Sixth Annual Adult Piano, Classical Guitar 
& Music Appreciation Workshop

July 27 - August 5, 2005
Varna, Bulgaria

Music Director: Spencer Fellows
Faculty: Jennifer Fellows,  Matthew Harre, Pamela Thompson 




Can't Find An Hour to Practice?
How About Ten Wonderful Days Of European Musical Immersion?

This Workshop Will Offer You:

  • A program for adult pianists and classical guitarists of any level of advancement who seek to immerse themselves in a unique environment of music study and camaraderie. We also welcome non-performing music appreciators who wish to breathe this rarified air of art and culture. Many of the features of this curriculum offer much to lovers of music who do not presently play or who would just like to get started. We'll help you with that, too!

  • Lectures by faculty members on subjects of general musical application, as well as more specific technical topics for the performer. In addition, there will be private lessons and master classes for both pianists and guitarists. For guitarists, there will be a special emphasis on ensemble playing and sight-reading. Lectures will include such topics as practicing, technique, memorizing, literature, relaxation, tone production, pedaling, ornamentation, nervousness, etc.

  • A chance to rub elbows with music professionals for many hours and have a chance to get some of your burning questions answered. You will be able to observe close up demonstrations - those pictures that are worth a thousand words! There will be plenty of individual attention, concerts and cultural tours, dinners together and just a lot of fun!

  • The Varna International Piano Masterclass will take part during the same period. All group classes, demonstrations and lectures  will be open to our students for observation.

  • Option to play a Concerto with Orchestra with the Varna Philharmonic Orchestra. By application and audition only, there is an additional fee.

    Please write to the Music Director, Spencer Fellows, for more specific curriculum information:


Refresh your love of music in a magical setting!

Varna is Bulgaria's third largest city and easily accessible from many major European cities as well as the capital, Sofia. It was inhabited  even before the Greeks established the colony of Odessos there about 580 B.C. Later, under the Romans and their successors, the Slavs, Varna became a major port trading with Constantinople, Venice and Dubrovnik. In 1393 it was captured by the Turks, who made it an important military centre.

Today Varna  is the main port for both naval and commercial shipping and, adjacent as it is to the coastal resorts of Golden Sands, St. Constantine (Drouzhba) and Albena, it has a stimulating cosmopolitan atmosphere. Sailors on shore-leave in unfamiliar ceremonial uniforms mingle with foreign tourists and locals as they promenade along shady boulevards, lined by dignified 19th and early 20th century buildings.

The city is known as the summer capital of Bulgaria for such traditional international cultural events Ė International ballet Competition, Varna Summer International Music Festival, Jazz Festival, Biennale of Graphics, Theatre Festival, Love is Folly Film Festival, etc.

Main places of interest are the Opera Theatre, the Museum of History, the Open-air Theatre, the Government Residence in the Palace of Euxinograde, the Sea Garden, the Roman Baths, and the Dolphinarium.

Central Varna is ALL within walking distance of the Black Sea - making it very pleasant and cool in the summer.

For more information about Varna see

For more information about Bulgaria see              


Spencer & Jennifer Fellows

jenandspen.jpg (1083519 bytes)Spencer Fellows has been an active performer, teacher, adjudicator, and organizer of musical events in the Washington, DC area for many years. He began the study of piano at age seven and gave his first public performance at age nine. At age twelve he began study of the violin and at fifteen appeared in Carnegie Hall as featured piano soloist with a touring youth orchestra in which he was also a first violinist. During his youth he performed on radio and television and with orchestra. He attended the Eastman School as a piano student of Cecile Genhart, and did graduate and postgraduate work with Edward Kilenyi, John Boda, and Elvin Schmitt. He began the study of classical guitar at age nineteen. In 1966 he established a music studio for piano and classical guitar. He and his wife Jennifer have over the years produced many accomplished players who have been accepted by leading conservatories throughout the world.

Jennifer Fellows grew up in a piano studio. As a young prodigy she played Bach Inventions for her kindergarten class. She performed her first piano concerto at age seven. She began teaching in her teens. Her stepfather Jon George, a celebrated composer of student literature, together with her mother Mary Gae George, authored the highly acclaimed method Artistry at the Piano. As a young teacher in their studio Jennifer test taught all the materials of the method. Throughout her twenties Jennifer maintained a very active performing career in ensemble and chamber music. As staff accompanist with the National Flute Convention, she appeared in concert with many of the world's great flutists. At 29 she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Nonetheless, she continued her studies with artist teacher Elvin Schmitt and obtained national certification from MTNA. She maintains an active teaching career and performs in smaller venues.

