What is the Dichterliebe Project?
The Dichterliebe Project is a song performance course for adult amateur singers and pianists aged 30 or older who would like to improve their interpretive, collaborative, and performance skills as part of an intensive course on Schumann’s beautiful song cycle, Dichterliebe or Poet’s Love.
Led by instructors Kathryn Whitney and Anna Cal, and taught over a series of weekends in February and March 2016, the Dichterliebe Project offers singers, pianists, and non-performing auditors the chance to take part in a unique joint performance project exploring the music, poetry, and performance tradition of Schumann’s monumental song cycle.
Collaborative work is a key component of the Dichterliebe Project. The course will teach students about Dichterliebe as a work of poetry and music, but it is also designed to go deeper into the cycle as a reflection of the intimate and convivial performing tradition that supports it. The Dichterliebe Project is thus more than simply a course leading to a performance of an important piece; it also affords participants unprecedented insight into the intimate and intriguing collaborative relationship between pianist and singer that lies at the core of Dichterliebe, and of the song repertoire for voice and piano.
How does it work?
The Dichterliebe Project achieves this balance between instruction and exploration by placing collaborative performance at the heart of the course.
Our students include performing singers and pianists, understudy singers and pianists, and auditors.Each type of student plays an important role in the project, whether as part of a performing pair, as a member of an understudy partnership, or as an engaged audience member and classmate who provides receptive listening and commentary to both the students and instructors throughout the course.
Singer-pianist duos are the cornerstone of the Dichterliebe Project. All performers and understudies will be paired with a number of partners to form singer-pianist duos that will work together to explore Schumann’s songs within collaborating partnerships, as would have been common among amateur musicians during Schumann’s lifetime.
Each student will work on between two and six songs over the course of the project, exploring these both as individuals in their private sessions, and with their duo partners in both private coachings and group sessions.
The majority of our work together will take place in group sessions, which are timetabled for Saturday and Sunday afternoons for six weeks from early February to mid-March, 2016. Group sessions include Performance Classes, Interpretation Classes, Seminars, Workshops, and Faculty Open Rehearsals, all of which are attended by performers, understudies, and auditors. (See links on the right of this page for more information about individual elements.)
Singer-pianist duos will take a number of private Duo Coachings with Kathryn Whitney and Anna Cal, where they will work with each instructor separately to explore the intricate and intimate settings in Schumann’s beautiful songs from the perspective of a collaborative pair. Additionally, each student will attend a number of private Solo Coachings with Kathryn Whitney (singers) or Anna Cal (pianists), at times to be arranged to suit mutual timetables.
The course finishes with three Final Concerts – two Final Student Concerts and one Final Faculty Concert. The Final Student Concerts will feature a full performance of the 20-song original version of Schumann’s Dichterliebe in which each student will perform between two and four songs as part of joint performance of the piece. The Final Student Concerts will also feature a pre-performance presentation On Dichterliebe, which will be given by those students who are performing on the alternate evening.
The Final Faculty Concert will feature a performance of Dichterliebe in the second half, with the rest of the program curated to include pieces that explore themes relating to the poetry and music of Dichterliebe.
We hope you will join us on our journey to the heart of Schumann’s Dichterliebe!
For further information about each aspect of the course mentioned above, or to download a Sample Timetable, please see the ‘Course Elements’ and ‘Sample Timetable’ listings on the right-hand side of this page.
Click below for further details
Solo & Duo Coachings
Faculty Open Rehearsals
Final Student Concerts
The Dichterliebe Project features two Final Student Concerts: Friday, March 11 & Saturday, March 12, 2016, both starting at 7.30pm.
Each concert will feature two parts: (1) a full performance of the 20-song version of Schumann’s Dichterliebe, performed jointly by a group of singer-pianist duos, each performing two or more songs; and (2) a pre-performance presentation on Dichterliebe given by the students who are not performing that evening.
The presentation will take place first and will last about 30 minutes. There will then be a short intermission (10-15 minutes), followed by a full performance of the 20-song cycle. The running order of student performers and presenters will be announced two weeks before the end of the course.
The student concerts are open to the public. Admission is by donation on the door.
The Dichterliebe Project will finish with a Faculty Concert by the instructors Kathryn Whitney & Anna Cal. The concert will be a recital featuring Dichterliebe in the second half, and curated to include other groups of songs that are connected to Dichterliebe. The Faculty concert will take place on Saturday, 17 SEPTEMBER 2016, beginning at 7.00pm. This is a public concert. Admission will be by donation on the door. (Please note change of date for the Faculty concert to September.)
Throughout the course, the students will be working on Schumann’s original 20-song version of Dichterliebe, and it is this version of the piece that they will perform in their final concerts. (Follow this link to learn more about the different versions of Schumann’s Dichterliebe.)