Immersion in the music of the Baroque

Baroque Orchestra plays together with school classes

Only a few young people have ever attended a classical concert. The Stuttgart baroque orchestra Il Gusto Barocco has therefore developed a new approach to the teaching of music. With selected pieces of music that are practised together, the pupils are integrated into the special work of the baroque orchestra and perform in a matinee together with the musicians. This direct artistic experience is intended to enthuse young people for classical music.

The pilot project was carried out in 2013 under the working title of "The Messiah is coming to school". Excerpts from Handel's "Messiah" were rehearsed and performed during a matinee in the Stuttgart Liederhalle. In 2014 the project involved parts of Bach's "St. John Passion", whereas in 2015 the professionals and pupils are working on Vivaldi's opera "Griselda".

During prior visits to classes and joint rehearsal phases, the pupils are practically involved in the professional work of the baroque orchestra. The musical content is neither reduced nor simplified. This shared experience of rehearsal and concert is intended to generate an enthusiasm for concerts and classical music and introduce pupils to the formative cultural history of our society. In addition to participation in the music, the pupils can also become involved in the presentation of the concert or the artistic design of posters and flyers.

The preservation of classical music as an important cultural heritage is also a major concern of the baroque orchestra. The aim of this project is to revive and reinterpret the often-forgotten musical culture and language of the baroque era in particular. As a free orchestra, Il Gusto Barocco would like to try out and further develop new concepts and models in the teaching of music.


The Stuttgart baroque orchestra Il Gusto Barocco

Il Gusto Barocco is Stuttgart's first independent baroque orchestra, consisting of a permanent group of established artists. The ensemble performs its own artistic programmes from the entire repertoire of the 17th and 18th centuries.

The ensemble was founded by Jörg Halubek in 2008 as part of the Stuttgart European Music Festival with Bach's "Art of Fugue". Numerous projects followed, such as the co-production of Vivaldi's "Judith" at the State Opera House in Stuttgart or guest appearances at the Karlsruhe Handel Festival. The highlight since the ensemble was founded is the rediscovery and premiere of the baroque opera "Tisbe" of the Württemberg court composer Giuseppe Brescianello, which has received wide attention. Driven by these successes, a baroque triathlon was launched in 2013, consisting of a three-year concert cycle with five concerts each in Stuttgart.

What are the funds of the MAHLE FOUNDATION specifically used for?

In 2014 the MAHLE FOUNDATION provided generous support for the educational project. With these funds it was possible to perform the joint concert in Stuttgart's Liederhalle on 12 October 2014. A concert project of this kind incurs various expenses, starting with material costs such as the rent for the concert hall, and including the fees for the musicians. The funding also made it possible to pay for the teaching visits of the musicians to the schools, as well as a joint rehearsal day of the orchestra together with the pupils.

What is planned for the future?

The educational project is to be further expanded and incorporated to an even greater extent into the school day. The themes of great baroque works are never reduced to just the music, but also include other aspects such as religion, philosophy, fine art, dance or history. In order to introduce pupils to the formative cultural history of our society through their participation and experience, the group of sponsors of this holistic approach should be extended.

Another idea is the establishment of an Academy of Ancient Music. Introductions and associated training events should make aspects of music history and ways of performing from the past generally available to all.