Ravel in Seville


January 8th to 15th, 2023
Seville, Spain

A Chamber Music Conference
Players and Enthusiasts


The Manhattan String Quartet’s 21st annual ‘cultural expedition’.
Please join us in Seville, Spain as we explore Maurice Ravel’s unique String Quartet through the fascinating, multi-cultural lens of Andalucia.
Seville Spain
Ravel in Seville 2023


The Ravel Quartet

Central to the conference week is our study of Maurice Ravel’s iconic ‘Quatuor a Cordes (String Quartet in F) from 1903.

Quatour a CordesThis unassuming, nuanced work has stood the test of time to emerge as one of the most ‘perfect’ pieces in the string quartet genre. From its plaintive simplicity to its compelling rhythmic drive it seems not an extra note was used to achieve its vision of innovation within classical forms.

The conference will provide five 2.5 hour coaching sessions to explore the inner workings of this masterpiece. We will have countless opportunities to learn of its compositional essentials, to further our understanding of rehearsal techniques and to expand our personal range of expression.

*A note about our teaching format

What we find particularly enjoyable about our format is the reality that we will all be studying this work together. We will all gain valuable perspective and insight from our interactions with such an intriguing society, and from our conversations about these insights with each other. This is how an interpretation is formed!

David Clampitt Lecture
David Clampitt

David Clampitt

David Clampitt, Professor of Music Theory at Ohio State University and our prized resident theorist, will guide us through the secrets of form and harmony in the Ravel Quartet.

Mr. Clampitt puts us in the composer’s mind and offers a vitally important perspective towards our understanding of how great works of art are constructed.

Using demonstrations by the Manhattan Quartet, David’s unique gift is to make analysis applicable to the performer!


CadizWe will divide our week with a day trip to the ancient port city of Cadiz, one of Europe’s oldest cities and the birthplace of the composer Manuel de Falla. We’ll visit his tomb in the magnificent Cathedral and will have a private tour of the Oratorio de la Santa Cueva. It was this small church that commissioned Franz Josef Haydn to compose his ‘Seven Last Words of Our Savior’. In the presence of its Goya murals, MSQ will perform Haydn’s singular, magnificent composition.

Lunch and inspiration will be provided!

Seville is pulsing with Flamenco!

Andalucia’s timeless art form of fervor and anguish is omnipresent in the city from large public venues to quaint back street cafes. Indeed, Flamenco is described as a “living art”, representing a way of both perceiving and interpreting life.

Flamenco’s many styles of rhythm, dance and music are subtle in expression and sophisticated in structure. But perhaps what is most intriguing is the magical and ineffable force of ‘duende’, an essential element of Flamenco. As the Spanish poet and playwright Frederico Garcia Lorca said, duende is  “a mysterious power which everyone senses but no philosopher can explain”.

We will have the unique opportunity to indulge our interest at the Cristina Heeren Foundation of Flamenco Art through private classes and a personalized performance.

Click here for more information on the Cristina Heeren Foundation.

Cristina Heeren Foundation
Seville Cathedral and Royal Alcazar

Guided visits to the Seville Cathedral and the Royal Alcazar Palace are both included in your conference activities. These two UNESCO World Heritage sites trace Andalucia’s fascinating history and are not to be missed in your visit.

Ravel in Seville 2023
Ravel in Seville 2023
ISPAL– Gala Final Dinner

Where the Spanish preparation style of Tapas is elevated to fine art. Ispal, the original name of the city of Seville, presents a gastronomic tour of Andalucia through its flavors. Simply one of the best dining experiences we’ve ever had!

Guest and Spouse Activities

We are organizing a separate program for guests during the times that the musicians are being musicians. These will be half day trips in and around Seville that come highly recommended and will involve separate fees.

Under consideration are:

  • Italica – thrilling ancient ruins of a Roman city 9K from Seville
  • General Archives of the Indies – the 3rd Unesco World Heritage site in Seville
  • Hospital de los Venerables Sacerdotes – small, spectacular Art Museum
  • Casa de Salinas – a mini Alcazar
  • Metropol Parasol – ‘The mushrooms’ – said to be the world’s largest wooden structure and fast becoming a city icon.
Pre & Post Conference trips

We are in talks to add two excursions to your scheduled conference activities. These will take place just before and just after the conference and will involve separate fees.

