Conducting Masterclass with Prof. Johannes Schlaefli & Prof. Christoph-Mathias Mueller

December 10 – 16, 2023
Sofia, Bulgaria

Application deadline October 20, 2023
We are excited to present Professor Johannes Schlaefli and Professor Christoph-Mathias Mueller masterclass for professional conductors and advanced conducting students.

A maximum of 14 active participants will have podium time of approximately 130 minutes each. Besides the sessions with full orchestra, there will be conducting lessons with chamber ensembles (nine string and wind players).

The individual needs of each participant will be addressed in video analysis sessions, class meetings, and coachings in front of the orchestra. Conducting techniques, presence in front of the orchestra, understanding of the score, and rehearsal techniques will be explored in individual lessons as well as in group meetings.

On the last day of the masterclass, participants will have the opportunity to create their own publicity video recording during two recording sessions.

Masterclass Fees:

  • Application fee: €75 (non-refundable)
  • Course fee for active participants: €1850
  • Course fee for passive participants: €300
  • Deposit: €1000 payable due November 03, 2023
  • Balance: €850 payable due December 05, 2023, or in cash on the first day of the masterclass.

Please note that these fees DO NOT include travel and accommodation. However, we are happy to recommend an affordable hotel in Sofia with which we have had good experience in the past years.

The selection of the active participants will be communicated via email within seven days after the application deadline.

The organizer reserves the right to postpone or cancel the masterclass in case of force majeure or other unforeseeable circumstances such as governments restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, travel bans, etc. The organizer will immediately notify participants of such changes and will refund the paid fee in full in case of event cancelation. Participants may not assert any compensation claims for travel, visa, accommodation costs, etc.

Prof. Johannes Schlaefli

Johannes Schlaefli is currently chief conductor of the symphony orchestra Collegium Musicum in Basel and Professor for Orchestral Conducting at the Zurich University of the Arts.

As one of the most highly sought after conducting teachers, Schlaefli is in demand throughout the world and collaborates with institutions including the Sibelius Academy Helinski, the Aspen Music Festival, USA, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and he also serves as “head of teaching” at the Gstaad Menuhin Festival Conducting Academy.  As a guest professor, he has taught throughout Europe at the Music Universities of Vienna, Berlin, Leipzig, Hamburg and Manchester. Furthermore, a regular co-operation as a lecturer and juror also links him to the prestigious “Dirigentenforum” of the German Music Council.

Johannes Schlaefli led the Basel Chamber Orchestra “Serenata” and the Bern Chamber Orchestra before leading the Kurpfälzische Kammerorchester in Mannheim as principal conductor from 2013-2019. Presently, he also leads the Alumni-Sinfonieorchester Zürich and the Academic Chamber Orchestra Zürich.  As a guest conductor, he has performed with and conducted orchestras including the Tonhalleorchester Zürich, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Zurich Chamber Orchestra,  Munich Radio Orchestra and Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana to name a few.

Christoph-Mathias Mueller

Christoph-Mathias Mueller is the current recipient of the renowned Opus Klassik Award 2020 for Best Symphonic Recording featuring the works of Alexander Veprik and recorded with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

Born in Peru in 1967, Christoph-Mathias Mueller grew up in Switzerland and went on to study violin in Basel. He received his Master of Music from the University of Cincinnati. He has been based in Germany for many years and has worked all over the world. From Summer 2021, Christoph-Mathias Mueller takes over the artistic direction of the renowned summer festival, Murten Classics, in Switzerland.

He came to international attention in 2000 following his triumph at the International Conducting Competition in Cadaqués, Spain. He has worked as a Conducting Fellow at Tanglewood with legendary figures including Seiji Ozawa, Robert Spano and Leon Fleisher. In 2001, Claudio Abbado invited him to serve as Assistant Conductor for the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra as well as the Lucerne Festival Orchestra.

Following one year as Chief Conductor of the Cairo Symphony in Egypt, he accepted the position of Chief Conductor with the Goettingen Symphony Orchestra in Germany where he later became the General Music Director, a collaboration which lasted for 13 years. Their successful work together was recognized with two ECHO Klassik prizes in both 2013 and 2017.

As a Guest Conductor, Christoph-Mathias Mueller has been closely associated with Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater where he made an acclaimed debut in 2010 with a new production of Johann Stauss’ “Der Fledermaus” and where he has since returned for a production of “Der Rosenkavalier.” He embarked on an ambitious project which involved the premiere of two reconstructed opera scores by Claude Debussy and was featured on Deutschlandradio’s Kultur program as well as recorded for release.

A versatile conductor, Christoph-Mathias Mueller can also be found on the podium of ensembles including Ensemble Modern. Among the composers who entrusted him with their works for premiere are names such as Dieter Schnebel, Rudolf Kelterborn and Isabel Mundry. In recent years, a particular special focus has been placed on music of composers who were victims of regimes and whose music is awaiting (re-) discovery such as Ursula Mamlok, Adolf Busch, Alexander Weprik and Mikhail Nosyrev.

Current recordings by the conductor are devoted to orchestral works by Alexander Veprik with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and works for violin and orchestra by Wolfgang Rihm, together with ECHO prize-winner Tianwa Yang. Mueller’s wide-ranging discography also includes a number of highly acclaimed recordings for Sony Classical, including the album “Bel Canto” with Simone Kermes and the original sound specialists at Concerto Köln.

In addition to conducting at the Vienna Musikverein, the Cologne Philharmonic, the Konserthus Stavanger and the Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Christoph-Mathias Mueller regularly gives concerts with internationally renowned orchestras including with the Russian National Orchestra, the Czech Philharmonic, the Orchester National de Lyon, the Orchester de Chambre de Lausanne, the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, the Royal Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the DSO Berlin and the SWR Symphony Orchestra, as well as the orchestras in Düsseldorf, Duisburg, Bochum, Weimar, Jena, and Ludwigshafen. Upcoming engagements include engagements with the Hessian State Orchestra Wiesbaden, the Staatskapelle Schwerin and the Bremen Philharmonic.

Ludwig van Beethoven
Egmont Ouverture
Leonore 3 Ouverture
Symphony No. 3, 1st movement
Symphony No. 5, 1st movement

Johannes Brahms
Symphony No. 1, Finale
Symphony No. 2 1st and 2nd movements

Antonin Dvorak
Symphony No. 8, 1st movement

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Symphony No. 6, Finale

Gustav Mahler
Symphony No. 4, 3th movement

10.012.2023, Sunday
20:00h Meeting

11.12.2023, Monday
10:00-12:30h Ensembles
14:00-16:30h Ensembles

12.12.2023, Tuesday
10:00-12:30h Full Orchestra
14:00-16:30h Full Orchestra

13.12.2023, Wednesday
10:00-12:30h Ensembles
14:00-16:30h Ensembles

14.12.2023, Thursday
10:00-12:30h Full Orchestra
14:00-16:30h Full Orchestra

15.12.2023, Friday
10:00-12:30h Full Orchestra
14:00-16:30h Full Orchestra

16.12.2023, Saturday

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