Since 2011, the Lied Academy in the context of the Heidelberger Frühling festival has been the annual meeting place for the best of upcoming singers. For two whole weeks, young singers and pianists from opera studios and training institutions all over the world engage actively and intensively with the wonders of the Lied repertory under the inspiring guidance of Thomas Hampson. Working on repertory necessarily links questions of technique with aspects of interpretation. The individual song is rediscovered, all its facets are explored. In discussions, workshops and master classes, international mentors and visiting instructors meet eye to eye with their young charges for a very special species of discourse that makes the unique interplay between text and setting a living experience for budding interpreters and audiences alike. The Lied Academy is a place of shared learning, a source of enthusiasm for the Lied, a think tank for the future of the art-song.
Das Lied: International Song Competition
Those brave spirits that devote themselves to the Lied will always be measured against such giants of the genre as Brigitte Fassbaender, Christa Ludwig, Fritz Wunderlich, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and, more recently, Thomas Quasthoff and Thomas Hampson. The aim of the international song competition Das Lied, initiated by Thomas Quasthoff in 2009, is to identify potential successors of comparable stature and discover new voices. Hitherto located in Berlin, the contest will take place every two years as of 2017 in Heidelberg, the city of song. This means that the International Song Centre will have an international platform at its disposal for the benefit of outstanding young singers. And it gives audiences, concert organisers, festivals and agencies the opportunity to come to Heidelberg and discover the stars of tomorrow.
The art-song is there to take wing, to benefit from new ideas and new impulses, to be reread and rediscovered. It cannot exist without the mediation of singers and is equally dependent on composers and other creative artists such as poets, choreographers, media or performance artists, who open new perspectives on the song and win new audiences for this unique genre. And it needs institutions that give the song a new arena. The song deserves initiative!
The project work of the International Song Centre Heidelberg is supported and escorted by the Song Network. This network has set itself the task of reaching out on the international plane to give the art-song a voice of its own, jointly devise and implement projects of outstanding quality and ensure that they are made visible all over the world. The aim is to encourage the ongoing discourse on the future of song, to offer singers, concert halls, festivals, composers, publishers, training institutions, representatives of the media and agencies a medium for exchange, to establish the Song Centre Heidelberg as a think tank and meeting place, and not only to discuss new ideas but to achieve currency for those ideas all over the world. In the framework of the Heidelberger Frühling festival, the protagonists of the international Lied scene will be meeting once a year and rubbing shoulders with the Music Conference and Neuland.Lied. Other network meetings will take place in the vicinity of events organised by our network partners.
This is just the beginning. In the immediate future, the International Song Centre Heidelberg intends to join forces with the participating network partners to map out new sectors such as an online platform, an online library or the communication of events, possibly in the form of streaming offerings. Et cetera …