The 54th Berwang International Music Holiday will take place 18 August - 1 September 2018 and the team here are already starting to put some plans together.
This course is unique in that it combines an 'away from it all' holiday in a country of great beauty with the added attraction of music-making in the company of people with similar interests. For many, it provides an exciting introduction to a different country and the charm of a holiday in alpine surroundings. For others, it provides a return visit to an enchanting little village set in the glorious mountain scenery of the Austrian Tyrol. Both musicians and listeners are welcome on the course.
Participants come from all over the globe with people on previous courses coming from the UK, Europe, Scandinavia, Israel, the USA and Hong Kong with the majority of people coming from the UK. All musical and holiday activities are conducted in English.
Family members and friends of course members who don't wish to take part in the musical activities are also welcome and are known as listeners. Listeners take part in all the holiday activities and come to listen to the concerts. Whilst the musicians are rehearsing listeners can take advantage of the opportunities for sight-seeing and relaxing in and around Berwang. More information about these can be found in the section on holiday activities. For those with children under 12 the Kaiserhof, where we are based, runs a free "Kids Club"
A Brief History of Berwang International Music Holiday.
The Berwang Holiday Music Course was founded by Henry and Nora Cummings in 1959 to take singing students from the Royal Academy of Music for a music holiday in the Tyrol. From it's inception there has always been a mixture of musical and holiday activities. The course originated in Ehrwald, but once Henry and Nora found the beautiful village of Berwang they fell in love with it and, as they say, the rest is history.
Initially the course took place once every two years but as time progressed it became an annual event and instrumentalists were invited to attend. In 2011 the decision was made to return to the once every two years model, and this has proved very successful. The emphasis of the course has also changed as amateur singers and players became the core members, with some music students adding to the life of the course. Over the years the course has also moved from participants all coming from the UK and, since people now attend from across Europe, and further afield, it was decided that from 2018 the course would be renamed Berwang International Music Holiday.
Kerry began as Wind Tutor in the 1960s and quickly became synonomous with the Berwang Holiday Music Course. In the mid-1970s he took over as Director from the founder of the course, Henry Cummings.
The role of Director involved not only the organisation of the music making, but all the practical administration. It was a great bonus that Kerry received so much help from friends in Berwang, such as the president of the village band, who lent equipment; the village priest and church warden who made the church available for concerts, and the Burgermeister who organised our rehearsal venues throughout the village. This invaluable collaberation continues to this day, with the additional support from the family Kupplehuber, who are the owners of the Kaiserhof, the base we now use.
Kerry remained committed to BHMC right up until his death in March 2010. We are delighted that the course is able to continue under the direction of Tim Brown.