The Balthasar Neumann Academy was founded by the two Balthasar Neumann Ensembles and has for many years been making an important contribution to the task of promoting a new generation of young musicians.
The Academy’s declared aim is to communicate music directly: a passion for music is handed down to the next generation by making sure that music is something they can experience for themselves at first hand. The Academy is also committed to maintaining and preserving the cultural legacy of Europe and ensuring that this legacy remains anchored in the consciousness of the public at large. It promotes dialogue and cultural exchange.
This goal is reflected in the day-to-day work of the Academy and also finds expression in the different fields of activities:
SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAMME: The two-year scholarship programme of the Balthasar Neumann Academy accompanies exceptional music students on their way into life as working musicians. They receive financial support and training in the use of their instruments and are given a grounding in historical performance practice and in chamber and orchestral playing. The Academy plans individual workshops (on such themes as musicians’ rights, concert presentation, programme planning) for the recipients of scholarships, and these “scholars” also attend master classes to perfect their instrumental technique and expression. Selected tours and operatic projects of the Balthasar Neumann Ensemble enable scholars to broaden and deepen their orchestral experience.
CUBAN-EUROPEAN YOUTH ACADEMY (CUE): The Cuban-European Youth Academy (CuE) is designed to help Cuban and European musicians continue their education. Participants from Europe and Cuba work together on transatlantic orchestral projects and workshops and are also taught by distinguished lecturers. To complement their training in their own country, they get to know a new musical culture and work ethic. The Cuban-European Youth Academy was founded by Thomas Hengelbrock and the Balthasar Neumann Academy in 2014. Since then cooperation between the Balthasar Neumann Academy and the relevant cultural institutions on Cuba has been progressively extended. Since the summer of 2015 the Cuban-European Youth Academy has been supported by the German Foreign Office and by the German foreign secretary.
The Cuban-European Youth Academy stands for transatlantic cultural exchange, for cooperation and youth sponsorship, for give and take, for hospitality and for permanence and continuity in education. Making music together provides all the participants with stimulating new ideas: the works that they rehearse introduce the participants to their respective musical cultures, while performing together encourages listening, acceptance, sensitivity and openness.
MUSIC EDUCATION: The Balthasar Neumann Choir and Ensemble are particularly keen to pass on their love of music to others. All involved find that instilling an enthusiasm for classical music in tomorrow’s concert audiences is a richly rewarding experience. Working on a piece of music within a group, learning to understand it and feeling oneself to be an important part of the whole within the framework of a performance are often the spark that triggers a lifelong fascination with music. As a result, many stages in the work of the Balthasar Neumann Choir and Ensemble include programmes and offers for schoolchildren. Children of all ages and from every type of school are able to experience the rehearsals at close quarters. They work closely with Thomas Hengelbrock and the professional musicians in his choir and ensemble and learn to regard the music of the past as something immediate and alive.