Folkwang University of the Arts

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Folkwang University of the Arts
founding 1927
Sponsorship state
place Essen , Bochum , Dortmund , Duisburg
state North Rhine-WestphaliaNorth Rhine-Westphalia North Rhine-Westphalia
country GermanyGermany Germany
Rector Andreas Jacob
Students 1,693 (Ws 2018/19)
Employee 311 (2018)
including professors 109
Annual budget 32.9 million euros (2018)
Networks DFH

The Folkwang University of the Arts is an art college in the Ruhr area for music, theater, dance, design and art studies . The university is one of the few in Germany that combines training in the performing and visual arts as well as art studies. With 1,693 students, it is the second largest art college in Germany.

The headquarters of the university is in Essen . The main building is located in the former Werden monastery , the design department at the Zollverein Coal Mine World Heritage Site . Further locations are Bochum , Dortmund and Duisburg .


Main building of the Folkwang University in Essen-Werden: the former Werden monastery
The White Mill in Essen-Werden, classrooms for the musical course
The Folkwang Theater Center in downtown Bochum, classrooms for the drama course
Folkwang campus building in Duisburg-Mitte
The Zollverein cube in Essen-Stoppenberg has been a university building for the design department since 2010
Folkwang University of the Arts building, Faculty 4, Essen-Stoppenberg
Orchestra Center NRW in Dortmund

The “Folkwang” cultural institutions go back to the art collector Karl Ernst Osthaus (1874–1921). The name Folkwang, borrowed from Nordic mythology , comes from the Edda and describes the apartments of the goddess Freya . Osthaus founded the Folkwang Museum in Hagen in 1902 . As a meeting place for every citizen, the museum director appointed by Osthaus, Karl With, planned the museum under the aspect of a popular educational promotion of all classes. In 1919 Osthaus founded the Folkwang-Verlag , and in 1921 a school linked to the idea of ​​the museum that only existed for a short time. The collection of the Museum Folkwang was sold from Hagen to Essen shortly after Osthaus' death in 1921, where the museum continued under the same name.

In 1927, the set designer Hein Heckroth , the choreographer Kurt Jooss and the opera director Rudolf Schulz-Dornburg founded the Folkwang School for Music, Dance and Speaking based on the idea of ​​the museum . From the meaning of the unifying muses embodied in the term Folkwang, the aim was to provide interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary training in the arts. In 1928 an already existing higher technical school for design , which arose from a crafts and arts and crafts school , was integrated into the Folkwang school.

In 1963 the Folkwang School was given the status of a university. In 1972, the design department was relocated to the newly founded University of Essen , giving up the core idea of ​​the united arts . After that, the university was named Folkwang-Musikhochschule .

At the beginning of the 21st century, several artistic training centers in neighboring cities merged with the university. In 2000 the Westphalian Drama School in Bochum was started as a degree in drama. In 2002 the State University for Music Ruhr in Duisburg joined the Folkwang University, which in turn was created in 1972 from the connection between the Conservatory of the City of Duisburg and Folkwang. In 2004 the university took part in the new orchestra center NRW in Dortmund, a joint institution of the four music academies in North Rhine-Westphalia. With its presence in four cities, the university described itself as the Folkwang University in the Ruhr area .

In 2007, the design department was returned to the Folkwang University from the University of Duisburg-Essen , which had merged four years earlier, but remained in the university's premises for ten years until a separate building was completed. In 2009 the university also took over the communication design course at the Bergische Universität Wuppertal with six professorships and 200 students. After the reunification of all artistic directions, the university renamed itself in 2010 to Folkwang University of the Arts .

In 2012, the Folkwang Library was opened in Essen-Werden in a new building built for 7.4 million euros. In addition to the holdings of the Folkwang University, the musicological library of the Ruhr University Bochum and the music educational library of the University of Duisburg-Essen were also included. With 190,000 media, the combined holdings are one of the largest musicological libraries in Germany.

In 2017, a 19,000 square meter new building was completed for the design department on the site of the Zeche Zollverein World Heritage Site . The building was built by the World Heritage Development Company and rented and first furnished by the State of North Rhine-Westphalia for 40 million euros. The building by MGF Architekten GmbH, Stuttgart with a hot-dip galvanized facade was awarded the German facade prize for curtain-type, rear-ventilated facades in 2018 . In addition, the university has been using the neighboring Zollverein cube since 2010 . A “design city” is to be built around the campus.


