Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Mannheim

About us


Although the Mannheim University of Music only became a state institution in 1971, it can look back on a successful tradition of more than 200 years.

As far back as 1756, the electoral court of Mannheim supported the Seminarium Musicum of the Jesuit theological college at which "poor palatine students" (including J. M. Kraus) were taught vocal and instrumental music. With the announcement in a Mannheim newspaper dated 12.09.1776 of the first "Public Chair of Musical Thought and Art“ at the "Mannheim Tonschule", which was founded by Abbé Vogler, a top international standard was achieved. The "Tonschule" was approved and financially supported by music enthusiast Elector Carl Theodor and served to professionally train musicians. It is generally considered to be the predecessor of present day music conservatoires and universities (as stated in the encyclopaedia of music "Music in the Past and Present“).

It was the height of the worldwide famous Mannheim Court Orchestra, the so-called "Mannheim School“, which to this day is recognised as being the most important musical link between the Baroque period and the Vienna Classic period. The establishment of the "Tonschule“ was indispensable as fresh talented musicians trained to the very highest of standards were required in large numbers to constitute the court orchestra. At the same time, the court orchestra was also able to engage some of the very best teachers.

The "Mannheim Tonschule“ was the model for numerous conservatoires and universities of music that were later founded. The great success of Abbé Vogler's teachings is reflected in the long list of his famous composition students, for example Carl Maria von Weber and Giacomo Meyerbeer.

The Mannheim Academie de Danse likewise dates back to the eighteenth century (1762). It is one of the oldest European dance academies and was highly involved in the great ballet reform of the eighteenth century (change towards theatrical ballet). "The ballets are indeed magnificent and complete" (often over 80 performers) "and all the dancers are trained here.” (Gothaer Theatre Calendar 1777).

The cultural tradition of the Electoral Palatinate remains of great importance for the Mannheim city of music to this very day. The Mannheim University of Music and Performing Arts is a key player in its upkeep.

The work of the "Tonschule" and the "Academie de Danse" was continued by the Mannheim Conservatoire and later by the Mannheim University for Music and Theatre. The Heidelberg Conservatoire was founded in 1894 and was then integrated into the Mannheim University in 1971.

Lecturers that have taught here include Wilhelm Furtwängler, Max Pauer, Ernst Toch, Richard Laugs, Friedrich Wührer, Karl Heinrich Wörner, Erika Köth, Heinz Hoppe and Hans Vogt.

After a new building was completed in 1999, all study institutions were then transferred to Mannheim. The University of Music is now equipped with state of the art teaching rooms and has developed into the second largest institution of its kind in Baden-Württemberg
‑ which is also thanks to its advantageous geographical location and transport connections

International Contacts

The University acts as link between the cultural area of the Rhine Neckar triangle (Electoral Palatinate) and other important cultural regions through close partner relations with leading universities throughout the world. Two of the most important include Yale University (USA) and Seoul National University (South Korea).

In addition to the individual exchange between professors and students, large-scale events are held on a regular basis, for example the United Student Orchestra Tour of Seoul National University and the Mannheim University of Music and Performing Arts in Germany and the USA (Carnegie Hall / New York, Yale University / New Haven).

Furthermore, there are numerous Erasmus programmes with partner universities, e.g. the Accademia del Teatro alla Scala, Milano (Italy). The Mannheim University of Music and Performing Arts also participates in the joint summer school project with the new Chinese music universities. In addition, there are further partnership arrangements with universities outside of Europe in the field of Jazz / Popular Music, above all with universities in South America.