Comments from Past Participants

Read what past EMMI Participants had to say:

“Thank you both for an amazing week at EMMI. You've opened up a whole world of musical inquiry that I hadn't known before. I feel like a teenager discovering and falling in love with music again. I admire your first-rate musicianship and probing intellect. Thank you for organizing the EMMI and for taking the time to decode the aesthetics of early music. How you've taught me to become a better musician! Thankyou again for being such an inspiration.”
Grace Anderson, 2013

“What a marvelous week it was! I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I feel re-born as a musician and fiddler. You have given me immeasurable gifts, dear friends, and I thank you , thank you, thank you.”
Sarah Johnson, 2013

“Stephanie and Liz demonstrated boundless energy, academic expertise and masterful performance. In witnessing their co-teaching and dialogue, I experienced an insight into 18th-century mind reading and the ultimate musical decision-making needed to create exciting performance. The choice of teaching repertoire and programming was stellar.”
Peggy Stenbourg, 2013

"In the small space of four days, I have been challenged and stimulated in all of the best possible ways. From the seeds that have been planted here, I will grow a new style of playing Baroque music which will be more creative and expressive. I feel I have been given a set of tools with which to build a much bigger house to live in, but I also feel as though I have already outgrown my current home! I am a better player than I was a week ago, despite being a seasoned chamber musician, soloist, and college professor. As an added perk, I also gained a lot of new ideas for teaching my college students. Liz and Stephanie are not just artists, they are communicators---both musical and verbal---and that is a rare and wonderful combination. I highly recommend this class for teachers, even those with years of performing experience, who want to get beyond the cliches, and to grow artistically."
Marie-Aline Cadieux, 2012

"10 on a scale of 1-10. I enjoyed the rehearsals the most. I loved being able to discuss and play. Trio sonata session was great! I could have even gone another day! Thank you for a fabulous week. I am excited to be in this environment---great to have a hands on experience (vs. lecture). And Stepahnie, Liz, and Anne have been so generous with their time, and their enthusiasm---has been an inspiration!"
David Murray, 2012

"[Liz and Stephanie] addressed [18th-century performance practice on modern instruments] very well. And it is an important issue. I would love to see courses from this POV in Universities throughout the country. There are many people like myself, who could be very interested as long as they don't have to change instruments. EMMI was truly mind-opening and enriching in a major way. Liz and Stephanie not only have mastery of the subject matter, but they have the ability to articulate and communicate with empathy and sensitivity. I look forward to continuing this musical exploration and also to continued dialogue and friendship. I highly recommend this course for those who are curious about the way they have been taught to play in the Baroque style.
Participant, 2012

“I have wanted to attend a Baroque Performance Institute for at least 15 years. My hopes and expectations were exceeded at EMMI. Liz and Stephanie are not only knowledgeable and creative teachers and performers; their enthusiasm for the subject fosters an expressive, joyful, and resonant approach to performance. I am encouraged to continue exploring the baroque performance tradition in my modern instrument until I acquire a period copy, and to incorporate the concepts into my modern performing and teaching.”
Idalynn Besser, 2011

“Fundamentally, EMMI was revelatory. The concept of gesture, musical works, and the techniques that go with them (multiple notes within a big note, folded bowing . . .) were all terribly exciting. That coupled with the boundless enthusiasm and depth of knowledge and encouragement that Vial and Field bring to the subject—it was inspiring, and mostly appetite-whetting.”
Karen Turbeek, 2011

“I loved the institute. It made my playing more full, in expression as well as technique."
Alexandra Mikhlin, 2011

2010 Institute Participants

“Each planned activity had meaning, purpose and expert teaching. Liz and Steph work so well together. They are beautiful players and their love and commitment to their work is inspiring. And after all the work, it is joyful.”

“Every aspect of this program informed what was coming up next. . . . I loved the freedom engendered by attending to articulation nuances, with an intelligent and open approach to phrasing as speaking/singing. Liz and Stephanie are wonderful, inspired musicians who are that rare balance of true scholars, natural performers, patient and perceptive teachers who build on the strengths, rather than dwell on the weaknesses of the participants.”

“The accessibility to Liz and Stephanie was great. Their expertise is commendable and a gift to receive. EMMI not only teaches Baroque playing, but also empowers the musician to build a Baroque instinct and then trust it. The course inadvertently teaches ownership and trusting one's musical instinct. The teamwork between Liz and Stephanie is refreshing as they compliment each other so well. There is an openness on both sides.”

2009 Institute Participants: In answer to the question, What did you most enjoy?

"the stimulation of my musical creativity through broad concepts (instead of too much instruction on how to play a trill) that I can take with me . . . Great First EMMI- I loved the non-threatening environment."
Pablo Saelzer

"I enjoyed everything, especially hearing Liz and Stephanie demonstrate, and their being able to verbalize how to begin to achieve the desired affects. They are very enthusiastic and fine teachers as well as players."
Evelyn Luise

"the opportunity to both play next to Liz and Stephanie as well as discuss the theory of it all . . . The knowledge and scholarship provided (in an extremely congenial atmosphere) in verbal, aural and physical format, allowed participants to really embrace this wonderful style of playing."
Juliana Chitwood


"I am deeply impressed with the way that Ms. Field and Ms. Vial introduce the basic rules of performance practice to modern string players. They get immediate results from the students of our newly founded Curtis Collegium, giving them a foundation with which to explore rhetorical music from a completely different perspective."
Matthew Glandorf, Music Studies Faculty, Curtis Institute of Music

"Stephanie Vial is an articulate teacher of 18th-century performance practices, whose cello playing truly expresses her intellectual and artistic process. The session that she and Elizabeth Field did with the UNC Baroque Ensemble during the Spring of 2011 offered a fresh way of looking at seemingly familiar repertoire. The students and I were both energized by the ideas and the Vivaldi performance later that term was better because of it."
Brent Wissick, Zachary Taylor Smith Distinguished Professor of Music, UNC-Chapel Hill

"Violinist Elizabeth Field and cellist Stephanie Vial, both expert performers and knowledgeable musical scholars, have successfully established an admirable teaching program for professional and advanced modern string players in the study of performance practice of eighteenth-century music. Having identified those inherent musical and technical aspects of string instrument playing that are transferable from period instruments to their contemporary counterparts, these two artists/teachers inspire players of modern strings to find musical satisfaction in realizing their performance of eighteenth-century music according to the musical precepts of the time."
John Hsu, Old Dominion Foundation Professor Emeritus in the Humanities, Cornell University