Early Music

At the Folkwang University of the Arts, Early Music is offered alongside an instrumental specialisation for 'Historical Performance Practice' as a modular component of all other instrumental, theoretical and academic study courses. What is special in this regard is the fact that Early Music does not take place behind the closed doors of a department for specialists, but is part of a recognised form of general education. The focus, though, is on the subject-related study programme.

At Folkwang, training in the "Early Music" specialised section is possible with the following main subjects and study courses:

  • Historical Violin/Viola (B.Mus., Instrumental Master)
  • Baroque Cello (B.Mus., Instrumental Master)
  • Historical Transverse Flute (B.Mus., Instrumental Master)
  • Harpsichord (B.Mus., Instrumental Master)
  • Basso Continuo (Professional Performance Master)

This is accompanied by a whole set of subject-related secondary fields of study:

  • Source study
  • General basso continuo teaching
  • Introduction to the historical performance practice
  • Music score editing practice

In accordance with the "Folkwang ideal" of the interaction of different artistic genres, the historical training at the Folkwang University of the Arts should be perceived as part of an interdisciplinary holistic entirety – with no external isolation, no shying away either from cooperations with other art and teaching disciplines or from collaboration with study courses or experimental presentations outside this field.

If you are interested in studying a main subject in the "Early Music" specialised section at the Folkwang University of the Arts, please contact one of the main subject teacher.

Junior study course

If you are interested in a Junior study course, you will find more information available here.

Bachelor (B.Mus.)

If you are interested in a Bachelor study course specialising in "Early Music", then please note the following registration deadlines for the aptitude test. The regulations for the aptitude test itself are available here

Master (M.Mus.)

If you are interested in a Master study course specialising in "Early Music", then please note the following registration deadlines for the aptitude test. The regulations for the aptitude test itself are available here.

Information on other questions relating to the registration, aptitude test and examination requirements as well as all the forms and tutorials required on the theme is available here.

If you have any technical questions, please do not hesitate in contacting our study advisors who will be delighted to help you.

Die Lehrenden der Fachgruppe:

Markus Hoffmann

Nach der Berufung von Mayumi Hirasaki ans Mozarteum Salzburg wird das Fach „Barockvioline“ / „Barockviola“ bis zur endgültigen Neubesetzung der Stelle vorübergehend im Lehrauftrag von Markus Hoffmann betreut.

Contract teacher | baroque violin / baroque viola

Markus Hoffmann, born in Siegen in 1966, began his studies at the Cologne
Musikhochschule with Prof. Franzjosef Maier at the age of 16. His participation in his
orchestra Collegium Aureum also aroused his interest in the baroque violin.

Inspired by these experiences, he joined the founding of Concerto Köln in 1985 and remained loyal to the ensemble until today. After graduating in 1989, he continued his studies with Prof. Josef Sivó at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Vienna, where he has lived since then. In addition to numerous chamber musical and soloist performances on the violin as well as on the viola and the viola d’amore, he is also a member of the Wiener Akademie and the Bach Consort Wien.
Since 2006 he has served as concertmaster of Concerto Cologne. Concert tours and participation in international festivals with Concerto Köln and other ensembles such as “Concentus Musicus Wien”, “Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin” or “Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Hamburg” led him already in all parts of the world.
A large number of radio and CD recordings completes his versatile musical activity.

[Translate to English:]

Wolfgang Kostujak

Teaching staff for special tasks for Early Music | Basso continuo

Wolfgang Kostujak grew up in Bremen. While still in school, he received instruction on the organ by Arvid Gast and Wilfried Langosz. Following his Abitur and civilian service he enrolled at the former Folkwang Academy, majoring in music theory with Silvio Foretic and historic keyboard instruments with Ludger Rémy, which he finished in 1993.

Afterwards Wolfgang Kostujak enrolled at the Sweelinck-Conservatorium, Amsterdam, where he studied the harpsichord with Bob van Asperen and Basso Continuo with Thérèse de Goede. In 1996 he finished these studies with the degree of a "Uitvoerend musicus". Since 1998 he teaches at the Folkwang University of the Arts, initially as a répétiteur and teacher of chamber music, which was expanded later to include the harpsichord and the theory and praxis of figured bass. Additionally, since 2009 his activities there include a series of regular, two-hour lectures dealing with historic performance practice as well as seminars about music editing and musical sources.

As a performer Wolfgang Kostujak has been to nations all over the world, such as Poland, France, Estonia, Austria, Italy, the Netherlands, Russia and China, as well as several South American countries where he performed both as a soloist and as part of continuo groups.
Since 1988 he has regularly been featured as a harpsichordist and organist on recordings for Radio Bremen, the Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, DeutschlandRadio Berlin and the Südwestrundfunk as well as the ZDF and Arte.

