Renaissance Workshop Summer School 2022

viol and bandora - Photo: Michael Dollendorf

6-13 August 2022

English Music from the courts of Henry VIII to Elizabeth I

Cornish – Tye – Holborne - Brade – Byrd – Tallis - Dowland

The Renaissance Workshop Summer School 2021 will take place in the historic town of Wolfenbüttel, home to Michael Praetorius and Johann Rosenmüller. Also Johann Theile, Reinhard Keiser, Johann Adolf Hasse, Carl Heinrich Graun, Wilhelm Friedemann Bach and many other great composers were linked to this most important art loving court. Today it is known for the Herzog-August-Bibliothek, one of the greatest libraries in the world. The churches were Praetorius and  Rosenmüller worked and are buried still stand and the town is absolutely charming, nothing more then a short walk away.

We shall focus on the Tudor period from 1509 - 1603. These years cover the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I.

Most popular was the consort music in mixed ensembles, the broken consort. One standard was having a treble and a bass viol on the outer voices, flute and lute taking the middle lines and a cittern and a bandora to provide treble and bass harmony.

Amanda Markwick - Renaissance flute

Ibrahim Aziz - Viols

Lee Santana - Lute, Cittern, Bandora, Renaissance guitar

Michael Dollendorf - Recorder, Cornetto, Sackbut

Sven Schwannberger - Voice

There will be individual lessons and consort classes in the morning, open to the other students as listeners. Singers will work on Madrigals and Songs. Wind players, viols and lutes will also focus on consort playing. In the afternoon we will arrange mixed consorts. Please don't expect to spend all day with your group of instruments!

Singers will be working on Madrigals and Songs but also sacred Music by Byrd and Tallis can be sung. Sven is an expert on period styles and ornamentation. Himself an accomplished lute player he can also work on self accompagnement if singers come with their own preferred instrument.

The lute players will focus on the solo repertoire and song accompagnement. The Tuder period is a candy-store for players of plucked instruments. Lee is a master on the cittern too.

We'll be working at 458 Hz (recorders, cornetts, sackbuts) and at 408 Hz (flutes, viols, lutes). For the wind players we can provide consort instruments.

A very good read:

David Wulstan
Tudor Music
M. Dent & Sons Ltd 1985

Musica Britannica XVIII
Music at the court of Henry VIII
Stainer and Bell 1973


Registration ends on 15 June 2022 but we work on a first come first serve basis. The number of participants is limited to six per class. Please sign up early. It helps us a lot with the planing ...

Each class needs four participants to make it happen, the maximum number is six. This is to ensure intense work. We reserve the right to cancel the class if there aren't enough registrations. In this case the full amount will be refunded. Participants can cancel until 30 June 2022 and get a refund. If you have to cancel thereafter, you are free to send somebody else to take your spot and replace you but we can't pay you back.

The workshop starts with a reception at 4:00 pm on Saturday 6 August at the Prinzenpalais, and some ensemble playing with everybody. There will be a guided tour through town at some point. Visits to the famous Herzog-August library and the Palace Museum should be arranged during lunch breaks. The Prinzenpalais has no weelchair access. If you have special needs, please tell us before you register and we see how we can accommodate you. Classes are 10:00 am - 1:30 pm and 3:00 - 6:30 pm. The Summer School ends with a final concert at 11:00 am on Saturday 14 August.

Price: the Renaissance Workshop Summer School is € 630,- for the eight days. Active participants only. There is no such thing as 'just sitting in as a listener'. Guest are welcome to the final concert.

Sign up: your are registered after we received your registration form and your money transfer. We follow the 2G+ Covid rules of the German government. That means just fully vaccinated musicians can participate. Please include a scan of your status with the application.

Getting there: Wolfenbüttel is a 10 minutes train ride south of Braunschweig. If you fly into Berlin it takes about two hours to get there, from Hannover it's just an hour.

Staying there: There is a Jugendgästehaus, a Bundesakademie, many hotels, holiday apartments and a campground. Please arrange for your own housing according to your needs and budget. Jugendgästehaus is very nice and close to the Villa Seeliger and the Rosenmüller church, the Hotel Bayrischer Hof is the most central, the Park Hotel the most fancy.... your choice....