Thomas Hampson’s career-long dedication to the art of the song reaches an exciting new milestone today with the opening of the first Heidelberg Lied Academy, which will be part of the already well-established Heidelberger Frühling Festival.  Under the artistic direction of Hampson, and with the contribution of such prominent artists – and fellow song enthusiasts – as Barbara Bonney, Christian Gerhaher, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Wolfram Rieger, the Academy will transform the German city for 12-days (March 16 – 27) into an international meeting point for the Lied (classic song).  No city would make a more appropriate home for the Academy than Heidelberg, a place that epitomizes German Romanticism, the era that produced the greatest flowering of the art form.

Ranging well beyond the confines of the traditional master class, the Academy’s aim is to give young singers a variety of tools for well-informed text-based song interpretation. The credo of the Lied Academy, reflective of Hampson’s passionate belief in the uniquely expressive power of song: singers should tell stories, for only then can they really reach today’s audiences.   Thus, in addition to attending daily classes, the eleven visiting fellows (hailing from seven countries) will attend an array of workshops and lectures on the interpretation of poetry and the mysterious ways it is set to music.

A major focus in the Academy’s inaugural year is the setting of texts by the great German poet Heinrich Heine.  Another focus is outreach, through new concert formats, to audiences that normally do not attend classical recitals. One such attempt is an event with John Neumeier contemplating the connection between song and dance.

All events of the Lied Academy are open to the public, some offering free admission. For more information, please visit www.heidelberger-fruehling.de.

A list of the Academy’s program highlights follows:

Wednesday 16 March 2011 – Friday 25 March 2011

  • Daily Lied classes with Thomas Hampson and Barbara Bonney

Wednesday 16 March 2011

  • Welcome and introductions

Thursday 17 March 2011

  • Introductory lecture “Between Worlds: Heinrich Heine, a Poet’s Life” with Prof. Joseph A. Kruse

Friday 18 March 2011

  • Lecture “Heine’s Buch der Lieder (Book of Songs)” with Prof. Joseph A. Kruse
  • Conversation “Lied Interpretation Today” with Thomas Hampson, Christian Gerhaher and Prof. Dr. Dieter Borchmeyer

Saturday 19 March 2011

  • Interpretation workshop with Prof. Wolfram Rieger and selected Lied Academy participants

Sunday 20 March 2011

  • Opening concert with Thomas Hampson and Wolfram Rieger
  • Opening conversation “I Created Heaven from the Earth – The Lied as Mirror of the World” with Thomas Hampson, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Jens Malte Fischer

Monday 21 March 2011

  • Conversation “Song and Dance” with Thomas Hampson und John Neumeier about new presentation formats for song, followed by performance of “Yondering” (dance set to song) with students from the Hamburg Ballet John Neumeier
  • Comparison of historical song recordings with Thomas Hampson, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Jens Malte Fischer
  • Heine workshop “Words and Music:Thoughts on Schumann’s Music for the Voice” with Dr. Matthias Wendt
  • Heine workshop “Difficult Farewells: How Schumann Dismantles a Song Cycle and Creates Dichterliebe” with Dr. Matthias Wendt

Tuesday 22 March 2011

  • Lieder at Lunchtime “Love: Heine settings by Clara Schumann, Liszt and Brahms” performed by participants of the Lied Academy and introduced by Thomas Hampson
  • Heine workshop “Laughed and Wept for Joy: How Schumann Conceived and Mapped out his Liederkreis, Op. 24” with Dr. Matthias Wendt

Wednesday 23 March 2011

  • Heine workshop “The Antagonism of the Modern World: Franz Schubert’s reception of Heine” with Dr. Sonja Gesse-Harm
  • Lieder at Lunchtime “Dream: Heine settings by Schubert, Rachmaninov, Clara Schumann and Wolf” performed by participants of the Lied Academy and introduced by Prof. Dr. Helmuth Kiesel
  • Heine workshop “Schubert’s Doppelgänger, No. 13 of Schwanengesang” with Dr. Sonja Gesse-Harm

Thursday 24 March 2011

  • Heine workshop “Soulful Songs for the Drawing-Room: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy’s Heine settings” with Dr. Sonja Gesse-Harm
  • Lieder at Lunchtime “Nature: Heine settings by Schumann, Robert Franz and Brahms” performed by participants of the Lied Academy and introduced by Prof. Dr. Paul Kirchhof
  • Heine workshop “Purity of Sentiment: Heinrich Heine set by Robert Franz” with Dr. Sonja Gesse-Harm

Friday 25 March 2011

  • Heine workshop “Inventive Role Players: Giacomo Meyerbeer, Johann Vesque von Püttlingen and their settings of Heine” with Dr. Sonja Gesse-Harm
  • Lieder at Lunchtime “Pain, Loss, Farewell: Heine settings by Schumann, Schubert and Leslie Crabtree” performed by participants of the Lied Academy and introduced by Dr. Marlene Schwöbel
  • Heine workshop “Soul-Rending: Franz Liszt’s Heine settings” with Dr. Sonja Gesse-Harm

Sunday 27 March 2011

  • Closing concert with participants of the Lied Academy

Download PDF of full program (in German)

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In song, you have one of the most amazing diaries of any generation’s culture at a given time.

Thomas Hampson