Wolfgang Kostujak also works as a freelance radio writer for numerous public broadcasters (most prominently DeutschlandRadio Kultur, Deutsche Welle and the Westdeutscher Rundfunk) and as a writer for several magazines (including the "Neue Zeitschrift für Musik - Das Magazin für neue Töne”, Mainz, or "Concerto - Das Magazin für Alte Musik", Cologne) and as an editor for a number of music publishers (such as Henle, Schott, Güntersberg and Amadeus). In collaboration with Henrik Wiese a comprehensive edition of Johann Ph. Kirnberger's chamber music was published by Amadeus,  together with Thomas Kügler Wolfgang Kostujak published the recently discovered flute sonatas of Vivaldi's colleague Ignazio Sieber, and the Henle Urtext publishing house will soon publish a new critical edition of Georg Ph. Telemann's "Sonate Metodiche".

E-Mail:> kostujak(at)

Markus Möllenbeck

Contract teacher | Baroque cello

Born in Viersen Markus Möllenbeck studied at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen with Janos Starker, Maria Kliegel und Young-Chang Cho. Afterwards he joined the baroque cello class of Phoebe Carrai in Hilversum (Netherlands) and became principle cellist of Musica Antiqua Köln with Reinhard Goebel in 1992. He was performing worldwide in all important venues, several times playing the solo part of early cello concertos. He took part in many productions for German broadcasts and the Archiv Produktion of the Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft.

Since 2000 he dedicated himself to chamber music with the ARCANGELO TRIO. Another focus became the collaboration with the choreograph Joachim Schlömer for festivals in Vienna, Amsterdam, Bruges, Freiburg, Cologne and Ludwigsburg.As principle cellist Markus Möllenbeck was guest at the Musiciens du Louvre with Marc Minkowski, at the Freiburger Barockorchester, Concerto Köln, La Stagione Frankfurt with Michael Schneider and until today at the Capella Augustina with Andreas Spering. He worked in operas of Handel like RODELINDA, ALCINA and ARIODANTE at the State opera of Hamburg, Karlsruhe, Munich and Barcelona as a continuo cellist with Ivor Bolton, Michael Hofstetter and Harry Bicket. Möllenbeck is member of the Handel Festival orchestras in Karlsruhe and in Göttingen.

He is teaching with great passion giving master classes at the music universities of Detmold, Lübeck, Warshawa and Poznan, in Michaelstein, at the Handel Academy in Karlsruhe and since 2004 once a year at the international summer academy in Neuburg a.d.D. Between 1996 and 2012 he hold the class for baroque cello at the Berlin University of the Arts.Since 2005 Möllenbeck is teaching at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen and was appointed guest professor for baroque cello in 2011 at the Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz/Bromberg (Poland).

As a tutor he worked for the EUBO (European Barock Orchestra) with the director Lars Ulrik Mortensen in Echternach 2015, in Bukarest 2016 and will teach again in Echternach 2017.As an expert for the cello repertoire of the 18th century he published already 16 cello concertos of this period in his edition "Il Violoncello concertato" within the Edition Walhall of the Franz-Biersack-Company in Magdeburg like Caldara, Hertel, Hasse, Vivaldi, Vandini, CPE Bach and recently Anton Kraft.

E-Mail: > markus.moellenbeck(at)

Prof. Christian Rieger


Harpsichord | Main subject Basso Continuo | Early Music ensemble directing

Born and raised in the Black Forest region, Christian Rieger spent several thrilling years learning keyboard improvisation on his own before receiving first piano lessons from Maria Bergmann in Baden-Baden. Rieger went on to study music at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Karlsruhe, specializing in organ (with Andreas Schröder), conducting (Martin Schmidt) and analysis (Matthias Spahlinger). A scholarship twice granted by the DAAD enabled him to continue his studies at the Schola Cantorum in Basel, where he was profoundly marked by the teaching of Jean-Claude Zehnder (organ) and Andreas Staier (harpsichord).

His first public appearances in recitals and competitions met with success, and after a one-year interlude
as an opera repetiteur and theater musician he became a member of the renowned ensemble Musica Antiqua Köln in 1994, while still a student. After six years, Rieger left the ensemble in order to dedicate himself more fully to solo harpsichord repertoire.
Ever since then, Rieger has been much in demand as a soloist and as a duo chamber music partner in festivals and recital series all over Europe, in North and South America and in Asia; he has also made several studio recordings.
With his knack for composition and improvisation, Rieger has written film music and has also returned to the theatre. In feature films directed by Dominique de Rivaz and Gerard Corbiau he has made contributions as arranger, composer and improviser. And as musical director he has been engaged by the opera houses of Stuttgart and Düsseldorf (where he conducted his own version of Offenbach's Belle Hélène).

After having held teaching posts in Berlin and Salzburg, Christian Rieger is in demand all over Europe as a masterclass professor and teacher. Since 2004 he has held the post of Professor of Historical Keyboard Instruments and Figured Bass at Folkwang University of the Arts, Essen.

E-Mail: > rieger(at)

Michael Schmidt-Casdorff


Contract teacher | Traverse flute

Michael Schmidt-Casdorffs musical passion counts for historic flutes which go along with a fabulous sound. Using at least seven different types of traverse flutes makes him a most versatile specialist for these instruments, finding expression in his wide repertoire, reaching from Lully to Takemitsu. He studied with Konrad Hünteler in Münster, a musician he is very beholden to.

