehudi Menuhin in 1977 and performed with Vladimir Spivakov and Arthur Grumiaux. She won the Gold Medal at the Royal Over-Seas League competition and was a string finalist in the BBC Young Musician of the Year and played with many leading chamber ensembles including the Nash Ensemble.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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