University of music and theatre
Founded by Gewandhaus Music Director Felix Mendelssohn in 1843, the venerable Leipzig Conservatory was the first of its kind in Germany and quickly became one of the leading educational institutions in Europe. During the early years, Mendelssohn succeeded in attracting renowned teachers to the Conservatory, among them the St. Thomas cantor Moritz Hauptmann (1792-1868), organist Carl Ferdinand Becker (1804-1977), Gewandhaus concertmaster Ferdinand David (1810-1873), pianist Ignaz Moscheles (1794-1870) and, for a brief time, composer Robert Schumann (1810-1856). The institution soon acquired an international reputation. Students, both men and women, came from many European countries and even from America. A particularly close relationship existed with Great Britain, where Mendelssohn's name was well-established as a result of his long concert tours, and where Ignaz Moscheles had also been active for several years. The Conservatory enjoyed an especially good reputation in Scandinavia. The most noted Norwegian student was Edvard Grieg, who studied in Leipzig from 1858 to 1862.
The present building at Grassistrasse 8 was officially opened in 1887. The Great Hall, which was rebuilt shortly before 2000, seats 430 and received an award from the Association of German Architects of Saxony in 2004. Since 2002 the University has also had a second exceptionally well-equipped building on the Dittrichring, near St. Thomas's Church and the Schauspielhaus.
The University offers an extraordinarily wide, practice-oriented educational spectrum in virtually all areas of classical and popular music, acting and dramaturgy. Artistic practice is accompanied and well-founded academically, and interdisciplinary projects are encouraged.
Every year the approximately 900 students demonstrate their achievements in over 600 performances. The success of the training in Leipzig is documented both by numerous prestigious awards and honours and by a gratifyingly high success rate in launching careers. University alumni sing, play and act in celebrated opera houses, orchestra and theatres throughout the world, work at music schools and churches and inspire the next generation in schools.
The close relationship with the Gewandhaus has become even stronger since the establishment of the Orchestra Academy, a master class programme at the University of Music and Theatre in cooperation with the Gewandhaus Orchestra, which was initiated during the winter semester of 2004/05.
The ties between the University and the Gewandhaus have existed since the founding of the Leipzig Conservatory in 1843 and were established primarily by Gewandhaus Music Director Felix Mendelssohn, who was both the first Director of Studies and a member of the Conservatory's teaching staff. Following a vacancy of several decades, this position was held by Carl Reinecke from 1897 to 1902. Reinecke, who served as Gewandhaus Music Director from 1860 to 1895, also taught at the Conservatory, like many members of the orchestra. At that time, the Conservatory was still located in a building behind the old Gewandhaus until the new building on Grassistrasse was opened in 1887.
This close connection between the University and the Gewandhaus has continued to exist until the present – during all the changes in outward circumstances and internal structures – as a living, open tradition. To this day, musicians from the Gewandhaus Orchestra teach at the University, while many Leipzig graduates have found employment with the world-renowned orchestra.
Hochschule für Musik und Theater "Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy" Leipzig
Fon: +49 341 2144 55