Renaissance Workshop Summer School 2023

29 flutes by 9 different makers - Photo: Michael Dollendorf

5-12 August 2023

English Refugee Composers on the Continent and their German colleagues

Brade – Dowland –  Simpson – Schein – Scheidt – Praetorius

The Renaissance Workshop Summer School 2023 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 (mostly Catholic) composers who had to leave the England of Elizabeth I. They often resettled in Northern Germany and Denmark and had successful carreers there.

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. Morley and Brade wrote the most exquisite pieces.

Another standard for consort music were matched instruments, Simpson and Scheidt also with a Basso continuo line (for virginal or lutes).

Amanda Markwick - Renaissance flute

Ibrahim Aziz - Viol

Lee Santana - Lute, Cittern, Bandora, Renaissance guitar

Michael Dollendorf - Recorder

Sven Schwannberger - Voice

There will be individual lessons and consort classes in the morning.  Singers will study the music of Johann Hermann Schein, Consort Songs and who wants can work on Lute Songs and prepare those. Wind players, viols and lutes will also focus on consort playing. In the afternoon we will arrange for mixed consorts. Please don't expect to spend all day with your group of instruments!

Singers will be working on Madrigals and Consort Songs. German music by Johann Hermann Schein and Leo Hassler. English Consort Songs and Lute Songs. 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. Or they ask a student from the lute class to study Lute Song together.

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

We'll be working at 408 Hz (flutes, viols, lutes) and at 458 Hz (recorders). For the wind players we provide consort instruments. We have large matched consorts of flutes (on both pitch standards) and recorders. Recorder players should be able to play with D & G fingerings on C & F instruments in order to meet the other players when playing in mixed groups. We do have a nice consort of Henry Jaye viol copies for players from abroad who don't want to fly with their instruments.

We will draw heavily on the following collections:

Zachariam Füllsack & Christian Hildebrandt, Außerlesener Paduanen und Galliarden - Erster Theil, 1607

William Brade, Pavans, Galliards and Canzonas, 1609

Michael Praetorius, Terpsichore, 1612

William Brade, Pavans and Galliards, 1614

Johann Hermann Schein, Bancheto Musicale, 1617

Thomas Simpson, Taffel-Consort, 1621

Samuel Scheidt, Ludi Musici, 1621

William Young, Sonate à 3 Viole, 1659


Registration ends on 15 June 2023 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 5 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 12 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.

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....


Renaissance Workshop Summer School 2023 | Michael Dollendorf - tidig musik


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