Report of the masterclass 2020

International masterclass in conducting technique and score study

During the first lockdown period, I planned to organise an international masterclass in conducting technique and score study. Finally, it took place under my leadership two weeks ago in “Château du Bois”, a hunting lodge build by Pierre Bonaparte, the nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte I, in Nassogne (Ardennes, Belgium).

Six participants with different musical backgrounds worked during 7 days very hard in a beautiful environment.

The first three days were filled with individual lessons, mainly on conducting technique and score study. The repertoire consisted of two overtures (Hebriden, Freischütz) and two symphonies (Beethoven 5, Haydn 104), but some of them worked on individual repertoire as well.

On the fourth day, we worked in small groups in the morning and in the afternoon we made a lovely walk in the woods and the village of Nassogne. On day 5 we concentrated on the repertoire mentioned above and the last two days, we worked with two pianists, making a video recording of all lessons.

Every evening, we worked in group lessons on matters like the Christ-recitatives from Bach’s Matthew-Passion.

During the day, everybody enjoyed the delicious joint meals and at the end of the day, there was some time to have a drink from the bar.

The participants and the pianists were a fantastic group. I was very satisfied about all my students and proud of my wife Astrid who cared for the meals.

Here are some quotes by the participants and pianists:

Mark: “René is a talented and experienced professor who skilfully improves everyone’s conducting technique and vision on music.”

Linda: “I learned more in this single week than I could otherwise have hoped in several months.”

Aafko: “I definitely hope to return!”

Meija: “A truly recommendable masterclass for each level!”

Lonneke: “René Gulikers knows how to motivate experienced conductors and starting conductors (professional musicians who want to start conducting).”

Uschik: “It was an instructive and intensive week with René Gulikers, and I hope for further courses with him.”

Constant (pianist): “René Gulikers’ approach was very constructive, calm, making everyone feel safe and open, but at the same time everyone was approached differently and stimulated to take a step forward on his own level.”

Mourik Jan (pianist): The way René teaches is very much tailored to each individual student: Always finding ways to best express the student’s own musical views and ideas.

After this very succesfull week, I am planning already the next masterclasses: one will be in March 2021 and the other one in August 2021. In case you are interested in participating, or in case you know someone who could be, please let me know.

Photos 1, 3: Linda van der Spaa; photos 2, 4, 9: Lonneke Regter; photos 5, 6, 14: René Gulikers; photos 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15: Constant Notten


Read the report of the masterclasses 2021 here, the report of the masterclass winter 2022 here , the report of the masterclass summer 2022 here and the one of winter 2023 here. Through this link you get all information about the upcoming masterclass.