Inaugural Heidelberg Lied Academy Opens Today Under Artistic Direction of Thomas Hampson

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

A list of the Academy’s program highlights follows:

Wednesday 16 March 2011 – Friday 25 March 2011

Wednesday 16 March 2011

Thursday 17 March 2011

Friday 18 March 2011

Saturday 19 March 2011

Sunday 20 March 2011

Monday 21 March 2011

Tuesday 22 March 2011

Wednesday 23 March 2011

Thursday 24 March 2011

Friday 25 March 2011

Sunday 27 March 2011

Download PDF of full program (in German)