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Strings in Spring

The next course takes place on Thursday 4 April to Sunday 7 April 2019.  Details are still being finalised and will be posted here in due course.  The following information relates to the 2018 course.

Thursday 5 April to Sunday 8 April 2018

The 2018 course is now full.  To be added to the mailing list for future courses, please email Rachel Dyker.

Come to the beautiful and historic town of St Andrews and immerse yourself in four days of string chamber music making with the renowned Fitzwilliam String Quartet. Enjoy chamber music coaching, chamber music rehearsal sessions, a repertoire session and working with the Fitzwilliams in a united string ensemble.  Additional activities include a public recital given by the Fitzwilliam String Quartet, an optional dinner at the Byre Theatre restaurant and a mix of organised and more casual, social and musical activities.  Pre-formed string chamber groups and individual string players of a level equivalent to grade 6 or above are welcome to join this intensive course, combining the pleasures of great music, great company and a matchless location.

Lucy ponytail 220 wide

Course Programme

The main focus of this course is chamber music coaching, given by the members of the Fitzwilliam String Quartet and guest tutors.  Individual applicants will be placed in chamber groups together with others of similar levels of ability and experience. Each chamber group will usually study two works over the duration of the course and repertoire will be allocated soon after the closing date in order to give everyone a chance to prepare their parts in advance.  Pre-formed groups are welcome to make their own choice of repertoire. Each group will receive seven coaching sessions and these will be supplemented with formal rehearsal periods, a repertoire session, a string ensemble session playing alongside the Fitzwilliam String Quartet and also the opportunity for informal sight-reading. The Fitzwilliam String Quartet will give a public recital on the first night of the course and there will also be an optional evening meal at the Byre Theatre restaurant on the Saturday. For more details, please view the 2018 Course Programme (coming soon).


The closing date for applications is Thursday 14 December 2017.  The course fee is £260 per person. This includes all group tuition and other organised musical activities, admission to the Fitzwilliam concert, refreshments on arrival, a complimentary pre-concert drink at the bar, and a light lunch on the final day.  There are discounts available for those applying early and/or those applying as pre-formed chamber groups:

  • Applications from pre-formed groups: discounted rate of £240 per person
  • Applications received by Thursday 9 November 2017: discounted rate of £240 per person


You can apply online here.  Alternatively you can download an application form Strings in Spring 2018 application form (Word, 799 KB)


Accommodation is not included in the course fee.  Details of local accommodation providers can be found at and  Some of these may provide a 10-15% discount if you quote "University of St Andrews Music Centre" at the time of booking.

Food and Drink

The course fee includes refreshments on arrival, a drinks soiree on the Friday evening, and lunch on the final day. There is also an optional course dinner on the Saturday night, for an additional fee.  For the remaining mealtimes, St Andrews is well supplied with cafés and restaurants serving a wide variety of cuisines to suit every pocket, all of which are within easy walking distance of the course venues.  Course participants can also get a discount on drinks at certain participating University outlets on presentation of their name-badge.‌


"This was a memorable and enriching weekend.  The members of the quartet were inspirational, each in a different way, and this made the experience all the more valuable.  Perhaps one of them can sort out my bow arm!" - John Phillips

"The enthusiasm of the Fitzwilliam Quartet was contagious, their coaching was both astute and painless, and being in St Andrews (best ice-cream shop anywhere among other delights) was the icing on a very tasty musical and social cake." - Toby Lipman

"My abiding memory of Strings in Spring is that it not only boosted my confidence in playing chamber music, but also that it was enjoyable and great fun." - Frith Robb 

"We got some great advice on playing Mozart and Beethoven, as well as the unforgettable opportunity to play the first movement of Schubert’s ‘Rosamunde’ quartet with Lucy Russell playing second violin!" - Jessica Wyatt

Further Information

Feel free to contact Rachel Dyker, FSQ Courses Administrator by emailing or Helen Gregory, Music Centre Manager by emailing, writing to Strings in Spring, University of St Andrews Music Centre, Younger Hall, North Street, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9AJ, or calling +44 (0)1334 462226 with any questions you have.

See our terms and conditions here: Strings in Spring terms and conditions (PDF, 32 KB).

SiS 2014 ensemble Lucy 2 260 wide

SiS 2014 formal pose

St Andrews Harbour

Map of Scotland with St Andrews marked