Announcing the Cooperative Partnership of the University of Alberta and the Franz-Schubert-Institut, effective July 19, 2009

The University of Alberta and the Franz-Schubert-Institut in Baden bei Wien, Austria, are delighted to announce a new partnership dedicated to cultivating artistic excellence in the performance of a great musical genre that is both highly challenging and internationally admired.

The Franz-Schubert-Insititut has long offered advanced students of voice and piano one of the world’s richest study experiences in the German Lied. That musical genre - settings of German lyric poetry for voice and piano - thrived in the nineteenth century, when powerful voices with new visions of nature, intitiated by the genius of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and carried on by his Romantic successors, were transformed into music through the genius of composers such as Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, Hugo Wolf, and above all Franz Schubert. Under the leadership of founder Dr Deen Larsen, the Institut annually offers a five-week summer course that immerses students in intensive study of the poetry of the Lied, together with extensive coaching in all aspects of performance and a series of masterclasses given by renowned performers. In 2010, those performers will include singers Elly Ameling, Barbara Bonney, Robert Holl and Wolfgang Holzmair, and pianists Helmut Deutsch, Julius Drake, Rudolf Jansen and Wolfram Rieger.

In a new initiative, the Franz-Schubert-Institut will extend the range and variety of its study opportunities, both in Austria and at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. Thanks to a memorandum of agreement signed by Dr Larsen and the University’s Provost and Vice-President (Academic), Dr Carl Amrhein, in July 2009, the stage is set for select University of Alberta students to integrate the Institut’s summer course into their academic programs through major support of their study at the Institut, and for a new series of programs that will make some of the master course’s riches available to students and teachers in North America.

The agreement, made possible by the support of the Wirth Institute for Austrian and Central European Studies at the University, will enable students to enroll for university credit in a special course created for Schubert Institut participants. Overseen by Dr Larsen, now an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Music, the course will provide students with academic credit through the University, credit which will also be available for transfer to other institutions. Moreover, financial support will also be available for University of Alberta students, and up to three students each year will receive scholarships provided by the Department of Music, the Wirth Institute, and the Provost’s Office to help defray the tuition and expenses associated with participation in the program.
The University’s Department of Music will also host a variety of new initiatives in Edmonton with the Schubert Institut. Plans for the 2010-2011 academic year are still in development, but it is already clear that a leading centre for Lied study and performance is coming into being. Dr Larsen will contribute his special insight into the Lied and its poetry to vocal literature courses, and artists from the summer course will offer programs and masterclasses in Edmonton for performers and teachers from across the continent. Information on these programs will be posted on www.music.ualberta.ca and www.schubert-institut.at websites. We invite you to watch for further announcements and consider taking advantage of these unique opportunities to study one of the great musical genres with some of its finest practitioners.

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