Heidelberg has always been an inspiration for all Lied makers: From »Codex Manesse«, »Des Knaben Wunderhorn«, Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms to Joseph von Eichendorff and Friedrich Hölderlin. The radiance of the city reaches singers, institutions and audiences all over the world. In 2016, the Music Festival Heidelberger Frühling founded the International Song Centre, in order to present this heritage and to ensure the future of Lied.
International Song Centre of Heidelberger Frühling
Heidelberg is the world capital of »Lied«: from the »Codex Manesse«, the most important German Lied manuscript of the Middle Ages, kept in the local university library, or the three-volume folk song collection »Des Knaben Wunderhorn«, collected by Clemens Brentanto and Achim von Arnim, reaching into the 18th century. Further, the works of Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms to Joseph von Eichendorff and Friedrich Hölderlin, whose poetry settings were largely influenced by their stay in the city located by the river »Neckar«. Heidelberg has always been an inspiration for all Lied makers, with a radiance that reaches singers, institutions and audiences all over the world. As a German export hit, the art song is performed worldwide in its original language and can undoubtedly be included in the ranks of immaterial cultural assets. »Lied« is not only an art song, but also a folk song, jazz song, pop song, workers’ song, war song, ballad, chanson and last but not least German hip hop, which has its roots in Heidelberg. The »Lied« is firmly anchored in Heidelberg’s DNA. This heritage must not only be presented at an excellent level and thus preserved, but above all it must also be ensured that the song can unfold in the future, so that the song can set impulses. In order to fulfil this mission, the Music Festival Heidelberger Frühling founded the International Song Centre in 2016.
A large number of projects are united under the umbrella of the Song Centre. In the annually happening Lied Academy, young singers work in public master classes with the artistic director Thomas Hampson on their Lied design and experience a free debate space in which the genre and its future are discussed openly, across genres and combined. The International Song Competition »Das Lied«, chaired by Thomas Quasthoff, selects the best young song singers and awards a prize purse of 37,000 euros. »Neuland.Lied« is a main theme of the International Music Festival Heidelberger Frühling and a platform for new interdisciplinary Lied formats, such as »Lied.Labs«, which use performative means of design to prevent the song from drifting into a niche in the first place. In order to enable young artists to engage further with the Lied, the Song Centre offers fellowship programs with which extraordinary innovative formats are implemented, artists are individually promoted and the song network of the future is expanded and strengthened. And with Christian Gerhaher’s major project »Alle Lieder« – the CD release of all of Robert Schumann’s Lieder – the Song Centre is partner, facilitator and sponsor of an exemplary project for the contemporary mediation of one of the most important canons of works. Through the fruitful exchange and partnerships with other institutions and outstanding singers, a constantly growing network has been created, which is dedicated to the Lied of the past, present and future.
The festival of curiosity – the Heidelberger Frühling abides by this mantra every year. Extraordinary artists meet each other and the audience in a personal atmosphere and use the space provided by the festival in order to experiment with new perspectives.
It is the microcosm of musical collaboration – and string quartet enthusiasts travel from all over the world to Heidelberg to participate. Every year an ignition of audience and international quartet community happens through dialogue and discussion. Which makes them far more than guardians of the past.
This platform is home, workshop and engine of song – the International Song Centre Heidelberg is a centre of global initiatives. It allows a re-discovery with the infinite facets of song in the head of artists, promoters and audience. This is our assignment and passion.
Jeden Monat etwas Zeit für »Frühlingsgefühle« – die Reihe »Kammermusik Plus« macht’s möglich. In der exzellenten Akustik der Alten Aula der Universität hören Sie Interpreten auf internationalem Niveau. Ganz, wie Sie es vom Heidelberger Frühling gewohnt sind.