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University of Music and Theatre "Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy" Leipzig
Hochschule für Musik und Theater "Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy" Leipzig
Established April 2, 1843
Type Public
Chancellor Wolfgang Korneli
Rector Prof. Robert Ehrlich
Staff 519
Students 813
Location Leipzig, Saxony, Germany
Campus Urban
Former names Conservatorium of Music, Royal Conservatorium of Music, State Conservatorium of Music

The University of Music and Theatre "Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy" Leipzig (German: Hochschule für Musik und Theater "Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy" Leipzig) is a public university in Leipzig (Saxony, Germany). Founded in 1843 by Felix Mendelssohn as the Conservatory of Music, it is the oldest university school of music in Germany.

The institution includes the traditional Church Music Institute founded in 1919 by Karl Straube (1873–1950). The music school was renamed ″Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy″ after its founder in 1972. In the year 1992 Drama School „Hans Otto“ Leipzig, Germans oldest Drama school, became part of the college.

Since the beginning there is a tight relationship between apprenticeship and practical experience with the Gewandhaus and the Oper Leipzig, as well as theaters in Chemnitz (Städtische Theater Chemnitz), Dresden (Staatsschauspiel Dresden), Halle (Neues Theater Halle), Leipzig (Schauspiel Leipzig) and Weimar (Deutsches Nationaltheater in Weimar).

The university of music and theater is one out of 365 places in 2009 to be elected by the Cabinet of Germany and Office of the Representative of German Industry and Trade in the campaign Germany - Land of Ideas.



Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, the composer and Music Director of the Gewandhaus Orchestra, founded a Conservatoria in the city of Leipzig on April 2, 1843. He was sponsored by a high civil servant of the Kingdom of Saxony, the Oberhofgerichtsrat Heinrich Blümner (1765–1839), who provided King Frederick Augustus II of Saxony with 20.000 Thaler.

The music school's domicile was in the first Gewandhaus (in the Gewandgäßchen/Universitätsstraße street at the city center, today the city's department store is based there). The musicians of the Orchestra were obligate to act as teaching staff, a tradition that was broke not until the German reunification in 1990.

College Hall 1900

The school got 1876 the permit to change its name to Königliches Konservatorium der Musik zu Leipzig, Royal Conservatoria of Music to Leipzig. The new premises on the Grassistraße 8 were inaugurated on December 5, 1887. They were built 1885-1887 by the architect Hugo Licht (1841–1923) in the music quarter of Leipzig, south-west of the city center. The benefactor was the pathologist Justus Radius (1797–1884).

Not until 1924 was the Royal Conservatoria renamed into Landeskonservatorium der Musik zu Leipzig, six years after the fall of the Kingdom of Saxony.

Staircase at the Grassistraße

On the summer term of 1938 343 male students were enrolled at the Landeskonservatorium. This made the Conservatoria the fourth biggest music school in the German Reich after the Universität der Künste Berlin (633 students), the music school of Cologne (406 students) and the school for music and theater of Munich (404 students).

The Austrian composer Johann Nepomuk David (1895–1977) was the school's director from 1939 until 1945.

The school was again renamed Jun 8 1941 to Staatliche Hochschule für Musik, Musikerziehung und darstellende Kunst, Public College for music, musical education and performing arts. 1944 the school remained closed due to the Second World War.

Once again, the school was renamed October 1, 1946 to Mendelssohn Academy and November 4, 1972, on the occasion of its founders name, to Hochschule für Musik Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, College of Music Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy.

The Saxon University Constitution Law (Sächsische Hochschulstrukturgesetz) from April 10, 1992 confirmed the College of Music to Leipzig and expanded it with the annexation of the College of Theatre Hans Otto (Germany's first College of Theatre) to its actual form, Hochschule für Musik und Theater Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy College of Music and Theatre.

The new Great Hall was inaugurated 2001 and 2004 awarded by the Bund Deutscher Architekten[1], a German architects union. The college's second premise was opened 2002 and there's a orchestra academy in cooperation with the Gewandhausorchestra since 2004 in order to support top musicians.


