Programme of Excellency for Early Music


Academy 2022

Dates, application info

Opening Concert

Musicians: CVs and photos


CVs and photos

Programme of Excellency for Early Music

In cooperation with Hochschule für Musik Mainz and Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz Barock Vokal Akademie offers a unique programme for specialization on the field of Early Music, addressing advanced young singers.

From around 1600 until well into the 18th century vocal music is based on the so called basso continuo. The singers’ focus on chamber music and their desire for (textual) expressivity gave way to vanity and the lust for excessive use of vocal embellishment and agility at the beginning of the 18th century. However, drama and virtuosity of late baroque and classical music couldn’t have developed without the profound understanding of vocal chamber music and soloistic ensemble singing.

This is our motivation to dedicate the work at BVA to arias from the 18th century and from the early baroque period, to the so-called main repertoire and lesser known pieces in German, Italian and French. We wish to offer insight in special aspects and general principles of baroque performance practice and how to use that knowledge practically. And maybe we can also kindle our participants’ curiosity to dive into the wonderful world of unpublished repertoire.

Barock Vokal Akademie 2022

Our first season from August 1st until 21st 2022 will focus on opera works by Handel and Vivaldi on the one hand, and solo works with continuo accompaniment on the other. If you wish, we will be happy to assist you with choosing the repertoire.

George Frederic Handel’s operas have become quite popular in recent years and are being performed not only by specialists any more but also at regular opera houses. The main roles in these operas were written by handel for the voices of such great artists as Senesino, Farinelli, Faustina Bordoni, Francesca Cuzzoni, Margherita Durastanti, Anna Maria Strada del Pò, … Vocal agility, tender affections, a perfect messa di voce, sprakling and even trills, highly embellished da capi and thrilling cadences – they provided quite a challenge for the virtuoso singers – and do so today.

Vivaldi’s vocal pieces are equally demanding. Not all of his operas have been edited and promise wonderful surprises in the future.

Baroque vocal chamber music has its own challenges. It asks for the same vocal abilities as opera does. But the singer’s responsibility with regard to expressivity and interpretation is even wider. Lacking the support of a full and colourful orchestra, the singer has to create the music “all on his own”. Knowledge of verbal and musical rhetoric is of high importance. It’s our wish to encourage our young singers to explore those fields and to gain solid confidence in using these means skillfully.

Therefore our curriculum includes lectures from our musicological colleagues, performance training, baroque dance and gesture, theory and application of vocal embellishments and more.

An enthusiastic and Early Music loving audience is waiting to see our participants perform in a number of concerts!


Handel-Gala, director: Konrad Junghänel

Purcell and German Baroque song, directors: György Vashegyi & Elisabeth Scholl

Sacred music by Handel und Vivaldi, director: Federico Maria Sardelli

(changes due to e.g. corona may occur)


Due to the current COVID-situation and regulations concerning live-auditions we have decided to change our application-deadline.
Application open until March 10th, 2022.

The Barock Vokal Akademie would be pleased to welcome young singers – ideally not older than 30 years of age – whose level of vocal education allows them to deal with matters of stylistic interpretation and performance as young professionals. We would like to support young professional singers to develop their skills and introduce them members of the Early Music network. Musical inquisitiveness, enthusiasm and openness to repertoire off beaten tracks is being appreciated.

You‘re interested and up to the challenge?

Here, you can find find the  application form (as a PDF).

Repertoire for the pre-selection (to be recorded as unedited live video and uploaded to Youtube):

2 baroque arias in two languages
1 German baroque song

Repertoire for live-auditions/video-only-application:

2 baroque arias (opera, cantata, oratorium)
1 German baroque song
1 solo madrigal, solo motet or similar from the Early Baroque period
in at least two languages, among them obligatory German and Italian.
(Pieces from the preliminary round can be repeated.)

Application deadline: Feb. 10, 2022
Application fee: 60 €

Candidates for the live auditions will be informed soon thereafter.
Due to the present Covid-situation we offer video-only-application in addition to live auditions.

Live-auditions will be held:

  • at Mainz, Friday, 11.3.2022, 1:00 p.m. at Hochschule für Musik, Jakob-Welder-Weg 28, 55128 Mainz (D)

If due to COVID restrictions live auditions cannot take place, the selection of active participants will be made from the pre-selection videos provided by the applicants.

Due to recent COVID developments we recommend video-only application!

Financial conditions

The fee for active participation in the three-week-programme amounts to 900,- €, including the application fee.

