Voice Performance / Opera School

Biographies

Claudia Spahn, born in 1963, is a Professor for Musicians’ Medicine and the Director of the Freiburg Institute for Musicians’ Medicine at the Freiburg University of Music and the University Clinic (www.mh-freiburg.de).From childhood she received lessons in playing the recorder, piano and violin. After graduating from high school, she studied medicine in Freiburg, Paris and Switzerland, at the same time commencing musical studies at the University of Music Freiburg in 1986, which she concluded in 1992 with a diploma as a music pedagogue. Specialized training in the Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy at the Freiburg University Clinic (as well as in Internal Medicine and Psychiatry) led to her certification as a specialist for Psychotherapeutic Medicine in 1999. Her M.D. was followed by the habilitation in 2004 concerning prevention in musicians and a Dr. phil. in musicology in 2020.

At the FIM, apart from her role as Director, she is principally responsible for the instruction of the music students at the Freiburg University of Music, as well as for research and treatment. In collaboration with a physiotherapist, she advises instrumentalists with motor dysfunctions, also dealing with primary or collateral psychosomatic and psychological questions using an integrated psychosomatic therapeutic approach. Here she works with instrumentalists and singers on stage fright and performance anxiety, her main focus. She is first editor of the German textbook “Musicians’ Medicine”, author of the textbook “Stage Fright” and first editor of the DVD “Physiological Insights for Players of Wind Instruments”. Furthermore, she is co-editor of the DVD “The Voice. Insights into the Physiology of Singing and Speaking” as well as the editor of the book “Musicians’ health in practice”. Her latest book is “Body-related methods for musicians”, published in May, 2017. She sat on the board of the “German Society for Music Physiology and Musicians’ Medicine” from 2006 to 2014 and has been Vice-Rector of the University of Music Freiburg since 2018.

Bernhard Richter,born in 1962, is a Professor for Musicians’ Medicine specializing in vocal training at the Freiburg Institute for Musicians’ Medicine (FIM). In addition to his medical studies in Freiburg, Basel and Dublin, he studied voice at the University of Music in Freiburg, concluding it with a Concert Examination in 1991. After receiving his M.D., specializing in ENT and Phoniatrics (voice specialist), he completed his Ph.D. in 2002.

At the FIM, apart from giving instruction in the areas of voice physiology and hearing, he is specifically responsible for the medical counselling of musicians and singers at the University Clinic for Musicians’ Medicine.
His current research emphasizes the areas of the operatic stage as a place of work, the use of high-speed glottography for examining the register functioning of singers, the vocal development of singers in the course of aging, and hearing protection for orchestral musicians.
He is author of several text books as well as of the two DVDs “Physiological insights for players of wind instruments” and “Insights into the physiology of singing and speaking”.

Tanja Ariane Baumgartner is one of the foremost mezzo-sopranos of our time. With her portrayals of Fricka (Rheingold/Walküre), Cassandre (Les Troyens), Clytemnestra (Elektra) and Nurse (Die Frau ohne Schatten) and her spectacular Ortrud (Lohengrin), she has appeared at the most important international theaters and festivals established herself in the top league of dramatic mezzo-sopranos.
She started her 2023/24 season with two central roles at the Vienna State Opera: Brangäne (Tristan and Isolde) with Philippe Jordan and Amme (Frau ohne Schatten) with Christian Thielemann. In Bergen she will sing Klytemnestra with Kirill Petrenko. At the Semperoper Dresden she will interpret Leonore in the world premiere of Die Jüdin von Toledo by Detlev Glanert. She will give her role debut as Zia Principessa in Puccini's Il trittico / Suor Angelica at the Bavarian State Opera followed by another world premiere – Melancholie des Widerstandes – by Marc-André Dalvie at the Berlin State Opera.
She is also very active in the concert domain: With Schönberg's Erwartung she will give another role debut at WDR with Ingo Metzmacher, in Frankfurt she will sing Verdi's Requiem with Thomas Guggeis, and in the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie she sings Mahler's 8th Symphony with Semyon Bychkov and at the Konzerthaus Berlin the 9th Symphony by Beethoven with Joanna Mallwitz.
Tanja Ariane Baumgartner first studied violin in Freiburg, then singing in Karlsruhe, Vienna and Sofia. Since September 2019 she has been a member of the voice department at the Bern University of the Arts.

Michael Fuchs is Head of Phoniatrics and Audiology, Cochlear Implant Center and Center for Musicians' Medicine at Leipzig University Hospital. Specialist in ENT and specialist in phoniatrics and pedaudiology.
Born in Leipzig in 1968. Member of the Thomanerchor Leipzig in his youth. Studied human medicine at the University of Leipzig. Private vocal studies with KS Christa Maria Ziese. Study visits to Berlin (Charité) and Vienna (AKH). Doctorate and habilitation on the development of voice in childhood and adolescence. Following an appointment to a university professorship at the University of Greifswald in 2009, he was appointed adjunct professor and awarded university teaching rights at the University of Leipzig.
Specialized care of singers and musicians with hearing and voice disorders, specialized care of the child and adolescent voice. Further clinical and research focuses: Teacher's voice, head and neck oncology, central auditory processing. Operative spectrum in phonosurgery.
Extensive national and international lectures and publications. Responsible for medical didactic training program and problem-based learning at the Leipzig Medical Faculty. Teacher for physiology of voice and hearing at the Universities of Music and Theater Leipzig and Weimar as well as at the University of Halle/Saale. Medical Headmaster of Vocational school for Logopaedics Leipzig. Founder and director of the Leipzig symposia on children's and youth voices, editor of the series Kinder- und Jugendstimme. President of the Thomanerchor Leipzig Support Association.
Johannes Zange Award from the Northeast German Society for Otorhinolaryngology and Cervicofacial Surgery, Gerhard Kittel Medal and Karl Storz Award for Academic Teaching from the German Society for Phoniatrics and Pedaudiology, Gustav Wohlgemuth Medal from the Saxon Choir Association. Inclusion award “Bridge Building” from the Leipzig Vocational Training Center for Hearing-Speech-Communication.