Heidelberg Lied Academy March 16-27, 2011

Artistic director: Thomas Hampson
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The German city of Heidelberg stands as the embodiment of German Romanticism, and more than any other musical genre, German classic song – the Lied – epitomizes the artistic visions and aspirations of that era. Reason enough for the  Heidelberger Frühling music festival to welcome musicians and music connoisseurs from all over the world to the first-ever Heidelberg Lied Academy, under the artistic leadership of Thomas Hampson, to take place from March 16 to March 27, 2011.

For this purpose, the Festival is inviting outstanding young professional singers and accompanists to apply for schol- arships enabling them to participate in the extensive programme the Academy is offering. Artistic director Thomas Hampson and numerous other artists, instructors and speakers (among them singers Barbara Bonney, Christian Gerhaher and Christoph Prégardien, Lied accompanist Wolfram Rieger and cultural studies scholar Jens Malte Fischer) will be forming a creative community with the scholarship recipients, discussing the songs with them, and advising them on matters of interpretation.

The Lied Academy will cast a new and unique light on both musical and interdisciplinary aspects of the Lied. It deliberately sets out to rekindle public enthusiasm for this genre. At the same time, new artistic contacts and networks will originate from the Academy and hopefully live on well beyond the ten days in Heidelberg.

The indivisible unity between word, symbol and sound is one of the epoch-making innovations that we owe to »Heidelberg Romanticism«. A major ambition of the Academy is to communicate to its young singers a profound appreciation of this unity. Many things are necessary for this – intimate knowledge of the text, of course, and a keen awareness of the intellectual and historical background of the time. Less obvious, perhaps, but equally important is in-depth engagement with the symbolic implications of the poems involved. In this first year of the Academy, the main emphasis will be on settings of poems by Heinrich Heine.

With its master classes, workshops and lectures, the Lied Academy will do much to equip its participants with this essential background knowledge. At the same time, it will be a setting for experiments with alternative forms of presentation for the Lied, not least via cooperation with other art forms such as the dance.

All musicians admitted to the Lied Academy will receive comprehensive expense grants from the Heidelberger Frühling Festival covering the course fees and all travel, board and lodging expenses. The selection of the grant recipients (eight singers and max. four piano accompanists) will take place at auditions in Zurich and New York.

An outline of the Heidelberg Lied Academy

Artistic Director: Thomas Hampson
Course Repertoire: Settings of poems by Heinrich Heine, plus translations (at least 10 songs per singer); self-chosen repertory (at least 5 songs per singer).

Master Classes
Thomas Hampson and Wolfram Rieger: 16-22 March 2011 Barbara Bonney: 23-26 March 2011 Alongside technical matters, these classes will focus mainly on interpretation. The classes are connected with subject-oriented workshops where the content of the course is given greater (interdisciplinary) definition.

Workshops and Lectures
Alongside the master classes, there will be workshops and lectures by renowned artists and speakers such as cultural studies scholar and Mahler biographer Jens Malte Fischer, Heine expert Professor Joseph A. Kruse, baritone Christian Gerhaher and tenor Christoph Prégardien. They will be devoted primarily to discussion of Heine’s poems and their settings from different academic perspectives: cultural studies, musicology, literary studies.

During the Lied Academy there will be concerts and song recitals, e.g. by Thomas Hampson (20 March) and Christoph Prégardien (25 March). The grant recipients are invited to perform Heine settings they have worked on in the master classes at one of the »Lieder at Lunchtime« concerts (22-25 March).

New Presentation Forms
Concern with alternative ways of presenting Lieder to the public, notably via collaboration with other art forms, is another central feature of the Lied Academy. In 2011 the focus is on »Lied and Dance«. The John Neumeier Ballet Company of Hamburg will elaborate choreographies based on settings of poems by Heinrich Heine and present them to the audience at performances in Heidelberg’s Church of the Holy Spirit (Heiliggeistkirche) between 22 and 25 March.

All Lied Academy events are open to the public.


Consideration will be given to applications from advanced voice and piano students and young professional singers and pianists born later than 16 March 1978. Course languages are German and English, but as the workshops and lectures will all be in German, knowledge of German is an advantage.

Grant recipients will be selected via auditions on 12 December 2010 in Zurich and on 9 January 2011 in New York. For these auditions, candidates are requested to prepare at least 5 settings of poems by Heinrich Heine, plus translations. The decision on the candidates to be invited to the auditions and the award of the grants will be taken by Thomas Hampson, Wolfram Rieger and the general director of the Heidelberger Frühling Festival, Thorsten Schmidt. Travel and accommodation expenses for participation in the auditions will not be reimbursed.

Applicants are requested to supply the following documents (by post or e-mail):
– curriculum vitae (focus on artistic training/career)
– a separate photo
– list of songs for the audition
Please indicate which of the auditions you wish to take part in.

Application deadline
26 November 2010
By 3 December 2010 latest, you will be notified whether you have been admitted to the audition.

Applications should be sent to
Heidelberger Frühling gGmbH, Heidelberg Lied Academy Friedrich-Ebert-Anlage 27, D-69117 Heidelberg
[email protected]

Dominik Winterling, programme planning phone: +49-(0)6221-58 400 20
[email protected]

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