  • 1843–1876: Conservatorium der Musik
  • 1876–1924: Königliches Konservatorium der Musik zu Leipzig
  • 1924–1941: Landeskonservatorium der Musik zu Leipzig
  • 1941–1944: Staatliche Hochschule für Musik, Musikerziehung und darstellende Kunst
  • 1946–1972: Staatliche Hochschule für Musik – Mendelssohn-Akademie
  • 1972–1992: Hochschule für Musik „Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy“
  • 1992–0000: Hochschule für Musik und Theater „Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy“ Leipzig

Notable people


Notable alumni

This is an assortment of notable alumni:[2]

  • Sir Arthur Sullivan (1842–1900), English composer
  • Edvard Grieg (1843–1907), Norwegian composer
  • Hugo Riemann (1849–1919), German music theorist, music historian, music educator and music lexicographer
  • Leoš Janáček (1854–1928), Czech composer
  • Christian Sinding (1856–1941), Norwegian composer
  • Ethel Smyth (1858–1944), English composer
  • Isaac Albéniz (1860–1909), Spanish composer and pianist
  • Frederick Delius (1862–1934), English composer
  • Ferruccio Busoni (1866–1924), Italian pianist and composer
  • Felix von Weingartner (1863–1942), Austrian conductor, composer, pianist and writer
  • Sigfrid Karg-Elert (1877–1933), German composer
  • Carl Adolf Martienssen (1881–1955), German pianist and music educator
  • Wilhelm Backhaus (1884–1969), German pianist
  • Leo Funtek (1885–1965), violinist, conductor, arranger and music professor
  • Hermann Keller (1885–1967), German church musician und musicologist
  • Simone Kermes, operatic soprano
  • Rudolf Mauersberger (1889–1971), German choir director und composer, cantor of the Dresdner Kreuzchor
  • Sir Adrian Boult (1889–1983), English conductor
  • Erwin Schulhoff (1894–1942), Czech composer and pianist
  • Johannes Weyrauch (1897–1977), German composer
  • Günther Ramin (1898–1956), German organist, choir director and composer
  • Wilhelm Weismann (1900–1980) German composer and musicologist
  • Franz Konwitschny (1901–1962), German conductor
  • Erhard Mauersberger (1903–1982), German organist, music teacher, cantor of the Thomanerchor
  • Kurt Thomas (1904–1973), German composer and choir director
  • Hugo Distler (1907–1942), German composer and church musician
  • Wolfgang Fortner (1907–1987), German composer, composition teacher and conductor
  • Helmut Walcha (1907–1991), German organist and harpsichordist
  • Miklós Rózsa (1907–1995), Hungarian American Hollywood film composer
  • Robert Köbler (1912–1970), German university organist
  • Martin Flämig (1913–1998), German choir director, Protestant state-church music director, cantor of the Dresdner Kreuzchor
  • Amadeus Webersinke (1920–2005), German pianist and organist
  • Karl Richter (1926–1981) German choir director, conductor, harpsichordist, organist
  • Klaus Tennstedt (1926–1998), German conductor
  • Ruth Zechlin (1926–2007), German composer, organist
  • Götz Friedrich (1930–2000), German director
  • Ulrich Mühe (1953–2007), German actor
  • Gerhard Bosse (* 1922), German violinist and conductor
  • Kurt Masur (* 1927), German conductor
  • Karl-Heinz Kämmerling (* 1930), German piano teacher
  • Siegfried Thiele (* 1934), German composer
  • Harry Kupfer (* 1935), German impresario
  • Annerose Schmidt (* 1936), German pianist
  • Peter Sodann (* 1936), German actor
  • Christoph Schroth (* 1937), German director
  • Ludwig Güttler (* 1943), German trumpeter
  • Rosemarie Lang, German singer
  • Jürnjakob Timm (* 1949), German cellist
  • Freya Klier (* 1950) German author, director
  • Georg Christoph Biller (* 1955), cantor of the Thomanerchor
  • Ulrich Böhme (* 1956), German organist
  • Matthias Eisenberg (* 1956), German organist
  • Tom Pauls (* 1959), German actor and cabaret artist
  • Steffen Schleiermacher (* 1960), German composer and pianist
  • Michael Schönheit (* 1961), German organist and conductor
  • Irina Pauls (* 1961), German choreographer
  • Tobias Künzel (* 1964), German pop singer
  • Frank-Michael Erben (* 1965), German violinist
  • Ralf Stabel (* 1965), German theatre scholar/ dance scholar
  • Sebastian Krumbiegel (* 1966), German pop singer
  • Matthias Goerne (* 1967), German singer
  • Nadja Uhl (* 1972), German actress

Notable faculty

Institute of Church Music

The Institute of Church Music (Kirchenmusikalische Institut) was refounded 1992. The Institute has a prominent role in Germany because of Max Reger (1873–1916), Kurt Thomas (1904–1973) and Günther Ramin (1898–1956). It offers programs in church music, chorus conduction and organ. It offers research masters in those subjects as well.

