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As occupant of the chair of international singing at the Royal Academy of Music in London, I am frequently invited to visit, to give master classes, the most outstanding centres of musical excellence in the world.

Last summer Dr. Deen Larsen invited me to the Franz-Schubert-Institut (which he founded) at Baden in Austria. I was not prepared for the unique school that I had entered. Not only was there an atmosphere of dedication and serious hard work, but I also sensed a spiritual awareness which enhanced both the singers and the songs. It is comparatively easy for a good singer and pianist to perform a Schubert song well. It is not nearly as easy for them to incorporate a palpable personal understanding of the spirit, the Sehnsucht of the times. That this was so often realised could only have sprung from a great teacher. This, Deen Larsen most undoubtably is. His hour long seminars on Schubert's poets are models not only of intellectual but also of spiritual understanding.

The fact that F.S.I. cherishes and illuminates one of Austria's geniuses and promotes this genius with such finesse to the world, is indeed a credit to Austria. For that, I believe we should thank Deen Larsen in no small measure.

Robert Tear
London
January 2000

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