Hirschmann Masterclass Europe


Hirschmann Masterclass Europe Linz 2021

The 1st Hirschmann Masterclass Europe 2021 is a project run by the Swiss Youth Music Competition Foundation (SJMW) (SJMW) in cooperation with Music for Youth (MDJ) in Austria and the Hirschmann Foundation.

The Masterclass was held between 26th September and 3rd October 2021 in Weinberg Castle near Linz.


The Masterclass was primarily directed at the prize winners of the SJMW and the MDJ for the age groups II, III and IV of the Chamber Music Competition.

The selection and invitations were handled by the SJMW and the MDJ Foundations' offices after the respective final competitions. Young students from Germany, Austria and Switzerland were also invited.

Instruments, participants, literature

The following instruments were played: The flute (2), the clarinet (2), the horn (1), the bassoon (1), the piano (3), the guitar (2), the harp (1), the violin (5), the viola (3), the cello (3) and the double bass (1).

The literature list included 29 works by 20 composers. These pieces were interpreted in various ensemble combinations. The young participants and the teachers appreciated the combination of the cooperation and playing in ensembles just as much.

The 24 young people between the ages of 14 and 24 came from Austria, Germany, Poland, Chile, Portugal, Slovenia, Belgium, the USA and from Switzerland. The international cooperation and intercultural exchange were particularly rewarding. The age range was appreciated by the professors as beneficial.

High musical standard

Some participants were particularly impressive because of their high standard of music when they played their instruments:

For example, Katharina Paul (16, Austria), who played the horn phenomenally even though the pieces were very challenging.

Lukian Gasser (14, Switzerland) was the youngest participant in the class.

He demonstrated a significant improvement of his performance during the class, especially at a chamber music level.

Phoenix Avalon (20, USA) and Jiska Lamrecht (24, Belgium) impressed the audience with the brilliant sounds of their violins and their extremely refined technique.

Séléna Plain (17, Switzerland) mastered her performance on the harp with confidence and professionalism.

Leonhard Mayrhuber (17, Austria) also demonstrated his exceptional talent playing the clarinet.

All participants benefited equally from the cooperation of the mixed class, and this can be considered an outstanding success and confirms the concept of the Masterclass.


Nine professors were responsible for the individual instruction and the ensemble lessons:

  • Jörg Widmann (composition, clarinet)
  • Peter Tilling (conductor, cello)
  • Urs Walker (course concept, violin)
  • Wally Hase (flute)
  • Michael Reid (clarinet)
  • Olivier Darbellay (horn)
  • Till Alexander Körber (piano)
  • Christian Haimel (guitar)
  • Sophie Lücke (contrabass)

The professors were characterised by their expertise and their practical experience, including in their teaching.

They responded flexibly and spontaneously to the needs of the class participants and so provided the very best support.

Concerts and Lecture

Three concerts were held in Weinberg Castle:

  • Thursday 30th September, 7:00 p.m.
  • Friday1st October, 6:30 p.m.
  • Final concert on Sunday 3rd October at 11:00 a.m.

The performers had the opportunity to demonstrate how they had improved as musicians during the concerts.

On 27th September, the clarinettist and composer thrilled both the young course participants and the lecturers with a lively lecture about his work.

As a finale, he interpreted his Fantasy for the Clarinet solo, which he composed when he was 19. This was a special highlight of the Masterclass Europe 2021.

Once again, the concept of working with a contemporary composer proved to be very rewarding.


Classes were held in four blocks during the day. In addition, there was the opportunity for free practice and playing music together in the seminar rooms every evening.

The daily rehearsals mainly consisted of chamber music compositions by Cerha, Eisler, Schönberg and Widmann. The conductor Peter Tilling, in turn with other lecturers, supervised the rehearsals.

The Weinberg Castle Education Centre proved to be a very suitable venue for the Masterclass. Accommodation, catering, rehearsals, and concerts were all held at the same venue.

The first Hirschmann Masterclass Europe was run by the very highly qualified Valérie Probst, Managing Director of the Swiss Youth Music Competition (SJMW) Foundation.