The first is a pre-conference trip to Cordoba, the home of the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites of any city worldwide. This all day trip will happen on Saturday, January 7.

The other trip will be a two day excursion, post conference, to visit  the world renowned Alhambra in Granada. This trip will depart Seville on Sunday, January 15 and will include a hotel night in Granada.


Ravel in Seville 2023
Ravel in Seville 2023


Ravel in Seville 2023
Ravel in Seville 2023

Hotel Accommodations

 Hotel Inglaterra


The historic, four-star Hotel Inglaterra will serve as our Conference home. Along with their gracious welcome, their location, size and dining facilities will meet our needs perfectly. Elegantly positioned on the Plaza Nueva, the hotel is within easy walking distance of Seville’s Cathedral and  Real Alcazar.

Hotel Room
Ravel in Seville 2023
Ravel in Seville 2023
Ravel in Seville 2023

Our Team

Critically acclaimed as one of America’s leading ensembles, the MANHATTAN STRING QUARTET is celebrating its 50th season this year. Hailed by Michael Steinberg of the Boston Globe as “a national treasure,” the Manhattan Quartet has appeared throughout the United States, Europe, Japan, Mexico and South America. Notable among its many recordings is the complete cycle of fifteen Shostakovich string quartets which TIME Magazine called “One of the most important musical events of 1991”.

MSQ Group Photo

The group has been Quartet-in-Residence at Colgate University since 1988 and has also held similar posts at the Manhattan School of Music, Cornell University, Grinnell College, Western Connecticut State University, the Chamber Music Institute in Racine, Wisconsin and Michigan’s Interlochen National Music Camp (for 21 summers). In 2011, in collaboration with the Sarajevo Academy of Music, the Manhattan Quartet established the Sarajevo Chamber Music Festival.

Since 1989 the Manhattan String Quartet has hosted annual teaching and performing conferences in the United States and Europe for pre-professional quartets and amateur players.

David Clampitt

DAVID CLAMPITT is a music theorist and violinist who taught at Yale University for 11 years before joining the faculty at Ohio State University, where he is where he is Professor and Area Head for Music Theory. The author of many articles and book chapters, he is a recipient of the Emerging Scholar Award from the national Society of Music Theory. A founding member of the Algonquin String Quartet during his years as a violinist in New York City, he has been a regular member and occasional soloist with Orchestra of New England in New Haven, and has appeared as a recitalist at Yale. He has coached and lectured at KentMusic since 1990 and has also given his popular lecture/demonstrations with the Manhattan String Quartet in New York City and Europe.

Amila Ramović

Amila Ramović is a producer, musicologist and curator from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. With a PhD in musicology, she is an assistant professor at the Sarajevo University’s Academy of Music and Academy of Performing Arts. She started her career as part of the team of the Ars Aevi Project – Museum of Contemporary Art in Sarajevo since 2000, and was the Executive Director of the Ars Aevi Foundation  from 2005 to 2018.  In 2012 she became the Executive Director of the Sarajevo Chamber Music Festival, produced in collaboration between the Manhattan String Quartet and the Sarajevo Academy of Music. In 2018 she was elected  President of the Musicological Society of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Registration & Application

Participating Musicians:
Single Room — USD $ 3,200
Double Room — USD $ 2,800

Non-playing Guests and Spouses:
Single Room — USD $ 2,500
Double Room — USD $ 2,200

PRICES INCLUDE: 7 nights lodging at the Hotel Inglaterra, daily breakfast and lunch, welcome reception and dinner, farewell dinner and all conference activities.

The Conference begins with dinner Sunday evening, January 8, 2023 and ends after breakfast the following Sunday, January 15. Prices do not include transportation to Seville, Spain.

Extra nights: Extra nights, both before and after the Conference, will be available at the Hotel Inglaterra. Please contact the Manhattan Quartet who will advise the hotel of your needs and make the necessary reservations.

Hotel Inglaterra address: Plaza Nueva 7, tel. +34-954 224 970

Attention Violinists! We urge you to learn both the first and second violin parts so that you can get the fullest experience possible of this great work. If for any reason that seems like too much, you can opt to play only second violin. Due to high interest in the first violin parts, it is not an option to play only first violin.

