Hanns Eisler School of Music Berlin was founded in 1950 under the name “Deutsche Hochschule für Musik” and is located in the heart of Berlin at the Schloßplatz and the Gendarmenmarkt. The Neuer Marstall, with its prominent location at the Schloßplatz opposite the Museuminsel, was opened in 2005, while the nearby Gendarmenmarkt location has been long established on Charlottenstraße, opposite the Konzerthaus. Since October 2015 Professor Robert Ehrlich is the President of the Hanns Eisler. The school boasts a symphony orchestra, a school choir, the ECHO Ensemble and numerous chamber music ensembles.
Courses are coordinated under four areas of discipline, ranging from voice and direction to strings, woodwind and brass and musicology and composition. The educational profile is complemented by cooperation with institutes shared with Berlin University of the Arts such as the Jazz Institute Berlin, the Institute for New Music Klangzeitort and the Kurt Singer Institute for Music Physiology and Musicians’ Health.
Hanns Eisler School of Music Berlin presents close to 300 public events annually, including concerts, opera projects, presentations and masterclasses. These are staged both in the school’s halls as well as numerous other venues in the city.
Alongside the highly decorated staff and the practical approach of the training, the encouragement for students that emanates out of the cooperation with Berlin cultural institutions is a key attribute. These intensive cooperative relations include partnerships with Konzerthaus Berlin, the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation, Deutsche Oper and Komische Oper. This public work and gathering of stage experience is a fundamental part of the training, integrating the school as a fixed component in Berlin’s cultural landscape.
Internationally renowned artists such as Kolja Blacher, Tabea Zimmermann, Hanspeter Kyburz, Marie-Luise Neunecker, Thomas Quasthoff, Julia Varady and Antje Weithaas offer students practice-oriented teaching. Masterclasses and workshops refine the direct work with artistic personalities – in this context, students have already benefited from working with Midori, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Daniel Barenboim, Zubin Mehta, Kent Nagano, Seiji Ozawa, Thomas Quasthoff, Sir Simon Rattle and Christian Thielemann.
In their role as honorary senators, Claudio Abbado †, Daniel Barenboim, Sir Simon Rattle and Wolfgang Rihm support the artistic and pedagogical goals of the school. The School Board, operating at the intersection between school, state and society, is comprised of representatives from cultural, economic and academic spheres - Bernd Wieczorek, Petra Mai-Hartung, Isabel Pfeiffer-Poensgen and Lothar Zagrosek, Prof. Antje Weithaas represents the professorate. The Society of Friends and Patrons of Hanns Eisler School of Music Berlin supports the school’s students and has brought the student artist agency “Eisleriana” to life.
The markedly international student community makes the school a place of international encounters. Two thirds of the students come from outside of Germany, one third from outside of Europe.
Graduates and alumni of the school include names such as Jochen Kowalski, Roman Trekel (voice); Georg Katzer, Siegfried Matthus, Friedrich Schenker (composition); Vladimir Jurowski, Ernst Stoy, Sebastian Weigle, Feng Yu (conducting); Peter Konwitschny, Christine Mielitz, Vera Nemirowa (directing); Isabelle Faust (violin); Claudio Bohorquez, Sol Gabetta, Danjulo Ishizaka, Johannes Moser (cello); and in the area of jazz Volker Schlott and Rolf von Nordenskjöld (saxophone).