String Instruments Division

The String Instruments division at the School of Music at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz offers an innovative and wide program of study of the orchestral instruments violin, viola, violoncello, and contrabass in the courses Bachelor in Orchestral Instruments (8 semesters), Master in Orchestral Instruments (4 semesters), and "Concert Exam" (4 semesters).  

Artistic education forms the core of the course, supported by audition training and participation in various ensembles within the JGU School of Music, in master classes, and in excursions. Compulsory music theory subjects ensure a solid training, which can be developed even further by visiting additional courses at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz.  

The new Bachelor in Orchestral Instruments forms an initial professional qualification, which trains students for careers in orchestral music, chamber music , freelance musicianship, or instrumental teaching. In the Bachelor program, study contents from the terminating Diploma in Orchestra Studies and the Diploma in Music Teaching are combined, which has expanded the range of potential occupational areas for graduates.    

The choices of study program are supplemented by cooperation with renowned partners, including:

  • The Mainz Philharmonic Orchestra (cooperation program with the Young Philharmonic Orchestra)
  • "Baroque Vocal – College for Old Music" at the JGU School of Music
  • Peter Cornelius Conservatory (PCK) Mainz
  • State Museum Mainz (event series like "BeziehungsWeise")
  • Master classes (free for students), e.g. in 2010 with Thomas Riebl, Wolfgang Boettcher, the Gryphon Trio, the Borealis String Quartet, Taras Gabora, Silke Aichhorn; in 2009 with Mihail Katev, Michael Dartsch, Katalin Szigetti; in 2008: Joshua Epstein; in 2007: Helmut Zehetmair.
  • Excursions within the context of the methodological and didactic element of the course, including 2008/2010 visit of Professor Marianne Petersen, Hamburg; 2008 visit of Renate Bruce-Weber, Hamburg; 2010 visit of Barbara Stanzeleit, Schwerte, and Professor Dr. Michael Dartsch, Saarbrücken/Bonn.    

In the Master's course (admission requirement: Bachelor or similar), instrumental skills and artistic qualities can be developed further. The postgraduate course "Concert Exam" is open to applicants with the potential to be soloists and is the highest degree that can be obtained.   A competition, held very two years, for students in the postgraduate course "Concert Exam" offers award winners the chance to perform a solo concert with the Philharmonic State Orchestra.  

Very young, highly talented instrumentalists who are still attending a general school can be accepted into the preparatory class. Detailed information on the above-mentioned courses can be accessed via the links in the right-hand column of this website.  


String Instruments Division Director:
Professor Benjamin Bergmann (Violine)

Other Professors:
Professor Anne Shih (Violin)
Professor Claudia Bussian (Viola)
Professor Manuel Fischer-Dieskau (Violoncello)
Adjunct Professor Friedemann Schulz (Violoncello)
N.N. (Double Bass)