“Liedkunst” – The Art of the Lied in Husum Castle
19th Lied interpretation masterclass with Charles Spencer and Ulf Bästlein
In 2019, “Liedkunst” – The Art of the Lied in Husum Castle will take place for the 19th time. From 22 to 27 July 2019 young singers and pianists from Europe, America and Asia will devote themselves to interpreting both the content and sound of the Lied in masterclasses and concerts in Husum Castle. Once again, a very special opening concert is scheduled for Monday, 22 July at 7:30 pm in the “Rittersaal” (“knights’ hall”) of the castle. Ulf Bästlein, Charles Spencer and the prize-winners of last year’s “Liedkunst” will perform songs by Gustav Jenner that set texts by Theodor Storm and Klaus Groth. The well-known writer Susanne Bienwald will present new “literary responses” to the late 19th-century world of art in Schleswig-Holstein, providing insights into our home region’s fascinating cultural heyday, which sadly is now almost completely forgotten. The evening’s innovative format, combining music and literature, once again exemplifies one of the aims of “Liedkunst” – The Art of the Lied in Husum Castle: to initiate and inspire new developments in contemporary culture in Schleswig-Holstein.
The masterclasses have now become a small festival with the name “Liedkunst” – The Art of the Lied in Husum Castle. Coursework is open to the public and has become increasingly popular with a growing audience in past years. Some participants are studying at music universities, while others are already working as professional musicians. The masterclasses are held in close cooperation with the Stiftung Nordfriesland and the Regional Music School of North Friesland. Experience has shown that their standard, which is ensured by an entrance audition, is extremely high.
The Ministry of Education, Science and Culture of the State of Schleswig-Holstein is advertising the ‘Nordfriesischer Liedpreis’ (‘North Friesian Lied Prize’, first prize for Lied duo performance) for the 19th time. The ‘Freundeskreis-Liedpreis der Stiftung Husumer Volksbank’ (‘Friends’ Lied Prize of the Husum Volksbank Foundation’, second prize for Lied duo performance) will be awarded for the fourth time. The Prize of St. Mary’s Church, Husum, will be awarded for the 15th time. For the 12th time, a Hamburg sponsor will be endowing the Theodor Storm Piano Prize for the best Lied accompanist. The Nicolaus Bruhns Prize for the best Lied performer (endowed by Dr Annemarie Hansen) will be awarded for the ninth time. And for the seventh time, the audience of the final concert will be actively involved in the awards and will choose the winner of the audience award. This prize is endowed by Gabrielle Gumpert and Barbara Hess. For the second time, the Hardenack Zinck Prize will be awarded for outstanding interpretative achievement. This prize is named after Hardenack Otto Zinck, an important composer, flautist and singer born in Husum in 1746, who enjoyed significant fame in his day.
The winners will be chosen by a jury at the final concert on 27 July, 6 pm. The organisers are delighted that once again, highly regarded artists, well-known agents, conductors, critics and representatives of public life will be coming to Husum and acting as members of the jury to select the best singers and pianists. In 2019, we will have the honour of welcoming Anne Schwanewilms, one of today’s leading sopranos, as a member of the jury. The world-famous singer, who regularly works with the most important contemporary conductors and directors, has performed as an opera singer on all the world’s major stages, but also regularly gives Lied recitals that attest to her great love for vocal music’s most intimate genre. Anne Schwanewilms was awarded an ECHO Klassik in October 2017 and a Grammy in January 2018.
The concept of the masterclasses with awards has proven highly successful and garnered wide acclaim. Winners to date have been able to make a name for themselves on an international level and have thus made Husum’s “Liedkunst” festival known far and wide.
The directors and founders of the series of events are the internationally known singer Ulf Bästlein and the pianist Charles Spencer, one of the leading contemporary Lied accompanists. Charles Spencer is Professor of Lied Interpretation at the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna. His musical partners include Jessy Norman, Christa Ludwig, Thomas Quasthoff, Thomas Hampson, Vesselina Kasarova and Elina Garança. The bass-baritone Ulf Bästlein, who grew up in Husum, is Professor of Singing at the University of Music in Graz and the Lübeck Academy of Music. Both artists have worked together intensely for many years both as artists and teachers.
In the autumn of 2018, Ulf Bästlein was awarded the highest accolade of the District of North Friesland, the Hans Momsen Prize, for the many years he has contributed to the cultural life of North Friesland. During the opening concert of “Liedkunst” 2018, he announced his plan to use the prize money to produce a CD dedicated to Klaus Groth, Theodor Storm, and Gustav Jenner (featuring Charles Spencer on piano). This CD will make Jenner’s fascinating Lied settings of 17 Groth and 18 Storm poems available to the public for the very first time. Gustav Jenner, born on Sylt in 1865, was accepted as Johannes Brahms’s one and only composition student thanks to Klaus Groth’s championing of his cause. Over recent years, Ulf Bästlein has released several albums, including ones with songs that set the poetry of the North German poets Theodor Storm (2004), Friedrich Hebbel (2014), Johann Heinrich Voß (2016) and Emanuel Geibel (2017). These CDs were well reviewed by the press and radio. As a native of Schleswig-Holstein, a German literature scholar and a singer, the realisation of “North German projects” such as these and presenting them in innovative concert formats is very close to his heart.
Perhaps you’re interested in “listening in” to the coursework? Lessons are open to the public and will begin (following the entrance audition) on Tuesday, 23 July at around 2 pm. On subsequent days, participants will be working, singing, playing, striving daily from 10 am to ? o’clock (open end!).
More information on the masterclass and the application form are available at: www.liedkunst-schloss-vor-husum.de
The deadline for applicants is 26th July 2019.
A film about “Liedkunst” – The Art of the Lied in Husum Castle is available on YouTube:
2015- Jubiläum der Liedkunst im Schloss vor Husum
Concert tickets (15 €/reduced 10 € plus booking fee) are available from the castle bookshop, tel. 04841/89214, and on the door.