Cello rentals are availableContact Manhattan String Quartet for rental fees and other details.

Application and Deposit Deadline: October 11, 2022

Final Acceptance Notification: October 18 , 2022

Full Payment Due: November 1, 2022


The faculty welcomes individual musicians, who will rotate groups on a daily basis, and pre-formed quartets who will play together for the week.

Please note that enrollment for playing participants is limited to 48.

Non-playing guests and spouses are required to fill out a separate application form. Just select the guest option for the application type when filling out the application form. There is no limit for Guests and Spouses.

Acceptance will depend upon the number of applicants and the need for balanced instrumentation in assembling the participants into full quartets.

Pre-formed quartets may be immediately accepted.

We have transitioned to an online application/registration process and no longer offer paper forms for download. If you need help registering, don’t hesitate to contact us.

You will notice that fees include a non-refundable deposit of $500 per participant and $300 per guest. Payment in full is due by November 1, 2022 and deposits will be applied to the full fee. In the rare case of applicants whom we are not able to accept, deposits will be returned. Only in the case of medical emergencies will refunds be given after November 1, 2022

Manhattan String Quartet covid protocols:

In order to keep us all as safe as possible during the conference, we will require masks at all public events, including coachings and lectures.  We will also require covid testing before travel and during the workshop.

In the event the Manhattan Quartet deems it necessary to cancel the Ravel in Seville conference due to the international Covid situation, all fees paid will be refunded.

International Travel requirements for Covid:

Covid testing is no longer required for travel between Spain and the USA.

Entry into Spain: Proof of vaccination is required. Once you have your flight information you will need to register with the Spanish Health Ministry to obtain the necessary SpTH QR code for travel to Spain. For more detailed information please go to the Spanish Health Ministry website.

Re-entry to the US: Proof of vaccination is required. Learn more at the US Embassy website.

We strongly recommend personal travel insurance to cover the possibility of your unexpected cancellation.
Neither Hotel Inglaterra nor MSQ Enterprises, Inc. is responsible for personal property or personal injury.

Pre & Post Conference Tours

Conference Tours

For those participants planning to arrive early before their conference week and those who wish to stay with us for a few more days, we are offering small group tours (typically 10-25 persons) to explore the surrounding region of the city of Seville – the magnificent Andalucia!

These tours require registration and pre-payment in U.S. Dollars. Please note that the price of these tours is NOT included in your conference fee.

The registration form must be submitted to MSQ no later than November 20.

After you receive the final booking confirmation by November 25, you will be asked to make the payment by December 10, 2021.

Tour Schedule

Saturday, January 7, 2023
Cordoba – 9.00 AM

Sunday, January 8, 2023
Olive Oil Tour – 9.30 AM

Sunday & Monday, January 15 & 16, 2023
Granada – 9:30 AM

Where and when do we meet for these tours?

For all departures, the group will meet in the hotel lobby as per the departure time for each tour as stated on the registration form (download button at the bottom of this email). This departure time will also be provided in the final booking confirmation email.

Is there an extra cost for these tours?

Yes. Entrance and/or other fees for these activities are not included in your conference fee. The per-person costs are provided in each tour’s description and must be pre-paid no later than December 10 to reserve a spot on the tour. However, please note that guided tours of Seville’s Cathedral and UNESCO-listed Real Alcazar are included in your Ravel in Seville conference program.

Is a minimum number of participants required?

Yes. Each tour is subject to a minimum number of participants at a price offered by our partner company. Should the number of participants fall below this minimum, the tour would be offered under different conditions or, under exceptional circumstances, would be cancelled. After we receive your registration form (by November 20) we will email you with the final confirmation (by November 25) and ask you to make the payment (by December 10)in order to reserve your spot on the tour.

What to expect / physical health?

These tours involve extensive walking, frequently over uneven surfaces as well as some intervals of walking uphill. Good walking shoes and an ability to walk on the uneven pavement are required.

Cordoba (8 hours, incl. transportation)

Saturday, January 7, 2023

The price of the tour is $235.00 per person and includes transportation, admissions, professional guide, and lunch.

