Strings Masterclasses 2022
[NEW DEADLINE-Applications until July 10th]

Convento de Cristo Tomar

Strings Masterclasses 23 – 31 JULY

Masterclass Ophélie Gaillard 26 – 30 JULY

ZêzereArts runs a masterclass for advanced string players and chamber ensembles under the guidance of  Eliot Lawson and Luís Pacheco Cunha (violin), Jorge Alves (viola and chamber music), Catherine Strynckx (cello) and Adriano Aguiar (double bass).

Students will spend one or two weeks studying at an advanced level, playing chamber music (existing groups may apply together or players may join groups formed on the course) and forming the nucleus of the ZêzereArts Festival Orchestra.

At the 2022 festival we have the pleasure, once again, to include a Masterclass given by the extraordinary, French  cellist, Ophélie Gaillard, working intensely for 2 days with a small group of advanced students.

We also welcome, for the first time, Stephen Bryant, leader of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, who will give masterclasses on various aspects of orchestral playing and work intensively with the Festival Orchestra.

All activities benefit from the presence of our professional staff pianist, Taíssa Poliakova, who will accompany classes, rehearsals and concerts.

The courses run from the 23rd to the 31st of July 2022, in Tomar.

The Masterclass with Ophélie Gaillard takes place on the 26th to 30th of July, also in Tomar.

Masterclasses in Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass

Masterclass for existing Chamber Ensembles including coaching, intensive rehearsal time and performance opportunities.

The orchestra and chamber ensembles will have the opportunity to perform throughout the ZêzereArts Festival. There will be opportunities for advanced players to study and perform concerto repertoire with orchestra in main festival events. There will also be performances of chamber music and string ensemble works with the whole event taking place in the exciting summer festival atmosphere that has become the ZêzereArts tradition.

A wonderful opportunity to learn from experienced musicians and teachers while participating in the intense musical activity of a summer festival.


‘Home’ for  your time here will be the charming, historic towns of Tomar and Ferreira do Zêzere. The area is steeped in Knight’s Templar history and is dominated by spectacular scenery and buildings like the village of Dornes on the Zêzere river and the Convento de Cristo in Tomar. This is a unique opportunity to experience these historic buildings not merely as tourist attractions but as living, working spaces.

Classes include the following activities:

– Individual lessons in Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass

– Chamber Music masterclasses for existing groups choosing the Chamber Music only option

– Chamber Music masterclasses for groups formed at the festival

– Masterclass in repertoire for orchestra, competitions, auditions and sight reading, given by Stephen Bryant, leader of the BBC Symphony Orchestra

– Study and performance of solo repertoire with orchestra (audition tape required)

– String ensemble and orchestra rehearsals

– Daily relaxation workshop

– Concerts

– Workshop on the prevention of occupational injuries and illnesses, with Doctor Tomás Caroço


Repertoire for the orchestra will be chosen from an exciting list of well- and less well-known works depending on the experience of the enrolled students. Everyone will play and there will be plenty to challenge the more experienced players. The orchestra rehearses every day focusing on preparing public performances in our many stunningly beautiful venues. These concerts form a central part of the summer festival atmosphere with an audience built up over more than ten years.

Sibelius – Rakastava

Schoenberg – Verklärte Nacht

Villa-Lobos – Bachianas Brasileiras No.9



09:00 – 09:45 – Daily Relaxation Workshop
10:00 – 13:00 – Individual Lessons
13:00 – 14:00 – Lunch
14:30 – 16:00 – Chamber Music Coaching
16:00 – 18:00 – Orchestra Rehearsal
18:00 – 19:30 – Individual Practice
20:00 – Dinner

Evenings – Concerts and other activities


Fees cover the cost of all activities including full board and transport to and from festival events. Travel to and from  Tomar to attend the course is not included.

(including Chamber Music and Orchestra)


Chamber Music
(pre-formed groups at advanced level – daily coaching)


Masterclass with Ophélie Gaillard
(selected students)

(price for students also attending the full course)

(price to attend only the Masterclass with Ophélie Gaillard)

The fee of 700€ covers lessons and rehearsals with the various teachers on the course, plus the 2 day Masterclass (3 hours playing) and full board.

Apply Now

    Applicants under 18:

    Applications should reach us by 10th of July 2022.

    On acceptance 50% of the fee will be required to secure your place, this will not be refundable.

    Applications arriving after 15th of June must pay the full fee to secure your place.

    Students younger than 18 must send a letter of consent from their parent or guardian, insurance is included in the fee.