A Study Course at Gartmore House, Stirlingshire

Friday 11th to Tuesday 15th September 2020

Tutor: David Nice, MA Ed

We are delighted to welcome back David Nice to continue his in-depth study of Der Ring Des Nibelungen.

This will be a study not just of the music and text of Siegfried, but a thorough going through of the third of the Ring operas with full audio and visual examples, explaining the ideas without recourse to arcane musicological language and covering the full range of literary and musical sources, with plenty of looks sideways, forwards and back to influencers and influenced.

It is a residential course held in the pleasant and comfortable surroundings of Gartmore House. The course will start with dinner at 6pm on Friday 11th September followed by the first teaching session. There will be free time until 4pm after lunch each day for relaxation or walking in the ground or surrounding countryside and we will disperse after breakfast on Tuesday 15th September 2020.

A detailed programme and information about reading material will be sent out in early May with the reminder for the final payment. Special requests for rooms, diet and pick up from Stirling Station can be made at that time.

Gartmore House, FK8 3RS

Situated in the Trossachs, Stirlingshire, near Aberfoyle and the Lake of Menteith, this house was built by William Adam in 1793 as a home for the Graham family. Run by a charitable trust as a conference centre, all areas have disabled access. An evening bar is available for sale of drinks.

Full ensuite residential rate including all meals and tuition (per person)
Single occupancy: £580
Shared room: £540
Non-residential rate available on request

Please complete and return the Booking Form making a non-returnable deposit of £100 per person to secure your booking.

Balance must be paid by 1 June 2020.

Richard Wagner paused the composition of Siegfried in 1857 after completing Act II only resuming in 1869. In the interim he composed Tristan und Isolde and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. The development of his musical style in this gap enabled him to conclude Siegfried and complete the Ring Cycle with Götterdämmerung (the subject of our course in 2021)

We shall be following the web of musical motifs and their development, the beautiful miracle of the many new themes Wagner introduces at regular intervals, and the living drama of this timeless masterpiece.

David Nice has been writing professionally about music since 1985, when he worked for a year as Assistant Editor of Music and Musicians. As a freelancer, he became one of the music critics on The Guardian in the last years of the Greenfield regime, and shared very pleasurable duties with Edward Seckerson on the short-lived Sunday Correspondent. Happily, his relationship with Radio 3 has proved longer term. He has now contributed 27 ‘Building a Library’ programmes to Saturday’s CD Review and reviews CDs on a monthly basis for the BBC Music Magazine. His interest in Russian music led to a study of Russian language and the first volume of his Prokofiev biography, From Russia to the West 1891-1935, published in 2003 by Yale University Press. His other books include short studies of Richard Strauss, Elgar, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky and the history of opera. He now divides his professional time between writing, broadcasting and lecturing including his popular Opera Courses at Pushkin House. He has sung, acted and played the oboe quite a bit. Operatic roles have included Galanthus in Vaughan Williams’ Poisoned Kiss (ouch!) as well as bits of Schaunard, Don Alfonso, Melitone and Dandini.


Derek Williams
Telephone: 0131 2411 804
Mobile: 0785 760 2004


John Anderton
Telephone: 0131 447 1645


Dale Bilsland
Telephone: 0141 942 0935


Ian McLennan
Telephone: 0131 623 2920