Masterclass with Rupert Guenther

Masterclass – Wellbeing and Healing Stage-Fright

Stage fright not only hinders our ability to play but also impedes our capacity to connect with those around us — it severs our ties to the audience, fellow musicians on stage, and, most importantly, to ourselves.

This transformative stage fright masterclass serves as a gateway to:

  • Enhanced well-being, mental and emotional health for musicians;
  • Deeper and more meaningful connections among musicians;
  • Closer and more intimate connections with the audience;
  • Restoration of the joy of playing music and sharing it on stage, replacing fear and anxiety;
  • Viewing music performance as an expression of love for the art, rather than dwelling on perceived mistakes;
  • Cultivating a culture of trust among musicians instead of fostering competitiveness;
  • Offering approaches that swiftly restore emotional well-being for immediate use on stage, in rehearsals, lessons, or recording sessions.

The masterclass guides participants on how to feel secure on stage, embracing their sensitivity and unique personality traits. It encourages them to immerse themselves in the love of the music’s sound instead of succumbing to nervousness. Participants learn how to be compassionate with themselves during performances, naturally redirecting their focus towards sharing their love for music rather than engaging in negative self-talk or fearing mistakes. The aim is to become a calming influence for the audience rather than a bundle of nerves.

Furthermore, the masterclass aids musicians in rediscovering the joy of playing music for the love of it, breaking down the walls of anxiety and fear. This approach gradually restores the delicate, highly personal, and sensitive self-esteem core of each individual as a person. It stands in contrast to the prevalent sports psychology and sports motivation approaches, which often suppress parts of our personality and narrow our vision for the sake of positive feelings. It also diverges from the potentially unhelpful side effects of both prescribed and non-prescribed medications advocated or used by trainers and artists in the performing arts, which can lead to similar problems.

This recording is only for reference and consultation by the participants of the ESTA Porto 2024 Conference. All contents are protected by copyright and its violation is a crime. Illegal downloading and sharing of content or part of it is strictly prohibited


©Peter Davin

Rupert Guenther, Violin

Rupert Guenther is a concert violinist-composer, self-esteem and wellbeing coach, meditation teacher, and a staunch advocate for holistic leadership encompassing self-esteem, wellbeing, and humanistic values in the arts, education, government, and policy. With over 20 years of experience, he specializes in teaching wellbeing and addressing stage fright for musicians through techniques such as meditation, breathwork, self-esteem building, and setting healthy personal boundaries. Rupert holds qualifications in coaching and mentoring, advocating for a shift towards holistic personal development and self-care in music education, culture, and performance. He believes that artists should consciously cultivate their self-esteem, social and emotional wellbeing, and humanistic values alongside their music career and professional development. This, he contends, allows artists to exemplify values of wellbeing, compassion, selflessness, inclusiveness, collaborative teamwork, and creativity, in addition to any concept of artistic or intellectual excellence.

Rupert’s international concert career specializes in performances of inspired new original works and sonatas, often featuring breathtaking improvisations. He approaches his music creation much like a painter, projecting images of imagination onto a blank canvas. Having independently released over 35 albums since 2003, his performances and tours have taken place at renowned venues such as Tate Britain, Museum of London Docklands, Vorarlberg State Conservatorium, Sydney Opera House, Melbourne Recital Centre, Bombora House NYC, and various locations throughout Europe.

Trained in Europe using Igor Ozim’s method of playing, Rupert studied extensively with Ozim’s proteges Brian Finlayson and Hefried Fister in Klagenfurt, Austria. He attended Masterclasses and Summer Schools with Professor Ozim in Australia and Europe. Rupert was also influenced by Norwegian violinist Professor Terje Moe Hansen, incorporating Hansen’s all-interval approach into his playing. Earlier in his career, he studied for many years in his hometown in Australia with Harry Hutchins, a student of Carl Flesch in Paris.

Rupert offers holistic professional development courses for string players and music teachers at all levels. His teachings cover traditional violin studies, chamber music coaching, string instrumental teacher training courses, classical music improvisation, the mystical art of music, electric violin, extended playing techniques, as well as practical approaches to healing stage fright, self-care, wellbeing, and meditation for musicians. His private clients include students, teachers, and principal players from esteemed orchestras such as Zurich Opera and La Scala, as well as well-known pop musicians.