 !!CANCELLED!! – Opening concert – !!CANDELLED!!
see BLOG


Ars moriendi – Die Kunst des Sterbens
The Art of Dying

March 6, 2022, 4:00 p.m.
Church of St. Bonifaz Mainz

J.S. Bach Actus tragicus BWV 106
and works from the Bach family


René Jacobs, director

Elisabeth Scholl, soprano
Kai Wessel, alto
Markus Brutscher, tenor
Gotthold Schwarz, bass

Ensemble Suttonia
with students from the voice department of Hochschule für Musik Mainz


René Jacobs, conductor

Photo: Philippe Matsas

With more than 260 recordings to his credit and an intensive career as singer, conductor, scholar and teacher, René Jacobs has achieved an eminent position in the field of Baroque and Classical vocal music. He received his early musical education as a choirboy at St Bavo cathedral in his native city of Ghent. Remaining active as a singer during his university studies in Classical Philology, his encounters with Alfred Deller, Gustav Leonhardt and the Kuijken brothers were to determine his orientation towards Baroque music and specialization as countertenor, in which he very soon established his reputation as one of the most prominent singers of his time. In 1977 he founded the ensemble Concerto Vocale, exploring Baroque operatic and vocal chamber music repertoire and he recorded with this ensemble a series of remarkable internationally award-winning World Premieres. 

René Jacobs made his debut as an opera conductor in 1983 with a production of Antonio Cesti’s “L’Orontea” at the Innsbruck Festival of early Music, where later he held the position of artistic director from 1996 to 2009. Through his long successful collaborations with the Berlin Staatsoper Unter den Linden since 1992, Theater an der Wien (Vienna) since 2006, Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie (Brussels), Salzburger Festspiele, Festival of Aix-en-Provence, Paris Opera and other leading international stages in Europe, USA and Asia, he has been conducting from early baroque to Rossini and from the most unknown to the most famous titles. His work is distinctive for its pioneering spirit and profound studies of historical sources. Examples of such are his Mozart operas recordings, remarkable for their unique fusion of scholarship and musical instinct. His Nozze di Figaro was rewarded by a “Grammy” and the Gramophone magazine quoted: “René Jacobs’s Mozart opera series are one of the recorded marvels of our time”.

Alongside to his extensive operatic activity, performing sacred music and oratorio has always been an important part of René Jacobs’ career and in that field as well, praised for his continuous exploration of unknown works such as “Maddelena ai piedi di Cristo” by Antonio Caldara, “Il primo omicidio” by Alessandro Scarlatti, “Le Septem verba” by Pergolesi (among others), or as the innovative performer of the well-known repertoire of J.S. Bach’s Passions or Mozart’s Requiem.

Increasingly René Jacobs has also been developing the symphonic repertoire with Haydn’s and the last symphonies of Mozart (released by Harmonia Mundi) and his most recent cycle of the complete Schubert symphonies (for the recording company Pentatone).

Elected Doctor Honoris Causa by the Universities of Ghent and Innsbruck, René Jacobs has received the most prominent prizes from international critics and for his musical career achievements. His internationally acclaimed recording of Beethoven’s “Leonore” (the 1st version of 1805), has been rewarded in Germany by “Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik” and as the CD of the Year by the magazine Opernwelt, as well as in Italy by the “Franco Abbiati” prize. The UK newspaper “The Guardian” presenting the Beethoven year recordings quoted on 18 December 2020: “perhaps the most significant anniversary project was René Jacobs’ recording of Leonore 1805 version.”

His most recent recording released in January 2021 is dedicated to another masterpiece of Beethoven,“Missa solemnis” and the critics worldwide have reviewed it as an “Event” with the highest praises.

Elisabeth Scholl, soprano

Photo: Bernd Wilhelm

Elisabeth Scholl started her musical education in the boys’ choir Kiedricher Chorbuben and later studied musicology, English literature and art history at Mainz University. Bass Eduard Wollitz became her voice teacher before she went to the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis to specialize in historic performance practice. René Jacobs became one of her teachers there and inspired her to search for and study unpublished manuscripts and edit them.

In spite of being regarded a specialist in Early Music, her repertoire ranges from the early baroque well into the romantic era. She performed extensively throughout Europe and Asia, being invited by important festivals like Schleswig-Holstein Musik-Festival, Rheingau Musik Festival, Lufthansa Festival London, Festwochen Luzern, Festival van Vlaanderen, Händel-Festspiele in Halle, Göttingen und Karlsruhe, BBC Proms. She worked with conductors like René Jacobs, Konrad Junghänel, Frieder Bernius, Stefan Szoltesz, Andreas Spering, Philippe Herreweghe, Sigiswald Kujiken, Sir Neville Marriner and renowned ensembles and orchestras on the field of Early Music.

