The Balthasar Neumann Choir and Orchestra are particularly keen to pass on their love of music to others. All involved find that instilling an enthusiasm for classical music in tomorrow’s concert audiences is a richly rewarding experience. Working on a piece of music within a group, learning to understand it and feeling oneself to be an important part of the whole within the framework of a performance are often the spark that triggers a lifelong fascination with music. As a result, many stages in the work of the Balthasar Neumann Choir and Orchestra include programmes and offers for schoolchildren. Children of all ages and from every type of school are able to experience the rehearsals at close quarters. They work closely with Thomas Hengelbrock and the professional musicians in his choir and orchestra and learn to regard the music of the past as something immediate and alive. Several examples of our work are included here.
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Hamburg
The opportunity to encounter and engage with different art forms is an important part of the treatment of young psychiatric patients Child and Adolescent Psychiatry “Marzipanfabrik” in Hamburg, where such encounters complement other types of treatment. It is for this reason that, since 2019, the Balthasar Neumann Academy has been creating various opportunities to work with its members in Hamburg: the children and adolescents of the clinic have the chance to attend rehearsals and concerts of the Balthasar Neumann Ensembles. Scholarship-holders at the Academy also develop special concerts and other formats in which they can meet these young patients and receive themselves coaching by Michael Schulte-Markwort, director of the institute.
Since 2018 several music education activities related to the concerts of the Balthasar Neumann Ensembles have taken place in close cooperation with the “Megaron Athens Concert Hall”, the Institute for Early Music in Athens and El Sistema Greece.
In the past seasons, the scholars of the Balthasar Neumann Academy visited the Skaramagas Refugee Camp and other so-called “Nuclei” of El Sistema Greece and played workshop concerts . At the same time, the the tutors of the Balthasar Neumann Ensemble also worked together with Greek students of the Institute for Early Music.
School Project: Oratorio de Noël
Seventy years of Europe – so what? More than ever it is necessary to get to know our European neighbours – culturally, linguistically and as fellow human beings both through direct contact and through the intermediary of music. “Oratorio de Noël” was a music education project in which we shall once again cross Europe’s internal borders and look beyond our immediate cultural confines: choirs from German and French schools explored the other country’s Christmas traditions and songs. Together they travelled to the border town of Breisach and with the support of members of the Balthasar Neumann Choir they studied works associated with Christmas. The final concert in Badenweiler on 2 December 2019 featured Thomas Hengelbrock, the Balthasar Neumann Ensemble and around 150 young singers. The project was realized with the help of the Baden-Württemberg Foundation and the Sparkasse Markgräflerland.