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VOICE AND INTERPRETATION — Prof. Karola Theill (University of Music and Drama Rostock) and Peter Sefcik

6 March - 10 March


“Karola Theill was a real discovery”, wrote Der Tagespiegel in praise of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau’s accompanist following their Lieder recital in the Berlin Philharmonie.

As one of the few female pianists specializing in song interpretation, Karola Theill has made her name as a performer, teacher and university lecturer. She appears in concert throughout Germany (including the Berlin Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Wiesbaden International May Festival and Mosel Festival) and abroad – at the Vienna Musikverein and at the Paris Opéra-Bastille, as well as in Israel, the USA and China.

She has been the keyboard partner of singers including Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Benjamin Bruns, Angela Denoke, Matthias Goerne, Klaus Häger, Thomas Mohr, Adrian Strooper, Silvia Weiss and Nadine Weissmann and is also a member of the ensembles  flautopiano berlinand liedtrio.

Born in Cologne, Karola Theill was trained as a pianist at the music academies of Hamburg and Berlin. She attended song courses given by Aribert Reimann, and for several years was the accompanist for Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau’s song-interpretation classes.

In 1987, she was awarded a fellowship to study at the Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington. Another important artistic influence has been her close collaboration with the pianist Shoshana Cohen in Jerusalem.

Karola Theill teaches at the Hanns Eisler” Hochschule für Musik in Berlin, where she is an honorary professor, and conducts a song-interpretation class at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Rostock.

She gives regular masterclasses in song interpretation in Berlin, Hamburg, Stuttgart (Germany), at the Poznań Music Academy (Poland), at the Conservatorio di Musica in Castelfranco (Italy), at the Academy of Music and Dance in Jerusalem (Israel), at the University of California (USA) and at the ZheJiang Conservatory of Music in Hang Zhou (China).

Her activities are documented in radio recordings and on CD.

After studying singing at Hannover’s University of Music and Drama, Peter Sefcik launched an active concert career in Germany and abroad. From 1972 to 1977, he also undertook intensive studies in Munich with the renowned baritone Willi Domgraf-Fassbaender – the father and sole teacher of Brigitte Fassbaender – who encouraged him to make pedagogy a professional focus.

From 1970 to 2002, Sefcik worked as voice coach of the Knabenchor Hannover and, as vocal trainer of the soloists, took part in the first complete period-instrument recording of the Bach Cantatas, featuring the TÖLZER KNABENCHOR and directed by Gustav Leonhardt and Nikolaus Harnoncourt. Hochschule teaching posts followed in Hannover and Essen as well as a 12-year professorship at the Hamburg Hochschule für Musik und Theater.

In 2006 Sefcik took up an appointment as vocal coach and soloist advisor of the Tölzer Knabenchor. Additionally, he conducts seminars and courses at conservatories in Europe and the USA.

Sefcik coaches professional singers currently engaged by leading opera companies, among them the Vienna Staatsoper (lyric tenor), Düsseldorf (character tenor), Glyndebourne Festival (lyric soprano), Geneva (dramatic soprano), Bremen (tenor) and Berlin’s Komische Oper (several singers).


Arrival: Tuesday, March 6, 2018 until 2 pm

Closing concert: Saturday, March 10, 2018 at 6 pm

Departure: Saturday, March 10, 2018

Course Description:

For years now, Karola Theill and Peter Sefcik have been giving courses in Singing & Interpretation. In addition to imparting the foundations of technique, they share the idea of encouraging singers and pianists to heighten their emotional readiness to engage the imagination so that texts and music can take wing when realized in performance.

Out of a profound textual understanding emerges the freedom to interpret and shape with all the colours, nuances and possibilities inherent in the sound of voice and piano.

Karola Theill and Peter Sefcik are experienced and inspiring mentors on this voyage of discovery.

– Individual teaching units with Peter Sefcik (singing) and with Karola Theill (song and oratorio)
– Joint teaching sessions with both instructors
– An evening of audio samples illustrating Peter Sefcik’s philosophy of singing
– An evening of information and discussion of the repertoire being prepared
– General rehearsal with extensive, detailed counselling
– Final concert

Up to five practice rooms with pianos are provided.


Peter Sefcik: opera, oratorio, art song

Karola Theill: art song and oratorio

For further information, please don’t hesitate to contact us!


The beautiful SG-IMFA villa on the bank of the Rhine river.
The beautiful SGIMFA villa on the bank of the Rhine river.

Students are hosted on a double-room basis in a beautiful, fully remodelled, 1892 villa on the bank of the Rhine river.

A kitchen for self-catering is provided!

For further impressions, please have a look online at our venue.


Audition information and registration:

In order to be accepted, you must meet one of the following criteria:

(a) be recommended by Prof. Theill or Mr. Sefcik or

(b) submit an unedited video audition (YouTube link) for review by Prof. Theill or Mr. Sefcik.

In addition, you must complete and submit our application form and pay a €40,- application fee.

Registration deadline: 1/31/2018


Both masterclasses, Voice & Interpretation: € 380,-
For pianists who only apply for the masterclass of Prof. Karola Theill: € 240,-

Housing (mandatory) in a shared double-room: €160,- (, incl. breakfast and usage of the facilities)


6 March
10 March
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The Academy’s Villa (Sankt Goar)
Heerstraße 5
St. Goar, 56329 Germany
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0173 5728995