Welcome, Oliver Webber

Welcome to our new baroque strings tutor, Oliver Webber, who will join us at NORVIS for the first time in 2016, following the sad death of Duncan Druce.

OW photo 2sOliver Webber is the director of the Monteverdi String Band, known for their innovative work on string consort repertoire, and a principal player and guest leader with the Gabrieli Consort and the London Handel Festival. He is an expert in historical gut strings, while other research interests include ornamentation, historical bows, and Italian poetry and its influence on the music of the 17th century.

Duncan Druce (1939-2015)


Duncan Druce, long-standing and beloved baroque strings tutor at NORVIS, passed away on 12th October after a short illness. You may like to read more about Duncan in his obituary.

Obituary by Stephen Plaistow in The Guardian.

Duncan Druce, who has died aged 76, was an exceptional musician whose gifts as composer, string player, musicologist, teacher and writer fed into each other and ran deep. He was of a naturally quiet demeanour, but is likely to be remembered for a big project: his imaginative reconstruction and completion of the Requiem Mass left unfinished by Mozart when he died in 1791. (Read more in The Guardian.)



Dear Early music enthusiast
December is well and truly here and the rain is lashing against the window – but I am snug inside and thinking about next summer!
Just thought I’d let you know that the committee are very frustrated that next year’s brochure and application form are not out yet, but there is a vital piece of information that is still missing, despite Jane’s best efforts. I’ll let you know when it is available and prepare myself for a flood of applications.
Following the sad news of Duncan Druce’s sudden death in October, we are pleased to announce that the string tutor for 2016 will be Oliver Webber, an eminent Baroque violinist who, amongst other things, directs the Monteverdi String Band, regularly leads the Gabrieli Consort and Players and makes his own strings. Once again, we are very fortunate to have a knowledgeable and inspiring specialist to join our team of tutors.
If people are asking you for Christmas/birthday present suggestions, why not ask for a contribution to NORVIS fees? Or something to spend at the shops while you are there? Or a train ticket so you can go a bit further afield that usual for a playing session with NORVIS friends? Or a piece of music you enjoyed playing last summer? Or (in due course) some new music so you can start practising for next summer?
So here’s wishing you peace in the busy-ness of Christmas preparations. Hope to be in touch again soon!
Best wishes
NORVIS is a registered charity, no 1014801


Dear early music enthusiast
Time for another NORVIS update! The committee had a meeting earlier this month and we thought we should let you know about developments. As you will seen, we have been considering some big issues.
Firstly, we have co-opted, subject to ratification at the next AGM, two new committee members to replace Gill Humphrys and Stephen Bowman-Jones. We welcomed Mark Lawrence and Ailie Kerrane to their first meeting. They are now trustees and we are very grateful to them for taking on this role.
Secondly, following Ralph Woodward’s announcement that the next NORVIS will be his last, we have been considering the future, including how best to distribute the several roles he has been undertaking. He is a hard act to follow! As Ralph has been only the second Musical Director and Chair in forty five years of NORVIS, this has been challenging, and we have looked for a healthy balance of keeping up good traditions and allowing for new developments. So many people owe so much to the vision and encouragement of our founder, Layton Ring, who passed on his mantle to Ralph; to Christine Ring and her successors, Marlene Austin and Jane Beeson; to the wonderful team of tutors that Layton gathered and which has evolved over the years.
After much thought and discussion, we decided to separate the roles of Musical Director (a paid post) and Chair (an honorary position) to prevent any conflict of interests between these roles in the future. We are delighted to announce that Andrew Fowler has accepted our invitation to be the next Musical Director and that Mark Lawrence is willing to stand for Chair at the next AGM. These are exciting times!
We are also delighted to announce that all the tutors who were at NORVIS this year will be returning next year. It will be the last year not only for Ralph but also for Duncan Druce, who will be retiring after many years working with Baroque string players and the orchestra. We have been privileged to benefit from their knowledge and skills and both of them will be greatly missed.
Lastly (and definitely least) Jane still has one or two bits of lost property, so do ask her if you are missing something.
That’s it for now. Thank you to all those who replied to my last email – the response rate was most encouraging. I’ll let you know when the website has been updated and the new brochure comes out.
Hoping to see you on 30th July 2016, if not before.
Best wishes
NORVIS is a registered charity, no 1014801


Dear early music enthusiast
It was good to see you at NORVIS XLV earlier this month and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. It’s always a very special week in my diary.
Talking of diaries, have you put the next NORVIS in yours yet? It starts on Saturday 30th July 2016, with arrival from 4pm to give time to settle in before dinner, and ends after breakfast on Saturday 6th August 2016.
You may wonder why it is me (Harriet) writing to you. Well, the reason is that for that though I’ve been on the committee for a couple of years, it has been ‘without portfolio’ but now I’ve taken on the newly created role of Applications Secretary. This means I’ll be responding to enquiries and taking applications. I’ll also let you know when the new brochure comes out, in the hope that soon afterwards you will overwhelm me with early applications!
In the meantime, I’ll do my best to answer any queries you may have and would welcome a reply to this email (just ‘received’ would be fine) so that I know lines of communication are open. Alternatively, feel free to phone me.
Thank you to everyone who has given feedback, either on forms or by email. Some of the comments were very detailed and we appreciate the time and thought that has gone into them. Everything is read by all the committee and will be discussed when we meet at the beginning of September.
Hope you are having a good summer and enjoying putting the fruits of NORVIS 2015 into practice.
Best wishes