Following a dazzling international career specialising in the virtuoso repertoire for the harpsichord, Virginia Black has turned full circle and returned to her roots at the piano.


During her long career at the Royal Academy of Music in London, Virginia has nurtured many talented musicians as professor of harpsichord, chair of postgraduate diploma studies and senior postgraduate tutor. She gained a reputation amongst students for the practical intensity of her performance classes!

Virginia has given numerous masterclasses and performance classes for specialist music academies, universities, schools and conservatories around the world. It is a particular joy to be able to nurture rising musicians and to pass on the expertise and knowledge she has accumulated and honed during her distinguished career.

What Virginia offers to teaching institutions and to aspiring musicians at all levels

Virginia’s activities range from individual and group performance masterclasses, judging of open competitions, scholarship auditions, class prizes and assessments, to specific, tailor made sessions and artist-in-residence assignments.

Masterclass sessions can be a revelation to aspiring musicians of all ages and abilities and rapid progress can be made within individual sessions, where Virginia’s vast experience across a complete cross section of students can be focussed on the individual. They range from instrument or ensemble performance and general musicianship, to examination of the interpretation and techniques related to specific works.

Her work is not confined to the keyboard. Virginia is experienced in working with students across the musical spectrum. She has extensive non-instrument specific expertise connected with performance, presentation, musicianship, practice methods and improvement, musical interpretation and career development.

Sessions are never generalist, but are always tailored to specific requirements, age groups and abilities and range from one-off sessions, such as masterclasses, to Artist in Residence for an agreed period, encompassing a melange of academic sessions and musicianship.

As a senior international examiner for the ABRSM, an examination Board recognised worldwide for its music examination regime, Virginia examined candidates of all ages, for all instruments and at all grade levels. She also trained and moderated examiners themselves. This has given her an enormous spread of experience at all levels of musical achievement and an insight into what can be expected, and corrected through troubleshooting, across a widely diverse group of developing musicians.

Some examples of Virginia’s recent engagements

Cheltenham Ladies College, Cheltenham, England

Cheltenham is one of the top academic private secondary level schools in the UK (ages 12 – 18), with an enviable reputation for the excellence of its music teaching and achievement. Virginia judged the annual school competitive prizes in all categories of instrument, and at all levels, and gave public masterclasses to selected students.

Royal Academy of Music, London, Performance Classes

“Participating in Ginny’s performance class was the highlight of my playing week at RAM. Her expertise and extensive performing experience helped us reach our potential and beyond, exploring a wide range of repertoire. A poignant word or an engaging demonstration could transform a performance and she always balanced encouragement with high expectation. It was a transformative experience and I left each class feeling inspired.”
Laura Tivendale, past undergraduate student, RAM

Sir Zelman Cowan School of Music, Monash Univ, Melbourne, Australia

Virginia took the professorial chamber music workshop, consisting of such diverse performances as a piano duet, trumpet and vocal duo and a string quartet. The class emphasis was on performance and musical interpretation in a recital context. On the same visit, Virginia also gave the annual mother’s day concert at the performing arts centre, for students, friends and by public entry.

Wesley College, Perth, Australia

Appointed ‘Artist in Residence’ for a week, giving master classes at all levels for talented music students, a lecture on works by Debussy, tutorials on ‘practice’ and performance, and gave evening concerts for parents and friends of the college.

“Virginia Black has held two artistic residencies at Wesley College in 2016 and 2017. Virginia presented a wonderful recital for each occasion, which featured imaginative programming and engaged both students and parents alike. Virginia’s masterclasses were of great benefit to Wesley’s piano students and she made sure that all participants, whether performing or listening, felt included and were able to take home new, refreshing ideas about the way they practise and how to maximise their performance. Wesley is very grateful to Virginia Black for sharing her expertise with our music community.”
Stephanie Nicholls, Director of Piano and Keyboards

Sherborne School, Dorset, England
Winner of ‘Best Public School of The Year’ at the Tatler Schools Awards 2017/18.

“I wanted to thank you again for your wonderful masterclass and fantastic playing. The girls were truly inspired and the trip to Hatchlands the following day was the perfect occasion to put into practice all they learned with you! The repertoire was so refreshing and exciting: we really enjoyed it all! Thank you once again, from me, my girls and my colleagues.”
Ana Manera, Head of Keyboard

Photography by Guy Davis
To get in touch for any further information and for concert and event bookings, masterclasses and performance classes, please email