What to expect at RimuFest


During RimuFest, students will play as members of a large group led and directed by Alejandro Larumbe. They will be divided into sections of the same instrument, sharing the same music. Each section supports one another, fostering synchronization and a unified sound. Playing the same music together nurtures teamwork, develops listening, and how to follow the conductor. It develops musicality and ensemble skills, blending individual parts harmoniously. Ensemble participation cultivates unity and collaboration among students, working towards a shared goal of creating a beautiful performance. These techniques and skills taught by the director prepare students for their small chamber ensembles, where they will take on leadership roles and play one student per part.

Chamber music

During a RimuFest Programme, each student will be placed into a small chamber music group consisting of 2-5 players, where they will be the sole player of their assigned part. It is crucial for each student to know their music beforehand, as missing parts can disrupt the ensemble's cohesion. Students will have dedicated time with a teacher to develop their skills in playing as a group. The RimuFest faculty will provide coaching and guidance to the chamber music groups throughout the program.

Participating in chamber music is highly beneficial, supportive, and enjoyable. It allows students to refine fundamental skills like rhythm, pitch, timing, and dynamics. Additionally, chamber music fosters creative thinking, coordination, memorization, as well as social and emotional skills. It is a rewarding experience that helps students enhance their overall musicianship and ensemble playing abilities.

Rehearsal vs Coaching

A rehearsal in chamber music is a practice session where the members of the group come together to play and work on the music without the presence of a teacher. Each student comes prepared with their individual part, and they collaborate as a team to put the music together. During rehearsals, the focus is on developing teamwork, communication, and musical understanding among the group members. They work on musical elements such as dynamics, phrasing, and interpretation, with each student taking responsibility for their part while listening and responding to others.

A coaching session is led by one of RimuFest's experienced teachers. The coach works closely with the chamber group, providing guidance and feedback to help them refine their performance. Coaches offer valuable insights into musical interpretation, technique, and overall musicality. They may suggest specific rehearsal techniques and offer suggestions on how to improve the sound and cohesion of the ensemble. Unlike rehearsals, where the focus is on the collaborative efforts of the group, coaching sessions are more instructional and led by the teacher.

Both rehearsals and coachings play crucial roles in the development of young musicians in chamber music. Rehearsals foster teamwork and independence among the students, while coachings provide expert guidance and direction to enhance their musical skills and performance quality. Together, these elements contribute to a well-rounded and enriching chamber music experience at RimuFest.


A masterclass is a valuable and integral part of RimuFest's programme, held at the end of each day. During the masterclass, students have the opportunity to perform their music in front of all their peers and faculty members. This session allows them to receive valuable feedback on their performance, with the teachers providing insights into what is working well and areas that may need improvement. The masterclass is a supportive and nurturing environment where students can learn from each other's performances and receive helpful rehearsal techniques to take to their next practice session.

In addition to refining their musical performance, students also work on the overall presentation on stage. They learn about body language, how to walk on and off stage, and how to engage with the audience through public speaking. These skills are essential for a well-rounded and confident performance and help the students become more polished and expressive musicians.

The masterclass is an enriching experience for the students, as it not only enhances their musical skills but also instills valuable stage presence and confidence. It provides a safe space for them to learn and grow as performers, preparing them for future musical endeavors and helping them shine on stage.

Viola for violinists

At RimuFest, we offer violinists the opportunity to learn the viola. We welcome participants with little or no experience in the viola and encourage their exploration of this instrument.

At RimuFest, we offer violinists the opportunity to learn the viola. We welcome participants with little or no experience in the viola and encourage their exploration of this instrument.

All string instruments play significant roles in music. In chamber and orchestral settings, the viola acts as the link between melody and harmony, contributing inner harmonies and rhythmic figures while also having moments to shine.

With similar playing techniques as the violin, violinists can easily adapt to the deep and warm-sounding viola. Learning both instruments brings multiple benefits, improving technique on the violin and providing opportunities to experience different roles in chamber and orchestral music.

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