University of Music and Performing Arts Stuttgart

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University of Music and Performing Arts Stuttgart
founding 1857
Sponsorship state
place Coat of arms of Stuttgart.svg Stuttgart
state Baden-WürttembergBaden-Württemberg Baden-Württemberg
country GermanyGermany Germany
Rector Regula Rapp
Students 718 WS 2012/13
Employee approx. 350, including approx. 315 teachers

The State University for Music and Performing Arts Stuttgart (HMDK) is a state music academy and drama school based in Stuttgart . Founded in 1857, it is one of the oldest music colleges in Germany.


Main building designed by James Stirling

The institution was founded in 1857 as the “Stuttgart Music School” by Sigmund Lebert , Immanuel Faißt , Wilhelm Speidel and Ludwig Stark , but was renamed the “Conservatory for Music” in 1865. From 1869 it was called the “Royal Conservatory for Music” and from 1921 - after the introduction of the Republic - “Württemberg University of Music”.

In the 19th century Stuttgart developed its own pianist school on the basis of a textbook from Stuttgart Conservatory Teachers, which was widely used at the time (Lebert / Stark: Large practical-theoretical piano school). In the first decades of the 20th century, two well-known pianists were directors of this institution, namely Max Pauer (1907–1924) and Wilhelm Kempff (1924–1929). In 1938, under the directorate of the violinist Carl Wendling (1929–1940), the university was nationalized and thus placed financially on a permanently secure basis.

During the Second World War, the building of the "Staatliche Hochschule für Musik" was badly damaged and school operations were relocated to Trossingen for a year , where she stayed until 1946 with the support of the Hohner company. After years of provisional housing, a suitable new building at Urbanplatz 2 could finally be moved into in 1955. As part of the development of the so-called “culture mile”, another new building was planned for the music college in the 1980s in connection with the extension of the State Gallery. According to the designs of the British architects James Stirling and Michael Wilford, a postmodern building ensemble of international standing was created, which was completed and architecturally rounded off in 2002 with the completion of the second building section of the music college, which has received several architectural awards.

In 1942 its own drama school was founded. It was therefore only logical that from 1963 the university was given the current name “State University for Music and Performing Arts”. In addition to the drama school, the performing area also includes an opera school rich in tradition, an art of speaking recognized far beyond the borders of the state and the puppet theater founded in 1983 and unique in the old federal states. With the leasing of the extensively restored Wilhelma Theater (built 1837–1840), the university has also had its own teaching and learning theater since 1987.

The traditionally very strong area of ​​church music was further expanded under the director Hermann Keller (1946–1952); With a total of eleven organs, the university is one of the best-equipped music universities in Germany for church music and concert organ playing. The university, which is more oriented towards classical music, did not hesitate to open up to jazz in the 1960s and 70s. Erwin Lehn, the longtime leader of the SDR Big Band, also founded his own big band at the university, which initially only consisted of students from the classical subjects. It was not until 1986 that Bernd Konrad founded a course in jazz and popular music.

Structure and equipment

In 2003 the university was granted the right to confer doctorates and postdoctoral qualifications in the subjects of musicology and music education. Since 2005 it has been divided into four faculties and eleven institutes. The changeover to the Bachelor-Master structure took place in 2008.

For commercial tasks such as the placement of artists, the processing of further training offers and ticket sales, a separate GmbH has been available as a subsidiary since 2006. A career service founded in 2010 supports students and graduates in the transition from studies to work.

Furthermore, since 1989 an electronic studio has offered the opportunity to develop experimental music outside of traditional musical instruments and to convey it in an educational and didactic way. A recording studio is available for the university's own productions as well as for students.

The library contains almost 130,000 media (books, sheet music and sound carriers) and is also open to external users. Borrowing is reserved for university members.

The music college has three concert halls: the concert hall in the tower (500 seats), the chamber music hall (180 seats) and the orchestra rehearsal room (99 seats). With around 450 events annually and around 85,000 visitors, it is an important cultural provider in the region. Around 100 more concerts and theater events are shown in the Wilhelma Theater.

Every year around 2,800 interested people apply for around 100 free study places.

Faculties and Institutes

The university is divided into four faculties, each with two or three institutes.

  • Faculty I with the Institute for Composition, Music Theory and Listening Education and the Institute for Musicology and Music Education
  • Faculty II with the Institute for Wind Instruments and Percussion, the Institute for Strings and Plucked Instruments and the Institute for Jazz & Pop
  • Faculty III with the Institute for Piano, the Institute for Organ and Historical Keyboard Instruments and the Institute for Conducting Education, Choir and Orchestra
  • Faculty IV with the Institute for Singing, the Institute for Speech Art and Communication Education and the Institute for Performing Arts (drama school, opera school, puppet theater, performance)


Undergraduate courses (1st cycle)

  • School music (teaching at grammar schools)

Bachelor courses

The Bachelor's degree is an 8-semester undergraduate course, divided into a basic course (semesters 1–4) and a main course (semesters 5–8). In the field of music, all instrumental subjects (except accordion), singing, orchestral conducting, choral conducting, composition, music theory, elementary music education, jazz and pop can be studied. The music academy is the only one in Germany that offers puppet theater (but only as a Bachelor). The range of courses comprises a total of 17 subjects (including church music B) in the field of music and three subjects in the field of performing arts.

Postgraduate courses (2nd cycle)

Masters courses

The master’s course comprises four semesters. In the field of music alone, 25 subjects are offered. The special courses offered in this area include jazz, opera (opera school), composition for computer music and organ improvisation.

Postgraduate courses (3rd cycle)

  • Concert / stage exams
  • Doctorate Dr. phil. in the subjects of musicology and music education


It is possible to expand the course via the cooperation programs of the music college. These primarily include the RSO Orchesterakademie (a cooperation with the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra of the SWR), the Opera Studio (a cooperation with the Stuttgart State Opera) and the Drama Studio (a cooperation with the Schauspiel Vierer Staats- und Landestheater from Baden-Württemberg). The main purpose of the cooperation is to enable students to get close to practical experience and to prepare them for the application phase for their future job.


Directors / Rectors

Faculty and graduates

See: List of well-known personalities at the Stuttgart University of Music and Performing Arts

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Rectorate at (as of December 14, 2019).
  2. Federal Statistical Office: Number of students by type of university, state and university, WS 2012/13, pp. 66–113 (accessed on November 3, 2013)
  3. Cf. Eberhard Stiefel: Stuttgart . In: Friedrich Blume (Ed.): MGG . tape 12 . Bärenreiter Verlag, 1955, Sp. 1650-1661 . and Eberhard Stiefel: Lebert, Sigmund . In: Friedrich Blume (Ed.): MGG . tape 8 . Bärenreiter Verlag, 1955, Sp. 410-411 .

Coordinates: 48 ° 46 ′ 43 ″  N , 9 ° 11 ′ 9 ″  E