Folkwang

Campus Duisburg

For tuition in early music, chamber music and piano

Culture is alive in the centre of Duisburg, right in the heart of the city. Right there where thousands of people are rushing about shopping and pursuing life’s other everyday activities, young musicians from all over the world are starting out on their artistic careers. Behind the beautiful though somewhat inconspicuous historicist-style (1904) facade of 19 Düsseldorfer Strasse, there are people rehearsing, studying and performing in concerts. Perhaps the discreet charm of this heritage-listed building hints at the fact that it once used to house money – it was a bank. Today it’s the Duisburg campus of the Folkwang University of the Arts, an organisation whose reputation is respected far beyond the region and a place for high-level musical training.

In Duisburg, Folkwang Hochschule means chamber music, early music and piano. Lively teaching, learning and production; top-class soloists; unusual concert series; master classes and regular musical events throughout the entire year. Since October 2003 there has been a small in-house concert hall, lovingly restored in the area where the bank’s counters used to be. With its excellent acoustics, it has had an enthusiastic response from the public. Meticulous preservation and renovation measures have played as great a role in its success as has the long and fine tradition of musical education in Duisburg.

Small concert hall

From bank to concert hall: the small concert hall (KLEINE KONZERTSAAL) at the Folkwang University’s Duisburg Campus was opened in October 2003 - in the room where the counters used to be in the former bank building. Even the foyer welcomes its visitors with an inviting atmosphere. The hall itself was redesigned taking the building’s heritage-listed status into consideration, and was extended with two side wings. Two partition walls, which can be opened up depending on the size of the orchestra, were built in an attractive blond wood. The extendable stage offers space for up to forty musicians, i.e. for classical chamber music forces.
The building is owned by the city of Duisburg. The renovations, which cost around 1.5 million euros, were planned and carried out by Building and Infrastructure Services NRW (Bau- und Liegenschaftsbetrieb NRW) Duisburg.

199 seats upholstered in claret-coloured fabric, fine wall panelling in white maple, the beautifully restored historic stuccoed ceiling – from a visual point of view the small concert hall is already a cultural gem. The two side wings by the stage and the glass ceiling over the auditorium lend breadth and a sense of freedom to the room. But the hall reveals its true greatness – its unique acoustic – when the first notes sound. Its reverberation time matches that of the best international concert halls.

The concert hall is impressive for its balanced, transparent sound and gives a spatial impression in which the listener feels acoustically drawn into what is going on. You can listen with pleasure here. We have the work of Prof. Jens Blauert of Ruhr University Bochum (Ruhr-Universität Bochum) in particular to thank for this. This internationally distinguished scholar specialising in “spatial hearing” has been deploying his knowledge as adviser on spatial acoustics for many years now.