Welcome to the 50th NORVIS Early Music Summer School

Having consulted 2020 applicants and regular and previous NORVIS participants, the overwhelming preference is for an on-person summer school in 2021, when we expect that the easing of government restrictions will allow it to happen. The NORVIS team is committed to a COVID-secure in-person summer school and are taking all possible steps to make this happen. The dates for the course are 31st July – 7th August 2021 at Barnard Castle School. We are taking applications to participate in NORVIS. Inevitably, some of the information on this website is being updated to reflect our revised plans (e.g. the Music list and webpage will be updated as soon as possible).

NORVIS is an annual full week-long early music summer school in County Durham which we’re proud to describe as one of the UK’s longest-established and friendliest early music summer schools.  We intend to celebrate our Golden Jubilee in 2021, after our online offering in 2020, as we move to a fine new, COVID-secure venue at Barnard Castle School, next door to the splendid Bowes Museum.

‘Sympathetic and informative teaching’
‘Very good variety – always something I wanted to do’
‘Good fun, great atmosphere, very good repertoire’
‘Went beyond expectations’

  • If you love playing early music, a week at NORVIS will enable you make progress.
  • We teach and perform with recorders, viols, lutes, baroque strings, harpsichord and voices, and cover a wide range of repertoire from early Renaissance to late Baroque.
  • We have an impressive line-up of tutors who are specialist performers and teachers.
  • We have a particularly generous participant : tutor ratio.
  • We give a number of bursaries to enable individuals to participate in NORVIS who would be otherwise unable to do so.
  • With more spacious facilities at our new venue, following guidance and some simple rules will allow us to have a COVID-safe in-person NORVIS.

Photos of the 2019 course are HERE.

You can read some testimonials from past NORVIS participants – they enjoyed it!



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Monday evening – tutors in concert

NORVIS was founded in 1971 in Durham as The Northumbrian Recorder and Viol School by the late Layton and Christine Ring.  Over time it has encompassed recorders, viols, lutes, Baroque strings, harpsichord and voices and dance. Many participants play other instruments, e.g. other Renaissance and Baroque brass and woodwind, as part of the additional activities taking place.


NORVIS is a registered charity, no 1014801.