Masterclass Al-Andalus

David Russell, Director

Masterclass Al-Andalus


Masterclass Al-Andalus is an intense two- week international festival and masterclass for violinists and classical guitarists, designed for student participants who are embarking upon high-level careers as performing artists. 

Led by eminent American violinist and pedagogue David Russell, the faculty also includes renowned violinists Andrés Cárdenes, Irina Muresanu, and classical guitarist Rosie Bennet. 

Participants will have opportunity to interact with the world-class Masterclass Al-Andalus faculty during numerous public masterclasses and concerts to be held in historic locations throughout Andalusia, all the while experiencing complete immersion in one of the world's most ancient cultures. 

Uniquely designed educational and cultural presentations will reveal the immense influence Andalusia has had on world art, music, and culture.  The program is designed to equip each student participant with new and unique insights into musical performance which only the Andalusian culture, descended from the days of Al-Andalus can provide.

The home of Masterclass Al-Andalus is the beautiful city of Alcalá la Real, Jaen, Spain. Nestled deeply in the olive growing region of Andalusia, participants will live in the beautiful Casa Rural Cauchil Chico, a hilltop villa, once a 1st century Roman olive grove, which overlooks Fortaleza La Mota, an Islamic-era fortress dominating the skyline. 

Over two weeks, six masterclasses, three concerts, and several other special educational and cultural events will be offered at venues in Alcala la Real, as well as in the cities of Granada and Cordoba.  

Tours of  historic cultural sites within Andalusia are included in the masterclass activities, and will include tours of the Alhambra (in Granada), Córdoba's 8th century Mezquita Mosque and Cathedral, and Alcalá la Real's Islamic-era fortress "La Mota". Special Flamenco presentations, and other special events will also be featured. These tours and events will be scheduled between the intense schedule of musical activities. 

The Festival and Masterclass will culminate in a Gala performance of the participants at the Antigua Convento Trinidad in Alcala la Real. That concert will feature Spanish-themed works, inspired by the time of Al-Andalus. 

Masterclass Al-Andalus would like to express deep gratitude to the honorable Mayor of Alcalá la Real, Marino Aguilera Penalver, Minister of Culture Juan Manuel Marcial,  as well as the entire Excelentísimo Ayuntamiento de Alcalá la Real, for their invaluable partnership in making  Masterclass Al-Andalus possible. 

We would also like to express our gratitude to Judea Maya, and the staff of Manolete's International School of Flamenco, Manuel Aceituno of Aceituno Olive Oil, and the Andalusian Legacy Foundation for their immeasurable support and cooperation in making Masterclass Al-Andalus a reality.


Site of Gala Concert:  Antiguo Convento de la Trinidad