The Institute of Church Music was founded by Karl Straube (1873–1950) in 1921 and 1926 it became part of the Saxon Evangelical-Lutheran Church.


Rectors of the university:

  • 1843–1847: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (1809–1847)
  • 1849–1881: Heinrich Conrad Schleinitz (1805–1881)
  • 1881–1897: Otto Günther (1822–1897)
  • 1897–1902: Carl Reinecke (1824–1910)
  • 1902–1907: Arthur Nikisch (1855–1922)
  • 1924–1932: Max Pauer (1866–1945)
  • 1932–1942: Walther Davisson (1885–1973)
  • 1942–1945: Johann Nepomuk David (1895–1977)
  • 1945–1948: Heinrich Schachtebeck (1886–1965)
  • 1948–1973: Rudolf Fischer (1913–2003)
  • 1973–1984: Gustav Schmahl (* 1929)
  • 1984–1987: Peter Herrmann (* 1941)
  • 1987–1990: Werner Felix (1927–1998)
  • 1990–1997: Siegfried Thiele (* 1934)
  • 1997–2003: Christoph Krummacher (* 1949)
  • 2003–2006: Konrad Körner (* 1941)
  • 2006-  : Robert Ehrlich (* 1965)


Bologna process

Since 1999 the school is working in the adaptation to the Bologna process. As of 2008 the adjustment to the Bachelor's degree and Master's degree System is being organized. The education program with major in school music is since the winter term of 2006/07 already adapted to the Bologna process and as such leads to a Bachelor's degree. The programs of the Institute of Church Music were changed to the beginning of the winter term 2008/09 and until the winter term of 1010/2011 all programs have to be adapted to the Bologna process.[4]


The school has its own symphony orchestra under the conduction of Ulrich Windfuhr (* 1960).


Premises in Dittrichring


A total of 813 students were enrolled at the College in 2007, thereof 375 males and 438 women. There were 260 (32%) of international students enrolled at the time.[5] They come above all from Poland, Russia, South Korea and China.[6] Thirteen of them are scholarship holders of the German Academic Exchange Service, this makes the school the best one on the scholarship holders list out of every German Music Colleges.[7]


The Felix Mendelssohn College of Music and Theatre organizes many music contests. The Lions-Club Leipzig hosts the Albert-Lortzing-Förderpreis Singing Contest with 2.500€ a prize. Furthermore the college organizes a contest for ensembles and the recognized Young Concert Artists European Auditions together with the Young Concert Artists (YCA), New York.[8] The school leads among all German colleges of music with a total of 470 public events yearly.[9]

