Master Class

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March 22-29, 2020

Students sought

12 people

Course eligibility

All ages, from students to professionals.

Violists seeking to gain further performance insights beyond what is usually available through an intensive weeklong program.

Course fees

180,000 JPY(incl. tax)

Course fees include all lesson fees for the master class, admission fees for the student concert and instructor performance, and breakfast, dinner, and accommodations at Unitopia Sasayama (twin room accommodating two people). Please note that transit costs are borne by the student.


Please click here for a detailed student timetable. (Last updated on August 10, 2019). The final schedule will be announced at the opening ceremony attended by all students and instructors on the day of arrival.

Public lessons

Some of the private lessons held at the Tanba Sasayama Den-en Symphony Hall and dressing room A between March 23-27 will be made open to the public.

To audit and sit in on one of these lessons,

the cost is 1,000 JPY/student(incl. tax), or 500 JPY(incl. tax

for those of high school age or younger.

Please click here for a timetable. (Last updated on February 24, 2020).

Please direct Inquiries about the course auditing and  apply for auditing  before the course  to the Tamba Sasayama Viola Master Class Executive Committee.



Private lessons

Students receive a total of six private lessons. This consists of two 40 minute lessons with Nobuko Imai, and two 60 minute lessons each from two other instructors.

  • The secretariat will make the final determination on the selection of instructors for private lessons beyond those with Nobuko Imai.

  • Private lessons are partially made open to the public.

  • Note that, to allow the pianist to prepare, the compositions you request cannot be changed after application.

Quartet lessons

We offer a viola quartet lesson consisting of four students in a group.

There will be two quartet lessons lasting sixty minutes each.

  • The secretariat will make the final determination on the structure of this lesson, with instructors not handling the private lessons to lead this group.

  • The secretariat will notify students of the composition to be played in the quartet and distribute sheet music.

Lessons in the Alexander Technique

During the master class, students are eligible to receive private lessons in the Alexander Technique from Hitomi Ono by filling in their name on the schedule with their desired date. There are two lesson slots lasting 30 minutes each available per day, limited to one per person.

Student concert

Students will ultimately perform a student concert on the afternoon of March 28th, consisting of an approximately twelve minute composition from the compositions studied during the program, and one composition for viola quartet.

  • Students may also be given the opportunity to perform at other performances, such as a lunchtime concert.

Accommodations & Access

Overnight stays

Students stay at rooms at Unitopia Sayama Forest Plaza, with two people to a room.

A minibus picks up and drops off students to and from the accommodation facility and Tanba Sasayama Den-en Symphony Hall.


Breakfast and lunch are included in the cost of hotel accommodations. Students are responsible for the cost of lunch.

Directions to the program

For students arriving at Kansai International Airport

A bus will come to pick students up from the airport and depart at 1:00 PM. Ensure that your flight arrives in time to board this bus. Please notify us from here by March 1, 2020 with your flight number and arrival time.

For students arriving by train at JR Sasayamaguchi Station

A minibus from Unitopia Sasayama will arrive to pick up students at the east exit in time with arriving trains. Please notify us from here by the day prior to arrival with your arrival time at JR Sasayamaguchi Station. Taxis can also be taken from JR Sasayamaguchi Station.

Return directions from the program

For students departing after the closing ceremony on March 29, 2020

Those bound for JR Sasayamaguchi Station should board a bus departing Tanba Sasayama Den-en Symphony Hall at 6:00 PM; those bound for Kansai International Airport should board a separate bus also departing at 6:00 PM. It takes about two hours to the airport, so please make sure to book a flight that will allow you sufficient time to board.


For students departing on March 30, 2020
A minibus departs Unitopia Sasayama bound for JR Sayamaguchi Station. Please decide on what time you plan to depart by the previous day. A bus departs at 9:00 AM for Kansai International Airport. It takes about two hours to the airport, so please make sure to book a flight that will allow you sufficient time to board.


How to apply

Audition candidates will be selected from applicants to the public call. Please complete all of the details on the application form below, attach a headshot, and submit it. You must also include a link to a YouTube video reel of your audition performance; make sure that the video is online by the form submission deadline.

Audition reels

Applicants will be screened by reviewing videos uploaded to YouTube. Please upload a video in which your whole body appears and where you perform the compositions below.(Revised on 2/10/2019)Performances must have been recorded in April 2019 or later. Please indicate the date and location of the performance.

1. Select both a fast and slow movement ( one of each) unaccompanied cello by J.S. Bach

2. Select one viola composition (one movement) of about ten minutes with piano accompaniment

Screening schedule and audition results

The deadline to submit the application form and video reel is November 5, 2019. After the secretariat confirms the details sent on the application form and your audition reel, the group of four instructors will review the content. Applicants will be notified by e-mail by late November with the results of the screening. Please leave your audition reel uploaded to YouTube until you are notified of the results of your screening. Following final confirmation of students attending, names and headshots will be posted in early January 2020 on the official web site.

The deadline is November 5,2019.

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