The College of Music at the Berlin University of the Arts ranks as one of the largest educational music institutes in Europe, rich in content and quality. It dates back to the Royal (later State) Academy of Music, founded under the aegis of the violinist Joseph Joachim, a friend of Brahms, in 1869. From the date of its foundation under directors Joseph Joachim, Hermann Kretzschmar, Franz Schreker and Georg Schünemann, it has been one of the leading academies of music in the German-speaking countries. Composers such as Max Bruch, Engelbert Humperdinck and Paul Hindemith, performers such as Artur Schnabel, Wanda Landowska, Carl Flesch and Emanuel Feuermann, and academics such as Philipp Spitta, Curt Sachs, Erich Moritz von Hornbostel and Kurt Singer taught here. Prominent teachers later included the two directors Boris Blacher and Helmut Roloff, and the composer Dieter Schnebel.
In the 1920s, as well as the superior artistic quality of its staff, the Academy of Music developed considerable significance in teacher training: Leo Kestenberg, pupil of Ferruccio Busoni and Commissioner for Music at the Prussian Ministry of Culture, implemented a new type of artistic, academic and educational training for music teachers in all fields. Here the Berlin Academy of Music led the way throughout Germany.
In the course of its history, several noted institutes of learning in Berlin’s music life have been integrated into the Berlin State School of Music (from 1975 a part of the Berlin University of the Arts). In its diversity, this unique foundation really is a music university – not least, because interdisciplinary art forms and experimental fields are created in teamwork with other Colleges at the Berlin University of the Arts; something that is not possible elsewhere.
The College of Music represents a wide spectrum of today’s artistic, educational and academic culture. It offers distinctly organised courses of study for almost all music professions. These courses are offered as bachelor‘s and master‘s degrees. Students also have the opportunity to do a doctorate in musicology or music education.
In addition, the College of Music is entitled to confer a post-doctoral lecturing qualification (Habilitation).
The high percentage of foreign students from every continent mirrors the College’s international reputation.