Mannheim: Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst

Germany | Mannheim


A German Hochschule (not to be confused with US "high school") fuer Musik und Darstellende Kunst is a Conservatory of Music and the Performing Arts that offers undergraduate and graduate degrees equivalent to those offered by a university.


Although the Mannheim University of Music only became a state institution in 1971, it can look back on a successful tradition of more than 200 years.

As far back as 1756, the electoral court of Mannheim supported the Seminarium Musicum of the Jesuit theological college at which "poor palatine students" (including J. M. Kraus) were taught vocal and instrumental music. With the announcement in a Mannheim newspaper dated 12.09.1776 of the first "Public Chair of Musical Thought and Art“ at the "Mannheim Tonschule", which was founded by Abbé Vogler, a top international standard was achieved. The "Tonschule" was approved and financially supported by music enthusiast Elector Carl Theodor and served to professionally train musicians. It is generally considered to be the predecessor of present day music conservatoires and universities (as stated in the encyclopaedia of music "Music in the Past and Present“).

It was the height of the worldwide famous Mannheim Court Orchestra, the so-called "Mannheim School“, which to this day is recognised as being the most important musical link between the Baroque period and the Vienna Classic period. The establishment of the "Tonschule“ was indispensable as fresh talented musicians trained to the very highest of standards were required in large numbers to constitute the court orchestra. At the same time, the court orchestra was also able to engage some of the very best teachers.

The "Mannheim Tonschule“ was the model for numerous conservatoires and universities of music that were later founded. The great success of Abbé Vogler's teachings is reflected in the long list of his famous composition students, for example Carl Maria von Weber and Giacomo Meyerbeer.

The Mannheim Academie de Danse likewise dates back to the eighteenth century (1762). It is one of the oldest European dance academies and was highly involved in the great ballet reform of the eighteenth century (change towards theatrical ballet). "The ballets are indeed magnificent and complete" (often over 80 performers) "and all the dancers are trained here.” (Gothaer Theatre Calendar 1777).

The cultural tradition of the Electoral Palatinate remains of great importance for the Mannheim city of music to this very day. The Mannheim University of Music and Performing Arts is a key player in its upkeep.

The work of the "Tonschule" and the "Academie de Danse" was continued by the Mannheim Conservatoire and later by the Mannheim University for Music and Theatre. The Heidelberg Conservatoire was founded in 1894 and was then integrated into the Mannheim University in 1971.

Lecturers that have taught here include Wilhelm Furtwängler, Max Pauer, Ernst Toch, Richard Laugs, Friedrich Wührer, Karl Heinrich Wörner, Erika Köth, Heinz Hoppe and Hans Vogt.

After a new building was completed in 1999, all study institutions were then transferred to Mannheim. The University of Music is now equipped with state of the art teaching rooms and has developed into the second largest institution of its kind in Baden-Württemberg ‑ which is also thanks to its advantageous geographical location and transport connections‑.

International Cooperation
The Staatliche Hochschule fuer Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Mannheim binds the cultural region of the „Kurpfalz“ – the so-called „Rhine-Neckar Triangle“ area of southern Germany – with other important cultural regions through cooperation with several of the world’s leading Music Schools. Worthy of particular note are ties to Yale University (USA) and to Seoul National University (South Korea), the nine Chinese music conservatories, as well as to the Academy “Teatro alla Scala” in Milan (Italy).

In our student body, many different nationalities are represented. An ongoing exchange of individual students and faculty with numerous universities and university-level institutions is facilitated by the European Union’s “Erasmus” Program, the DAAD (“Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst”) and the German-American Fulbright Commission. In addition, the Hochschule co-organizes projects of large dimensions, such as the recent tour of the combined student orchestras of Seoul National University and the Musikhochschule Mannheim in Germany and to the United States with performances at Yale and in Carnegie Hall.

Our instrumental faculty participates in a new summer school in China, while the Jazz/Pop Department and the Academy of Dance maintain dynamic relations with institutions in Europe and South America.

Beyond offering excellence in instruction, the Hochschule strives to cultivate intercommunication between institutions and individuals of many nationalities, to provide further stimulus for our students’ growth as artists and citizens in an increasingly integrated world.

Programs of Study
At the Staatliche Hochschule fuer Musik und Darstellende Kunst Mannheim, the following majors are offered in undergraduate programs of study with ten-semester (emphasis on performance) and eight-semester (emphasis on pedagogy) duration, and as postgraduate studies in four-semester programs (eight-semester as part-time-program). The same majors are also offered in the secondary school Teachers’ Training program (9 semesters). These include all Orchestra Instruments, Keyboard Instruments, Voice (concert and opera), Conducting (orchestral and choral) and Elementary Musical Training.

Composition is offered as a ten-semester undergraduate major, while Theory, Ear Training and Elementary Music Education are offered as undergraduate majors in an eight-semester program.

In postgraduate studies, a student can broaden and deepen his experience as a soloist (Lied / Oratorio or opera for vocalists) in the areas of Chamber Music, Lied-Duo, Accompaniment and Orchestral Playing (“Orchestra Soloist”, i.e. training of section leaders).

“Contact Study” is a non-degree program of individual lessons available by special arrangement to professional musicians.

Exceptional young talents can be admitted for preliminary study at the Hochschule by passing a special entrance exam. In addition, the Hochschule nurtures a unique network of music schools in surrounding communities that goes by the name “Amadé”.

The Jazz/Popular Music Department offers eight- and ten-semester undergraduate programs of study in Composition/Arrangement, Vocals, Piano, Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, Percussion (drums, mallets and diverse percussion instruments), Guitar, String Bass and E-Bass. This is one of the most comprehensive programs of study in popular music offered in Germany.

Mannheim is the only Hochschule in Baden-Wuerttemberg that provides professional training for dancers. The Academy of Dance offers six-semester undergraduate programs in Dance and in the Pedagogy of Children’s Dance. Postgraduate programs are offered in Dance Pedagogy for Professional Dancers and Dance/Stage Experience. Performing with the ballet corps of the Karlsruhe State Theatre is an integral part of the latter program. Preparatory training is provided in courses for dancers from the earliest youth.

Doctor of Philosophy degrees can be earned in Musicology and in Music Pedagogy.

The "Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst Mannheim" is representing the province of Baden-Württenberg in the European Mozart Ways Association.

Further Mozart Cities in the Federal Province Baden-Württenberg are:
Aalen - Bruchsaal - Brühl - Donaueschingen - Ellwangen - Geislingen - Göppingen - Heidelberg - Knittlingen - Ludwigsburg - Mannheim - Meßkirch - Plochingen - Schorndorf - Schwäbisch Gmünd - Schwäbisch Hall - Schwetzingen - Ulm - Vaihingen - Waghäusel - Westerstetten
Contact & Information
Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Mannheim
N 7,18
68161 Mannheim
Tel: +49 621 2923503

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