The violinist shares what it was like to work side-by-side with the Brodsky Quartet and the lasting impact this course has had on his career

daniel pukach pc Tamar Lewinsohn

Daniel Pukach © Tamar Lewinsohn

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I heard about the Dartington Summer School from Brodsky Quartet violinist Krysia Osostowicz. Consequently I attended the advanced string quartet course as a member of the Waldstein Quartet. We were tutored by all the Brodskys and it was geared towards performing a cycle of all 15 Shostakovich string quartets between all the course’s groups. The tutors were inspirational. Not only did we get a deep dive into such a profound composer, but we felt like we were working with fellow colleagues on a joint project.

The school holds many different courses during the summer for varying instruments, ensembles and levels. It’s very possible that you will find the right course for you, no matter your interest, instrument or level. In my course there were three string quartets. We worked both as groups and in side-by-sides with the Brodskys. Our days were filled with coaching sessions, rehearsals and three concerts a day. It was really packed and we accomplished a lot during our time. Seeing as there are so many other courses, you also get to meet so many interesting people with many areas of expertise.

The atmosphere at Dartington is very welcoming. And even though it was intense, it was a nice getaway from everything. I fondly remember the time we had with the Brodsky Quartet outside rehearsals. We played croquet, had drinks and got to know them as human beings, not just world-class musicians. Forming that kind of a connection was very special.

My experience at Dartington has definitely had an impact on my career. At some of the performances, there were organisers who then booked us for future performances. And being tutored by such a renowned group in an environment with so many great musicians, you get to know people in the industry. I’d recommend it to whoever is considering going.