Matthew Harre

harre2.gif (22335 bytes)Matthew Harre, originally from rural northern Pennsylvania, attended the American University in Washington D.C. with the intention of studying foreign relations. Classical music took over, however, and he received undergraduate and graduate degrees in music theory and composition. His piano teachers included Esther Ballou and the well-known pedagogue Alexander Lipsky, with whom he worked for many years.

A specialist in teaching piano to adults, Mr. Harre is the founder of the pioneering Adult Music Student Forum, a non-profit organization serving amateur musicians in the greater Washington area. The forum presently has more than 100 members. He is certified by the Music Teachers National Association, is active in many music teacher organizations and is a frequent lecturer on issues of adult music education.

An instructor for many years with the Ellsworth Studio in Maryland, Mr. Harre now maintains his own independent studio in northwestern Washington, D.C., teaching some 50 students per week, the majority of them adults. Mr. Harre is  the author of which is popular web site for adult students worldwide. In his free time he practices yoga and enjoys weekly hiking in a favorite Maryland wilderness area.

Pamela Thompson

pamela.jpg (56342 bytes)Dr. Pamela Thompson received the D.M.A. degree from the University of Maryland in 1999 and specializes in the study and performance of eighteenth-century music. She particularly enjoys lecturing on music-historical events in the context of trends in politics, the visual arts, and dance. Pamela performs frequently as accompanist and collaborative pianist, and has taught piano, piano pedagogy, piano literature, accompaniment and music theory. A former faculty member at the Georgetown University School for Summer and Continuing Education, the HARID Conservatory and the Levine School of Music, she continues to teach privately in the Washington, D.C. area.



Pianos and Practice Facilities

There will be access to practice rooms and rehearsal halls at the Varna Music School (Secondary) from 8:00 to 20:00 daily. The pianos available are German and Czech (Foerster, Petrof, Blutner, Gayer and Czerny). The Music School is located about 4 minutes walk from the accommodation.

Concerto with Orchestra 

Interested participants will rehearse  a movement from a piano concerto or piano work with orchestra (see the Concerto List below) with the Varna Philharmonic Orchestra.

Concerto Repertoire:

  • Beethoven Concertos Nos. 1, 2, 3
  • Chopin Concertos Nos. 1 and 2, and Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise
  • Grieg Concerto in A Minor
  • Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue
  • Liszt Concerto No. 1
  • Mendelssohn Concerto No. 1
  • Mozart Concertos K. 466 in D Minor, K. 467 in C Major, K. 488 in A Major
  • Prokofiev Concerto No. 1 in D-Flat Major
  • Schumann Concerto in A Minor
  • Saint-SaŽns Concerto No. 2 in G minor
  • Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1
  • Rachmaninoff Concerto No. 2


How To Join Us

Full Participant Tuition: $980 US
Includes accommodation, breakfast daily, private lessons, scheduled daily practice time, all group lectures, concerts, excursions and three group dinners.

Music Appreciation Participant: $750 US
Includes same as above, without private lessons or practice time.

Concerto with Orchestra Fee: $175

Accommodation will be provided at the Hotel Cherno More

Hotel Cherno More  (seen here) is located in the centre of Varna on the main pedestrian square, close to the Sea Garden, the Black Sea beaches and the main shopping street of the city.





How to Apply

Registrations may be made by e-mail, mail or fax. Please send us your complete name, mailing address and phone number and we will invoice you as follows: a $400 US deposit is due when you receive the invoice; the balance will be due by May 15, 2005. Payment may be made by VISA, MC or cheque. The fee for those enrolled by May 15 is $980 ($750). After May 15 $1080 US for full participation or $850 US for music appreciation only.

How do I  get to Varna!?

This is good question and one that EVERYONE asks. Please don't bother with your local travel agent you will probably get a quote which will turn your hair gray (if it's not already). We are presently working out an arrangement for discounted charter airfares from Frankfurt to Varna and will have more information soon. Bulgaria is now one of the major tourist destinations for Europeans, in North America however, you will not find much travel information. Meanwhile please investigate flights to Frankfurt and remember - July/August is the peak travel season to any part of Europe. If you need help or have any questions please contact us.

If you have any questions about the workshop, please contact us or:

Anne & Paul Williams
Tel. (001) 301-838-2756
Or by e-mail at


Symphonic Workshops (home)
28 St. John's Place, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M6P 2Y6   Tel: +1 416 604-7514 Mobile: +1 647 294-3807

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