She enjoys German Lied and performed various roles in operas of the baroque and classical era.

2009-2018 she worked as professor for baroque singing at the Hochschule für Musik Nürnberg. Since 2018 she has been working at the Hochschule für Musik Mainz, which is part of the Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz.

Markus Brutscher, tenor

Photo: Robert Recker

Critics praise Markus Brutscher’s high musicality, his exceptional timbre and his technical and stylistical versatility. Although having always been regarded as a specialist for Early Music, his repertoire comprises pieces from all musical epochs, from early baroque until contemporary.

Born in Bavaria, the tenor received as a child musical education in the choirs of the Regensburger Domspatzen and Augsburger Domsingknaben. Later he studied voice at the Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler in Berlin with Norma Sharp, in London with Rudolph Piernay and in Maastricht with Mya Besselink. While still a student he already was a sought after singer. Today he performs in the musical centres of Europe, the USA and Asia. Regular cooperations connect him with leading orchestras and conductors of Europe and the USA.

Opera has become a special focus in Markus Brutscher’s career as well as his engagement in contemporary music. Numerous recordings show his versatility.

Gotthold Schwarz, baritone

Photo: Gert Mothes

Gotthold Schwarz is currently the 17th Thomaskantor in Leipzig after Johann Sebastian Bach, appointed in 2016. As a child shortly attending the Thomanerchor himself, he received his musical education at the Hochschule für Kirchenmusik Dresden and the Hochschule für Musik Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy in Leipzig. He studied voice with Gerda Schriever, organ with Hannes Kästner and Wolfgang Schetelich, and conducting with Max Pommer and Hans-Joachim Rotzsch. He completed his studies in master classes with Hermann Christian Polster, Peter Schreier and Helmuth Rilling.

Gotthold Schwarz began working as a vocal trainer for the Thomanerchor in 1979 and substituted the choirmaster on various occasions since the 1990s. He lead concert performances of motets, cantatas and oratorios and temporarily took over the duties of Thomaskantor. He founded Concerto Vocale Leipzig, the Saxon Baroque Orchestra, Leipziger Cantorey and Bach Consort Leipzig. His achievements as singer and conductor were honoured by the German State with the Federal Cross of Merit 1st Class in 2017. In March 2018 he was also awarded the Magdeburg Telemann Prize.

Faculty of the Barock Vokal Akademie 2022

Daniele Boccaccio (harpsichord, language coach Italian)

works as harpsichordist, organ player and conductor. He performs as soloist as well as continuo player with chamber music groups and orchestras. And besides teaching, he edits musical manuscripts. 

Marie Kuijken (Baroque gesture) 

plays the Baroque violin and fortepiano and works as stage director. Early music and historic performance practice run in the family, and so her stage work is inspired by studies of historic sources about Baroque gesture and stage performance. 

Prof. Felix Koch (chamber music) 

heads the Collegium Musicum at the Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz and teaches Baroque chamber music and musical outreach at the Hochschule für Musik Mainz. He is the artistic director of the orchestra Neumeyer Consort and initiated the Telemann-project which is scheduled to edit, perform and record Telemann’scomplete  French Cantata Cycle for the first time – a fascinating new discovery on the field of Early Music. 

Prof. Dr. Ursula Kramer (musicology) 

is professor for musicology at the Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz. One of her favourite research topics is the music by Christoph Graupner. Her interest in the Baroque era goes beyond musicology, being not “just” a scholar but also (historical) bassoon-player. 

Prof. Elisabeth Scholl (Baroque singing, ornamentation and recitative; artistic director of BVA) 

is a soprano with musicological background and specialization in Baroque singing. She has acquired expertise on the field of Baroque opera, oratorio and cantata throughout her extensive work with conductors and ensembles specialized in historic performance practice. 

Markus Stein (harpsichord, chamber music, managing director of BVA) 

teaches basso continuo at the HfM Mainz and is a sought-after accompanist for singers and chamber musicians, as well on the organ as on the harpsichord. He’s one of the relevant minds behind the telemann-project. 

Federico Maria Sardelli (arias, Vivaldi) 

plays the recorder, flute is a renowned conductor with emphasis on Baroque opera, and is responsible for the Ryom-Verzeichnis (catalogue of the works of Vivaldi). His numerous recordings comprise a lot of first-time recordings of Vivaldi operas. Moreover he edits musical manuscripts. 

György Vashegyi (chamber music, Purcell) 

currently heads the Hungarian Academy of Arts and just launched the Haydneum, Hungarian Centre for Early Music. As musician, musicologist, conductor and teacher he possesses profound knowledge and experience with historic performance practice and musical outreach.  


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