Musical Delicacies

— Early Music Concert Series —

Painting: Charles Mouton (1690)
for active participants

Masterclass for lutenists and guitarists

Masterclass with Jan Čižmář, devoted to interpretation of the repertoire for lutes and guitars in Central Europe around 1700.

Thursday 1 June 2017 — University of Arts Bremen, Dechanatstr. 13–15, 28195 Bremen, Germany.

(The schedule will be communicated to the participants before the masterclass.)

About the masterclass


The masterclass is open to all lute and guitar players who are interested in the performance and interpretation of music of any stylistic period. Regardless of the instrument, the goal is the same, to become familiar with the historical interpretation through examples of the period repertoire and to understand the essence of the compositions, aiming for a genuine communication that is understandable for the audience and touches their souls. To achieve this, we strive for mastery of many things, without which our interpretation would be incomplete. In addition to technical problems, we will therefore also address the historical context of the works, the study of historical sources, and the music rhetoric.

Conceptually the masterclass builds on the symposium “Ways to Silvius Leopold Weiss”, which took place 11–13 November 2016 at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in The Hague. It aspired to show at least some of the musical legacy that influenced the composer Silvius Leopold Weiss. A series of lectures and concerts shed light on interesting topics, and selected music echoed this vast and mostly forgotten creative legacy. Then, in 2017, the knowledge and experience of the 2016 conference are transferred to the level of practical working together with the students of the early music art schools in Brno, Bremen, The Hague and other institutions.


Active participation is offered to professional and semi-professional instrumentalists. We expect predominantly solo participation but would also welcome chamber ensembles (lute/guitar duos or lute/guitar with singers or other instruments). Both players of period instruments and modern guitar players can participate.

Participation in the masterclass comprises one lesson of 45 minutes duration and is free for students of HfK Bremen. We also offer a limited number of places for other interested parties. For them, the course fee amounts to 20 €. It is possible to enroll for additional lessons. Please fill out the on-line registration form.

Passive participation is recommended for anyone who is interested in Early Music and its performance practice. No registration required, free admission.

The official languages of the masterclass are English and German.


All musical periods are welcome, but the focus is on the repertoire for Baroque lute from Central European archives aound 1700. Any player interested in gaining experience with this repertoire and discovering the secrets of interpretation of the music that originated and was played here in the city where the masteclass takes place are invited to participate in the masterclass and to attend the concert Melante – the unknown Telemann .

During the masterclass it is possible to try-out various historical instruments under the guidance of the lecturer, and to study a variety of historical sources.

Photo: Joachim Held & Barbora Hulcová.
Joachim Held & Barbora Hulcová, masterclass within the project “German Renaissance Songs” (2015).

About the project

The masterclass is part of the project “Music by Czech and German composers from the lute collections of the library of the Cistercian Abbey in Grüssau (Krzeszów)”. The project includes a series of educational activities in cooperation with the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno, the University of the Arts Bremen and The Prague Conservatoire.

For information about further concerts and masterclasses in Prague, Brno, Bremen and other cities, please click here.

Photo: Jan Čižmář

Jan Čižmář

Jan Čižmář is a versatile performer focusing on historical plucked instruments. He performs regularly in Europe, Asia and the USA with ensembles such as Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and Capella Cracoviensis, and under conductors such as Frans Brüggen, Christopher Hogwood, Giovanni Antonini, Yannick Nézet–Séguin and Christina Pluhar. He appears also as soloist with of baroque and renaissance repertoire, and is the artistic leader of the ensemble Plaisirs de Musique.

After graduation in guitar and musicology in his native Brno he studied at the Royal College of Music in London, where he began playing the lute in the class of Jakob Lindberg. He continued his studies at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague with the teachers Nigel North, Joachim Held, Mike Fentross and Christina Pluhar.

He was the founder and editor of the Czech guitar magazine Kytara and contributes regularly to other musical periodicals. He is also intensely involved with publishing and research activities in the field of early music.

Jan Čižmář taught lute and related instruments at the Karol Szymanowski Academy of Music in Katowice in Poland; currently he is teaching at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts (JAMU) in Brno, the Academy of Ancient Music at Masaryk University in Brno, and as a guest teacher at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw. He regularly gives courses and masterclasses in Europe and overseas.

Thank you

The masterclass takes place with financial support from the Česko-německý fond budoucnosti.

Česko-německý fond budoucnosti Hudební fakulta JAMU v Brně Erasmus+