Master Classes

Members of the multinationally constituted jury, including renowned harmonicists CY LEO (Hong Kong), Yasuo WATANI (Japan), Robert BONFIGLIO (US), Antonio SERRANO (Spain), Sigmund GROVEN (Norway) and JUDY’S HARMONICA ENSEMBLE (Taiwan) are invited to deliver a series of master classes, with a focus on advanced harmonica playing techniques.

Details of the master classes can be found below.

Master Class Introduction

3 Apr 2023 (19:30 – 21:30)

Master Class by CY LEO

With live demonstration with two students at intermediate and advance level, Cy Leo will share his insight towards the mastery of classical chromatic harmonica on both the technical and musical levels. Topics such as legato, musical phrasing, or mastery of quick passages will be covered during the demonstration.

5 Apr 2023 (19:30 – 2130)

Master Class by Yasuo WATANI

This master class is based on the basic playing techniques Mr Watani developed in Germany, with demonstrations on how to produce sound from breathing techniques; tone from mouth shape; how to express phrases and how to practice.

8 Apr 2023 (09:30 – 11:30)

Master Class by Robert BONFIGLIO

Advanced Techniques for Playing Harmonica Concertos

Robert Bonfiglio will cover advanced techniques for performing the Tcherepnin, Benjamin and Villa-Lobos Harmonica Concertos including advanced corner switches, tonguing out of both sides of the mouth, biting and articulation, playing with power and focus, octaves with thirds and other positions, classical phrasing, vibrato, trills and using time as an emotion.

8 Apr 2023 (12:00 – 14:00)

Master Class by Antonio SERRANO

Sound, intonation and rhythm are the basic elements to make good music. Unfortunately, the harmonica is an instrument that offers many difficulties to bring these qualities to the level of excellence with which other instruments achieve it. 

I will show how I deal with these problems myself and give tips and strategies to improve in these aspects.

When we play music written for instruments other than the harmonica, we tend to make big efforts to play “exactly” what was written in the original score. I have done it myself for many years and am now convinced that it is not the best way to approach this repertoire.

I will share my philosophy today on this topic and illustrate it with musical examples.

9 Apr 2023 (09:30 – 11:30)

Master Class by Judy's Harmonica Ensemble

Judy‘s Harmonica Ensemble has over 20 years of experience in harmonica ensemble playing. They will be providing guidance to students in class and sharing the most important concepts and techniques in playing harmonica ensemble music, as well as the importance of sound in achieving the desired effects in harmonica ensemble playing. The class will also provide opportunities for students to ask questions and exchange ideas.

9 Apr 2023 (12:00 – 14:00)

Master Class by Sigmund GROVEN

Mr Groven will give individual attention to each pre-selected performer, focusing on musicianship, expression, sound, intonation, communication, attitude, posture and different aspects of technique; co-ordination, breath control, movement, tone quality, etc.