View Cordoba Details

Cordoba is often described as one of the must-see cities in Spain. Once an important Roman capital, Cordoba, after falling to Islamic invaders in AD 711, became the biggest city in western Europe. With a flourishing economy, it was a center of culture and learning, earning the title “the famed city of three cultures” where Muslims, Jews and Christians coexisted peacefully. It is now home to the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites of any city worldwide.

Much more can be learned about Cordoba by visiting the UNESCO description here.

This is an 8-hour day trip, including a 3-hour walking tour that will take you to the most important monuments of Cordoba and introduce you to to the culture and heritage of this ancient city. This tour is more than just monuments; it takes you into the winding streets and into the houses of the people to discover the many charms of the city.

Some of the highlights include:

The Mezquita. The most iconic monument of Cordoba and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984, the Mezquita is one of the most spectacular monuments in Spain.

Jewish Quarter. Located in the heart of the old city and another World Heritage Site, the narrow labyrinth of streets hides such treasures as the Flower Alley and the 14th-century Synagogue, as well as the monuments to philosophers like Maimonides and Averroes.

Real Alcazar. A Moorish Palace turned Royal Palace turned Inquisition Seat turned Garden Palace – this is where you can see a thousand years of Spanish history at its best, all living side by side amongst the spectacular gardens.


Olive Oil Tour (4 hours, incl. transportation)

Sunday, January 8, 2022, 9:30 AM

The price of the tour is $135.00 per person and includes transportation, admissions, and a professional guide.

Olive Oil Tour
View Olive Tour Details

This is a 4-hour tour (approximately 30 minutes outside of Seville). Olives and olive oil are synonymous with Spain, the world’s largest producer of both olives and olive oil. They are a staple of Spanish cuisine wherever you go. And this tour takes you to an authentic olive oil production site where you will have the chance to discover the deep love that Spanish people have for their olive oil, how it is made and what makes it so delicious! The farm is an old “hacienda” (a traditional Sevillian farmhouse) surrounded by 6.000 Arbequina olive trees, which make medium and light fruity olive oils of very high quality.

On the tour you will discover the entire process of what goes into making a “signature” extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), from the olive tree to the final product: visit the plantation, the museum, the almazara (olive oil factory)… and enjoy a very educational and comparative tasting of different extra virgin olive oils. We’ll have some food-wine-EVOO pairing as well: for example, ice cream with orange-infused extra virgin on top, all with a glass of Sherry wine. The visit lasts about 90 minutes.

Olive Oil Tour

Granada (2 days, incl. transportation)

Sunday & Monday, January 15 & 16, 2022, 9:30 AM

The price of the tour is $395.00 per person and includes transportation, one night lodging, admissions, professional guide.

View Granada Tour Details

The tour includes a two-day trip to Granada. On Sunday morning drive from Seville to Granada (about 3 hours). Upon arrival, drop your bags off at the hotel and enjoy lunch in Granada. After lunch, enjoy a Granada Walking Tour. Some of the highlights of this tour include the 15th-century Cathedral and the Royal Chapel which holds the crypts of Ferdinand and Isabella, the Catholic Monarchs. You will also visit the Albayzin neighbourhood and perhaps head up Sant Nicolas lookout to see a breathtaking view of the Alhambra.

On Monday morning enjoy a 4-hour tour of the Crown Jewel of 700 years of reign in Spain. An official UNESCO heritage site, the Alhambra is one of the most visited monuments in Spain, and for a good reason. The Alhambra palace is perched on the top of a hill, overlooking the old town of Granada and set against a beautiful backdrop of the Sierra Nevada mountains. The stunning walled palace complex dates back mainly to the 13th and 14th centuries and is home to some of Europe’s most beautiful examples of Islamic architecture. Admire the intricately carved stonework and the complex geometric designs of the numerous courtyards, labyrinthine hallways and elegant gardens. Visit the main buildings and monuments of the Alhambra, including the Medina, the Alcazaba, the Generalife Gardens and the Palacios Nazaries: Mexuar, the Comares Palace and the iconic Court of the Lions.

After the Alhambra Tour enjoy lunch at leisure before heading back to Seville in the afternoon and arriving in the evening.

Inclusions: Private roundtrip transfer from Seville to Granada, a private walking tour of Granada, a private tour of the Alhambra, entrance tickets to the Alhambra, one-night hotel stay in Granada. Meals are not included, but reservations will be made for the group.