Since 2008 Michael Schmidt-Casdorff takes the position as Principal Flutist in the legendary "Orchestra of the 18th Century", founded by Frans Brüggen in Amsterdam. Even after his death in 2014, musicians from 15 nations gather for four to five projects each year, driven by a confident perspective for the future.

Also as the Principal Flutist, Michael Schmidt-Casdorff was involved in many opera and oratorio productions since 2008 with Thomas Hengelbrock and his Balthasar-Neumann-Ensemble, for instance in Baden-Baden, Paris, Madrid and New York. In the Wagner-year 2013 a much respected performance of Parsifal was presented.

In addition he was very previliged to be invited to many projects by Alice and Nikolaus Harnoncourt with Concentus Musicus Wien. This put him as one of the very few musicians into the position of having worked together intensively with the two companions Brüggen and Harnoncourt.

Michael Schmidt-Casdorffs activities as a soloist, but also as an orchestral musician are documented in a wide variety of CD and DVD-recordings, for example:

  • windquintets by M.J. Mengal and pianoquintets by F. Danzi together with the "Reicha'sche Quintett" and Christine Schornsheim (fortepiano)
  • all trios by Chr. Dickhut for flute, horn and  guitar, together with Ulrich Hübner (natural horn) and Ansgar Krause (guitar)
  • 12 Telemann Sonatas from 1734, released by NCA
  • with the Orchestra of the 18th Century: many Rameau Orchestral Suites, Bachs B-Minor Mass, St. John Passion and Easter-Oratorio, Mendelssohn Symphonies 3&4, Mozarts last three Symphonies and Chopins Piano Concertos.

Apart from playing original instruments out of his collection Michael Schmidt-Casdorff preferrably uses instruments by Martin Wenner, Singen (Germany). From 2003-2008 he taught traverso at the Music-Highschool Munich. He was instructor of many musical courses, i.e. in Basel, Warsaw, Karlsruhe, Salzburg, Düsseldorf, and Neuburg/Danube.

Momentarily Michael Schmidt-Casdorff teaches at the Folkwang University of the Arts and at the Music Academy Feliks Nowowiejski in Bydgoszcz (Poland).

E-Mail: >

Prof. Midori Seiler


Foto: Maike Helbig

Instrumentalausbildung | Alte Musik, Barockvioline

Midori Seiler zählt zu den wenigen Spezialistinnen der historischen Aufführungspraxis, die sich in verschiedenen Epochen heimisch fühlen. Barocke Violinkonzerte – wie als Solistin diverser Barockensembles – gehören ebenso zu ihrem Repertoire wie die klassischen/romantischen Violinkonzerte von Mendelssohn und Beethoven in Zusammenarbeit mit Originalklangkörpern wie Anima Eterna, Akademie für Alte Musik und Concerto Köln.

Als Konzertmeisterin vielfältiger Projekte leitete sie u. a. das Budapest Festival Orchester oder die Kammerphilharmonie Bremen und veranstaltet Workshops für Orchester, die ihre Kenntnisse in der Spielart der historischen Aufführungspraxis vertiefen wollen. Zu ihren Kammermusikpartner zählen Christian Rieger, Jaap ter Linden oder Andreas Staier. 2015 erhielt sie den Sächsischen Mozartpreis.


Ihre umfangreiche Diskographie enthält Violinkonzerte von Mozart, Rimskij-Korsakoffs „Sheherazade“ oder ihre eigene Rekonstruktion des verschollenen Violinkonzertes von Bach BWV 1052. Von der langjährigen Zusammenarbeit Jos van Immerseel zeugen die Einspielungen sämtlicher Sonaten für Violine und Klavier von Mozart, Beethoven und Schubert. Großes Medienecho erfuhren ihre beiden Veröffentlichungen der Bachschen



Von 2010 bis 2013 war Midori Seiler Professorin an der Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt in Weimar, wechselte 2014 für eine Professur an die Universität Mozarteum Salzburg. 2017 ist sie an die Hochschule nach Weimar zurückgekehrt.


Seit 2016 ist Midori Seiler die künstlerische Leiterin des BachCollektivs der Köthener Bachfesttage. Ihre Experimentierfreude mit ungewöhnlichen Konzertformaten ließ Zusammenschlüsse mit zeitgenössischem Tanz, elektronischer Musik und choreographiertem Spiel entstehen: so erarbeitete sie - choreographiert von Juan Kruz de Garaio Esnaola - die Bachschen Sonaten für Violine solo mit zwei Tänzern. Ihr letztes Album „La Venezia di Anna Maria“ mit Concerto Köln wurde 2019 mit dem OPUS Klassik ausgezeichnet.


Seit April 2020 lehrt Midori Seiler als Professorin für Barockvioline im Fachbereich Musik an der Folkwang Universität der Künste.

E-Mail: > midori-clara.seiler(at)