International Summer Course for New Music

„That’s still the best thing about the summer courses, that you can simply overdose on so much music-making of the broadest stylistic provenance.“

(Hans Thomalla, Kranichstein Music Prize Winner and Lecturer)


A meeting point for composers, interpreters, performers, sound artists, and scholars. For discovery, learning, networking, exchange and debate, collaboration, and – last but not least – invention. This is what the Darmstadt International Summer Course for New Music has in store. Every two years in the summer, around the clock, for two weeks. Whether attending seminars, workshops, concerts, or lectures, participating in discussions, rehearsals, spontaneously organized events or chance encounters, one is immersed in the music of our time. In a grand discourse that spans borders, generations, and aesthetic differences. With contributions from as many as 300 participants from around the world with completely different cultural backgrounds.

Each of them plays a part in determining the character of the course, brings „his or her“ music, opinions, ideas, and topics along. Together with the most prominent lecturers contemporary music is continually rethought from the ground up, heard anew – and called into question. Composition, interpretation, and research form the three main pillars of the summer course. To this are added a variety of themes, focused projects, and a variety of concert formats. An additional space for open dialogue is provided by the Open Space, which should be dominated by the course participants and their own ideas. On the whole, the International Summer Course for New Music strive for a strong integration of lecturers, participants, and the individual areas of activity.