See also

Further reading

In German

  • Whistling, Karl W.: Statistik des Königl. Conservatoriums der Musik zu Leipzig 1843-1883. Aus Anlass des vierzigjährigen Jubiläums der Anstalt. Breitkopf & Härtel. Leipzig 1883.
  • Das neue Königliche Konservatorium der Musik in Leipzig. Erbaut von Baurath Hugo Licht daselbst. Architektonische Rundschau. Leipzig 1886.
  • Vogel, C. B.: Das Königliche Conservatorium der Musik zu Leipzig. Felix Schloemp. Leipzig 1888.
  • Das Königliche Konservatorium der Musik zu Leipzig. 1843-1893. Königliches Konservatorium der Musik. Leipzig 1893.
  • Königliches Konservatorium der Musik Leipzig: Festschrift zum 75-jährigen Bestehen des Königl. Konservatoriums der Musik zu Leipzig. Am 2. April 1918. Siegel Verlag. Leipzig 1918.
  • Das Königliche Konservatorium der Musik zu Leipzig. 1893-1918. Königliches Konservatorium der Musik. Leipzig 1918.
  • Landeskonservatorium der Musik zu Leipzig. 85. Studienjahr 1928/29. Eigenverlag. Leipzig 1928.
  • Seidel, Christine: Namhafte Musiker als Musikerzieher am Konservatorium der Musik zu Leipzig von der Entstehung am 2. April 1843 bis zur Jahrhundertwende. Staatsexamensarbeit. Leipzig 1953.
  • Hochschule für Musik Leipzig. Gegründet 1843 als Conservatorium der Musik von Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy. Herausgegeben anlässlich der Festwoche vom 17. bis 24. April 1955. Leipzig 1955.
  • Wehnert, Martin (Hrsg.): Hochschule für Musik Leipzig. Gegründet als Conservatorium der Musik. 1843-1968. Leipzig 1968.
  • Forner, Johannes: Mendelssohns Mitstreiter am Leipziger Konservatorium. Verlag Neue Musik. Berlin 1972.
  • Forner, Johannes: 150 Jahre Musikhochschule 1843-1993. Hochschule für Musik und Theater Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Leipzig. Festschrift. Verlag für Kunst und Touristik. Leipzig 1993. ISBN 3-928-80220-8
  • Zandt, Herman S.J.: Der Einfluß des Dessauer Musikinstitutes und des Leipziger Konservatoriums auf die niederländische (protestantische) Orgelkunst. Landesverb. Hagen 1993.
  • Rosenmüller, Annegret: Zur Geschichte des Kirchenmusikalischen Institutes von der Gründung bis zur Wiedereröffnung 1992. Materialsammlung anhand von Akten des Archivs der Hochschule für Musik und Theater "Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy". Hochschule für Musik und Theater. Leipzig 1999.
  • Goltz, Maren: Das Kirchenmusikalische Institut. Spuren einer wechselvollen Geschichte. Dokumentation der Ausstellung "Das Kirchenmusikalische Institut" im Rahmen der Wandelausstellung zum Bach-Jahr 2000 in Leipzig. Hochschule für Musik und Theater "Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy". Leipzig 2001. ISBN 3-930550-16-4
  • 10 Jahre Fachrichtung Alte Musik. Festschrift. Rektor der Hochschule für Musik und Theater. Leipzig 2001.
  • Reisaus, Joachim: Grieg und das Leipziger Konservatorium. Untersuchungen zur Persönlichkeit des norwegischen Komponisten Edvard Grieg unter besonderer Berücksichtigung seiner Leipziger Studienjahre. Eigenverlag. Norderstedt 2002. ISBN 3-8311-4069-3
  • Nedzelskis, Adelbertas: Der litauische Künstler M. K. Ciurlionis in Leipzig. Der Studienaufenthalt des Meisters am Königlichen Konservatorium 1901-1902. Ed. Bodoni. Berlin 2003.
  • Goltz, Maren: Studien zur Geschichte der Bibliothek der Hochschule für Musik und Theater "Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy" Leipzig von 1843 bis 1945 mit einem Ausblick bis zur Gegenwart. Hausarbeit. Berlin 2003.
  • Krumbiegel, Martin: Hochschule für Musik und Theater "Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy" Leipzig. Eigenverlag. Leipzig 2004.
  • Jäger, Andrea: Die Entwicklung eines Bestandserhaltungskonzeptes für den historischen Sonderbestand der Bibliothek der Hochschule für Musik und Theater "Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy" Leipzig. Diplomarbeit. Leipzig 2004.
  • Wasserloos, Yvonne: Das Leipziger Konservatorium im 19. Jahrhundert. Anziehungs- und Ausstrahlungskraft eines musikpädagogischen Modells auf das internationale Musikleben. Georg Olms Verlag. Hildesheim 2004. ISBN 3-487-12598-6

In English

  • Phillips, Leonard Milton Jr.: The Leipzig Conservatory 1843-1881. UMI Dissertation Publishing. Ann Arbor, Michigan 2001.


  1. ^ Bundesarchitektenkammer Netzwerk Architekturexport: Gerber Architekten (PDF), 13.07.2007
  2. ^
  3. ^ Nancy B. Reich, Clara Schumann: The Artist and The Woman, Revised edition, Cornell University Press, 1985, p. 123, 148.
  4. ^ HMT Leipzig: Zeitplan zur Einführung gestufter Studiengänge an der HMT
  5. ^ Statistisches Landesamt des Freistaates Sachsen: Kunsthochschulen, 27.10.2006
  6. ^ Statistisches Landesamt des Freistaates Sachsen: Ausländische Studenten an den Hochschulen in Sachsen (PDF)
  7. ^ Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst: DAAD-Geförderte 2007 (PDF)
  8. ^ HMT Leipzig: Wettbewerbe
  9. ^ HMT Leipzig: Presse/Öffentliches

External links

Coordinates: 51°20′00″N 12°22′05″E / 51.3333333°N 12.36806°E / 51.3333333; 12.36806


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