ENF Retreat

Founded in 2015, ENF Retreat is jointly led by violinist Alexander Janiczek and ENF director Svend McEwan-Brown. It seeks to encourage, support and inspire exceptional young musicians who are already demonstrating a gift for chamber music by offering a matchless opportunity to spend time with outstanding world-class players, to learn both specific repertoire and also more general aspects of musicianship and technique that will influence their work for years to come. Here are a few comments from 2018 participants:

  • “It was incredibly enriching, as I received many insights from great musicians”
  • It opened my ears, brain and heart! It was also great to play with so many different musicians, it’s a great challenge!”
  • “Musically it was an incredible experience. One of the most productive and interesting weeks I have ever had.”
  • “Everything was so well organized”

Some fast facts

ENF Retreat is annual, and lasts between 6 and 10 days depending on the year. It is a chamber music seminar.

The end of the Retreat is timed to coincide with the East Neuk Festival; in 2019 ENF Retreat will run from 23-28 June inclusive.

A maximum of 10 musicians attend (numbers depend on repertoire). They are coached by and play alongside 3 to 5 senior figures (depending on the year) in the music world. Please see the details of 2018 Retreat below to get a sense of who attends and who teaches.

The course is residential and most of the sessions happen behind closed doors, but there are also 1 or 2 public concerts as part of the main ENF programme.

Who can participate?

Participation is by invitation, but anyone who fits this brief can be proposed:

  • They are exceptional musicians at very advanced student / early professional stage. If you are unsure what we mean, please take a look at the profiles of previous participants on previous years’ Retreat pages.
  • They can demonstrate a track record and commitment to chamber music.
  • They are available for the entire course.
  • They can send us links to live video recordings for assessment.

The final decision on who will be invited is made by the Retreat Director and reflects an assessment of each nominee’s suitability for the course alongside the need to strike the right balance of instruments required for the ensembles.

If you would like to nominate someone please email svend@eastneukfestival.com giving the person’s details (including current email address), a biography, and links to video materials we can view online.

What does it cost?

We cover all course costs, accommodation in self-catering cottages, all catering and local transport. We ask participants to cover their travel costs to Edinburgh airport or train station and to make a £100 donation to the Retreat. We will cover the cost of cello seats if necessary.

Elie beach

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We are grateful for The Misses Barrie Charitable Trust’s support of The Retreat.

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Alexander Janiczek Retreat Director

Svend McEwan-Brown Festival Artistic Director

Ruth Davie Retreat Producer

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Support the Retreat

If you would like to support a musician to attend the Retreat, or make a donation, please contact Ian Gray: ian@eastneukfestival.com

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Read about the 2018 Retreat

Read about the 2017 Retreat

Read about the 2016 Retreat

Read about the 2015 Retreat