Music Collegium Schaffhausen

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The Music Collegium Schaffhausen is an association founded around 1655 and organizer of the Schaffhausen Klassik concert series . The Schaffhausen Music Collegium is one of the oldest music institutions in Europe.


Under the name Musik-Collegium Schaffhausen, there has been an association in Schaffhausen since 1655 "with the ideal purpose of promoting the audience's sense of good music, especially for dignified orchestral and chamber music compositions , through public concerts ". In this sense, the first concerts of the Musik-Collegium can also be understood as public rehearsals, because the rehearsals were also concerts in which members and specially invited musicians took part, as Johann Jakob Mezger notes in his historical review.


With the revision of the statutes on January 29, 1778 and their approval on February 25, 1778, the number of full members of the college was set at 30. In addition, both female and male honorary members were accepted. At the top was a president, called the director, who was responsible for the musical and artistic direction. Article 18 of the Statutes stipulated that three symphonies should be played each time at ordinary gatherings , the choice of which was left to the director. The public musical exercises and concerts cost three Batzen in 1778 and were held in the weavers' guild, later in the mansion. At the end of the 18th century, the music college was temporarily dissolved.


The reconstitution of the Music Collegium Schaffhausen stipulated an annual contribution of 11 guilders and a musician from Augsburg was hired as director, who was given an apartment and a respectable income. The first concert took place on December 12, 1802 , after which it was decided to hold one every two weeks. Concert programs and protocols for the years from 1802 have largely been preserved.

The highlights were the visits by Conradin Kreutzer (1805 and 1811) and Mariana Kirchgeßner (1808) as well as the meeting, concert and festival of the Swiss Music Society (1811) in the presence of President Hans Georg Nägeli and the composer Carl Maria von Weber .

During and after the war years from 1812 to 1815, the Musik-Collegium joined a theater group newly founded in Schaffhausen and initiated smaller opera productions . On August 3, 1815, the return of the four Schaffhausen companies from the border guard was celebrated with a big concert with the soprano Sophie Egloff-Stokar von Neunforn in the Münster.


The first concert with the new director Conradin Kreutzer took place on December 11, 1816, a successor had to be found in 1817. In the following years, concerts took place only irregularly, which, under the direction of Lucerne director Molitor, were characterized by “sheer confusion, inadequacy and patchwork”. On August 22, 1821, a self-dissolution motion was made in the committee and Molitor was fired.

In 1825 a subscription for the employment of a new music director was opened, from 1827 concerts were programmed again with some regularity. From the minutes of the Music Collegium from the 1840s onwards, however, it emerges that society was increasingly confronted with the difficulty that the concerts were of interest to the audience, especially because of the socially relevant concert breaks. It often happened that breaks lasted more than a full hour and dissolved into a public visit.

In May 1848 it was decided to temporarily stop the concert business for the next three years. Towards the end of 1851, the Schaffhausen Music College was re-established.


"It is gratifying to be able to say that from the winter of 1851/1852 until now, including shorter fluctuations, musical life in Schaffhausen was constantly on the increase." A list of all pieces performed by the Musik-Collegium Schaffhausen was created in 1851 and has been continued ever since. The first Beethoven symphony was performed in Schaffhausen on December 8, 1852 . Since then, more and more foreign musicians have been used, which has made it possible to perform larger orchestral works by Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Schubert . The highlights were concerts with Clara Schumann (1858) and Joseph Joachim and Johannes Brahms (1866).


From 1867, the subscription concerts of the Schaffhausen Music Collegium no longer took place in the so-called male, the hall of the male guild, but in the newly built Imthurneum on Herrenacker. The history of the Musik-Collegium in the last third of the 19th century is closely connected to that of the Im Thurnschen Foundation, which was founded by the Schaffhausen citizen Johann Conrad Im Thurn.

With the election of Karl Flitner as director of the Musik-Collegium, who was to conduct a total of 144 subscription concerts by his death in 1906, he devoted himself to ever more demanding concert programs. In November 1877 orchestral works by Richard Wagner were heard for the first time in Schaffhausen .

The Music Collegium reacted to the establishment of a professional city orchestra with a revision of the statutes, which stipulated that from spring 1903 women would also be able to join the Music Collegium as full members.

Max Reger made a guest appearance in Schaffhausen in 1911.


