Violanet Week 2021: Going online with our Early Music Partners

24 March 2021

Despite the difficult circumstances and technical challenges, we had a very nice exchange of ideas and inspiration and learnt a lot during the online Masterclasses. The team in The Hague has made it possible for all participants to follow all the other lessons by providing easily clickable links in ‘Teams’. Like this we felt connected and were able to hear even see more lessons than in a normal meeting.

Masterclasses Bach – Arias with obbligato viola da gamba
The famous singer and Bach specialist Peter Kooij was a guest teacher in The Hague; together, we gave masterclasses about the Bach – Arias with obbligato viola da gamba. In almost all of the partner Institutes the students had organized an ensemble with a singer, and both the singer and instrumentalists learnt a lot from the comments of Peter Kooij. Playing these arias is what we do in the Netherlands more than anywhere; this was a great occasion to share the knowledge and experience both Peter and I have gained over the years.

The Aria Masterclasses were a great contribution for the Violanet community; we never worked with a singer before. Knowing how to express text and phrasing is important, even when playing instrumental pieces. Having a specialist like Peter Kooij is a luxury, and all students were well aware of that. Thanks to our EWP-Team in The Hague, all students throughout Europe were able to follow the masterclasses via YouTube live streams.

For more information about the Violanet Project Week, please click here.


This very special edition of the Violanet project has been an enormous challenge for all participants, especially for the The Hague team. We have been working very hard and all had to invest a disproportionate amount of time and energy; however, looking back on the event it has been worth it. I’d like to thank the whole team, and the amazing students we have here. This online event has been a challenge for all of us, but it has also been a discovery of new opportunities presenting themselves.

In spite of being distant from each other, we still have the sensation of being very close, just because we share the same passion - in this case, the viola da gamba.

This year's Violanet was the first edition in which I took part. Thanks to the enthusiasm and great commitment of all the teachers and participating students, despite the physical distance, I really felt that I was becoming part of the European community of young viola da gamba players.

Violanet this year was twice as much work as normal, and we were worried that it would all be for an experience that still wasn't as good. Our week certainly wasn't "normal", but we are all so proud of the work we did, and that our team managed to organize something so ambitious when the circumstances couldn't have been more difficult. I couldn't be happier with how it went.

Despite the initial concerns that a complete online event would be a very reduced and limited way of having contact with our international partners, it turned out to be an alternative way of meeting with sometimes even more focused encounters.

Certainly the fact that splendid technological preparation and assistance guaranteed a smooth use of the online communications was conditional for the final success.

Our partners were very present. Wandering through several masterclasses without disturbing anyone helped to have a more panoramic engagement.

The beautiful video presentations of performances have a remaining value and even though they can not (as always) substitute the feeling of live events, they came close.

The major advantage of having lectures, research presentations and discussions online, was the 'close-up' attendance of the audiences and the clarity of having details presented right in front of you. The expertise that is collected in the Violanet cooperation was positively addressed and used, being an inspiration for the next meeting which hopefully will be in the physical world again.

  • It was a pleasure to take part even if I didn't play. You are always learning something just by listening to a lesson.
  • Thank you very much, it was a great pleasure to take part, even this time when it was different not meeting in person. Of course I missed this part of conversations in person with the teachers, staff and fellow students, but I'm very grateful that you made it possible to meet online. On one hand I find it exhausting to sit in front of the computer the whole day, but I learnt so much - I was following as many lessons as I could. And I really appreciated the lectures with Jed and Joao, they opened a new field for me. Also the master research discussions were very useful we had one night, it is very interesting to see who is working on what. Thanks a lot for sharing that.
  • I was a bit worried about all the online things, because I'm a bit tired of the situation, and I wanted to give up. But I'm glad I didn't, because I learnt a lot - the conferences were very good, it was very easy to follow.