Since 2007 the University of the Arts has united the fields of music, theater, dance, design and science. This makes it one of three integrated art schools in Germany, together with the Berlin University of the Arts and the Bremen University of the Arts .

The university is divided into four departments:

  • Faculty 1: Instrumental training, jazz, composition, orchestral playing, professional performance, popular music
  • Faculty 2: Music teaching, music education, musicology, integrative music theory, management of vocal ensembles, music of the Middle Ages
  • Department 3: Singing, musical theater, voice performance, musicals, physical theater, acting, directing, dance, dance composition, dance pedagogy
  • Faculty 4: Photography, Industrial Design, Communication Design, Art and Design Studies, Theory and History of Photography, Folkwang Graduate Program Design Heterotopia

There are also three institutes not belonging to the faculties: the Institute for Computer Music and Electronic Media , the Institute for Gregorian Chant and the Institute for Popular Music. The Orchestra Center NRW is a joint facility of four North Rhine-Westphalian art colleges.

The university currently has six locations in four cities. Due to the development history of the university, the locations are not congruent with the departments.

  • Essen-Werden : Most of the music and theater education takes place at the main location of the university, and two of the central institutes are also located.
  • Essen-Stoppenberg : The Zollverein World Heritage Site in Essen-Stoppenberg has been the seat of the design department since 2017.
  • Bochum-Wiemelhausen : The Folkwang Theater Center is located in the Ehrenfeld district of the Wiemelhausen district, close to Bochum city center. The Institute for Popular Music was set up at the southern end of the district in the premises of the former Prince Regent colliery .
  • Dortmund-Mitte : The Dortmund city center is the seat of the Orchestra Center NRW.
  • Duisburg-Mitte : Early music, chamber music and piano are taught in downtown Duisburg.


In the five subject groups music, theater, dance, design and science, the university offers 18 undergraduate courses with a bachelor's degree and 27 advanced courses with a master's degree. In addition, the university enables doctorates and habilitation in several subject areas . It also runs further training courses.

Since 2008, the university has been the only art college in Germany to offer a five-tier composition course. The "Integrative Composition" includes the subjects of instrumental composition, electronic composition, composition and visualization, jazz composition and pop composition / production.

Outside of science, the university offers training to become a specialist in event technology .


Every year over 300 public events take place at the University of the Arts: on six of its own stages, in churches, museums, galleries, mines and in regular cooperation projects with the region's theaters and concert halls. Through this networking, Folkwang promotes a practice-oriented and lively exchange at an early stage. In addition to teaching, the university also runs cultural activities in Essen-Werden. For example, concerts by the master class take place in the former mayor's house to give them the opportunity to gain experience in concert. This is supported by a private group of sponsors.

The Folkwang dance studio (FTS) is also part of the Folkwang dance. The FTS is an international company that currently employs ten professional dancers from all over the world. The FTS is affiliated with the Institute for Contemporary Dance at the Folkwang University of the Arts.


Selected university professors

(partly former students)

Selected graduates

Web links

Commons : Folkwang University of the Arts  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Rectorate of the Folkwang University. In: Website of the Folkwang University of the Arts. Retrieved June 26, 2019 .
  2. ↑ Number of students at the Folkwang University of the Arts. (PDF) In: Federal Statistical Office: Students at Universities - Preliminary Report - Fachserie 11 Reihe 4.1 - Winter semester 2018/2019, p. 34. February 27, 2019, accessed on June 26, 2019 .
  3. The Folkwang University of the Arts in numbers. In: Website of the Folkwang University of the Arts. Retrieved June 26, 2019 .
  4. Network. List of universities in the DFH network. In: Franco-German University, accessed on October 3, 2019 .
  5. ↑ The New Folkwang Library is a gem. In: Neue Ruhr Zeitung, local edition Essen. September 19, 2012, accessed June 26, 2019 .
  6. Folkwang students relate future location to Zollverein. In: Neue Ruhr Zeitung, local edition Essen. October 26, 2017. Retrieved June 26, 2019 .
  7. [1] .
  8. Degree programs at the Folkwang University. In: Website of the Folkwang University of the Arts. Retrieved June 27, 2019 .
  9. Training to become a specialist in event technology. In: Website of the Folkwang University of the Arts. Retrieved June 27, 2019 .

Coordinates: 51 ° 23 ′ 15 ″  N , 7 ° 0 ′ 16 ″  E