2020 Tutors and Course Dates

The 2020 course dates may change due to the current Covid-19 situation. We’re trying to reschedule any courses that may be affected and will keep in touch!

“…for quality of experience and teaching, intensity, intimacy and care for detail, I would hazard that La Balie will be hard to match” – Graham Sheffield 2019 


Our Tutors – 2020

The summer piano courses for 2020 will be led by an exceptional trio of tutors. We are delighted to welcome Charles Owen, Noriko Ogawa , and Martin Cousin back to La Balie for five weeks of intensive and inspirational teaching 



Described by Gramophone magazine as “one of the finest British pianists of his generation”, Charles Owen has enjoyed an extensive international career performing a wide-ranging repertoire to outstanding critical acclaim. He has appeared at London’s Barbican and Queen Elizabeth Hall and regularly gives recitals at the Wigmore Hall and Kings Place. Internationally, he has performed at the Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York, the Brahms Saal in Vienna’s Musikverein, the Paris Musée d’Orsay and the Moscow Conservatoire. Charles enjoys a highly successful piano duo partnership with Katya Apekisheva. Together they are Artistic Directors of the London Piano Festival, an annual celebration of the piano held at Kings Place.

Charles studied in London at the Yehudi Menuhin School and the Royal College of Music with Irina Zaritskaya and Imogen Cooper. He has enjoyed collaborations with many leading conductors including Sir Mark Elder, Ryan Wigglesworth, Nicholas Collon and Martyn Brabbins. Charles was appointed Steinway & Sons UK Ambassador in 2016. 

Click here for Charles’ website

Click here to read a “Meet the Artist” interview with Charles by Frances Wilson who blogs as The Cross-Eyed Pianist




Noriko is an internationally renowned concert pianist; her success at the Leeds International Piano Competition in 1987 having launched her international career. She appears regularly with all the major European, Japanese and US orchestras and made her BBC Proms debut in August 2013 and appeared again in 2014 with the Endymion Ensemble. Noriko’s “ravishingly poetic playing” (Telegraph) sets her apart from her contemporaries and acclaim for her complete Debussy series with BIS Records, confirms her as a fine Debussy specialist. Her Images Book I and II were chosen as the top recommendation ‘exquisite delicacy’ in the BBC Radio 3’s CD Review, January 2014. Noriko’s latest recording for BIS records is of solo piano music by Eric Satie.

Noriko regularly judges the BBC Young Musician, Munich International Piano Competition, Honens International Piano Competition and the Scottish International Piano Competition and has recently been appointed as Chairperson of the Jury for Japan’s prestigious 10th Hamamatsu International Piano Competition in 2018.

Click here for Noriko’s website

Click here to read a “Meet the Artist” interview with Noriko by Frances Wilson who blogs as The Cross-Eyed Pianist




A distinguished British concert pianist, Martin was awarded 1st Prize at the 2005 Ettore Pozzoli International Piano Competition (Seregno, Italy) and Gold Medal at the 2003 Royal Over-Seas League Music Competition (London). He has appeared regularly in the major British musical venues since graduating from the Royal College of Music, making his London solo debut at the Purcell Room in 1998. Numerous solo recitals followed, notably at the Wigmore Hall in 2001, 2005 and 2011.

His disc of Rachmaninov’s Études-Tableaux was released in 2014 and was proclaimed ‘a landmark recording’ by The Observer with a 5-star review. Classical Source added, ‘This is one of the best solo piano records I have heard for a very long time – the more so considering it faces some pretty severe competition in the catalogues. Those who do not know these extraordinarily original masterpieces are strongly advised to acquire this disc. There is none better.’  Fanfare Magazine proclaimed, ‘Based on the present disc and on the towering performance of the First Sonata on his debut CD, I am prepared to state that Cousin is among the most distinguished Rachmaninoff pianists of our generation.’


Click here for a link to Martin’s website



Course Dates – 2020 (subject to change due to the current Covid-19 situation)

June  4th – 11th, 2020                               NORIKO OGAWA

June 17th – 24th, 2020                              CHARLES OWEN

July 10th – 17th, 2020                               MARTIN COUSIN 

August 23rd – 30th, 2020                         MARTIN COUSIN 

September 5th – 12th, 2020                    CHARLES OWEN


Please see Fees and How to Book for more details and use our Contact form to apply for a place.



Graham Sheffield writes about his week at La Balie for Pianist Magazine August 2019:

“You might forgive yourself for thinking you have woken up in paradise on your first morning at La Balie, nestled as it is at the top of a gentle slope in the lush undulating meadows of France’s Aquitaine region” 

“I begin to realise what a unique opportunity La Balie is for an amateur pianist; you not only have the chance to indulge a lifetime passion in a magical setting away from ‘real life’ but you are also able to study intensely with a top international concert pianist”

“An outstanding house restoration aside, the stand-out building must be the inspiring new concert hall, which seats an audience of around 100, and is equipped with two grand pianos, including a magnificent Steinway D. The acoustics, as well as the rural view, are superb.” 

“…for quality of experience and teaching, intensity, intimacy and care for detail, I would hazard that La Balie will be hard to match”

To read the full text of Graham Sheffield’s article in Pianist Magazine Issue 109 please click here