Over 140 subscription concerts were performed under the direction of Oskar Distler and he introduced the Schaffhausen audience to works by Anton Bruckner , Hector Berlioz , Richard Strauss , Arthur Honegger , Igor Stravinsky , Claude Debussy , Paul Hindemith and Franz Liszt . Among others, Béla Bartók , Clara Haskil , Stefi Geyer , Wilhelm Furtwängler , Joseph Szigeti and Paul Hindemith performed. With this, Oskar Distler laid the foundation for a varied and diverse concert program that is not closed to the modern repertoire: “The programs currently being developed by the Musik-Collegium can each individually and as a whole be described as exemplary. Not only do they live up to their obligation to cultivate the old and the tried and tested anew for the young, but by carefully adding works that are close to the present in every concert, they create a welcome connection to the new era. "

Structurally, with the appointment of Johannes Zentner , the decision was made to entrust the new director with the management of no more than four to five concerts a year. Zentner founded the MCS chamber orchestra in 1949 , which finally separated the professionally active musicians from the musically committed amateurs.

On October 21, 1955, the Music Collegium celebrated its 300th birthday with a big concert.


The concert programs from the 1960s onwards focus on the classical and romantic periods, while more modern and contemporary compositions were rarely programmed. Erwin Waldvogel became President of the Music College in 1963. Most of the concerts were now played by the Winterthur Music College .

It made guest appearances Charles Dutoit , Jean Fournet , David Zinman , Daniel Barenboim , Yehudi Menuhin , Sylvia Rosenberg , Pinchas Zukerman , Helmuth Rilling , Willem van Otterloo , Edmond de Stoutz , Paul Sacher , Gidon Kremer , Christoph Eschenbach , Sylvia Caduff , Alfred Brendel , Mstislav Rostropowitsch , Theodore Bloomfield , Wilhelm Furtwängler and Sergiu Celibidache .


Heini Stamm took over the programming of the concerts of the Schaffhausen Music College as Vice President in 1984 and President from 1988. Among others, Franz Welser-Möst , Nikolaus Harnoncourt , Dimitris Sgouros , Anne-Sophie Mutter , Vladimir Ashkenazy , Joshua Bell , Jesús López Cobos , Lothar Zagrosek , Maurice André and Anne Castinel performed .

From March 1990, after the renovation, the concerts of the music college could take place again in the church of St. Johann . On June 8, 1993, Armin Brunner conducted a silent film concert with the Basel Radio Symphony Orchestra and Sergej Eisenstein'sBattleship Potemkin ” in the disused steel foundry of Georg Fischer AG . Works by Helena Winkelman and Beat Furrer from Schaffhausen were performed.

From the turn of the millennium Julian Rachlin , Fabio di Casola , Radovan Vlatkovic , Christopher Hogwood , Emma Kirkby , Patricia Kopatchinskaja , Pekka Kuusisto , Roger Norrington , Semyon Bychkov and Radu Lupu performed .


The conductor Annedore Neufeld took over the post of artistic director of the Music Collegium Schaffhausen in 2016. She initiated the renaming of the MCS concerts to “ Schaffhausen Klassik ”. Neufeld has been the conductor of the MCS Chamber Orchestra since 2008. President of Music Collegium Schaffhausen since 2016 councilor Raphaël Rohner.

A total of eight to nine subscription concerts, a school class and a family concert, an extra concert for members of the MCS and several chamber music concerts take place each season. Neufeld's programming, like that of its predecessors Heini Stamm and Oskar Distler, relies on a wide range of offers and expands this to include baroque concerts, new concert formats and new music projects .

Neufeld performed works by Richard Strauss, Johannes Brahms, Sergei Rachmaninow , Einojuhani Rautavaara , Edvard Grieg , Aram Chatschaturian , Béla Bartók, Claude Debussy, Robert Schumann , Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart , Camille Saint-Saëns , Nikolai Rimski-Korsakow in his own subscription concerts . It made guest appearances Steven Isserlis , Sabine Meyer , Giovanni Antonini , Claire Huangci , Baiba Skride , Avi Avital , Benjamin Engeli , Khatia Buniatishvili , Oliver Schnyder , Emmanuel Pahud and Fazil Say and others.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. This is attested by the statutes of the Schaffhausen Music College, Art. 1 and 2.
  2. a b c d e f g h J. J. Mezger: 300 years of the Schaffhausen Music College . Schaffhausen 1955.
  3. Musik-Collegium Schaffhausen: The good tone. 350 years of classical music concert promoters . Ed .: Heini Stamm. Schaffhausen 2005.
  4. Swiss Music Newspaper, March 1, 1958.