Vienna, Austria | Webster University

Vienna: Language of Lieder


Program Description  
MUSC 4750 Vienna: Language of Lieder (3 credit hours)
Study in the City of Music on the Vienna: Language of Lieder program! A three-week study opportunity in the center of Europe's musical life – this program is designed for advanced undergraduate and graduate students, professional singers and teachers. Experience the home town of musical greats Schubert, Brahms, Wolf, Mahler, Strauss, Beethoven, Mozart, and others! Complete the program not-for-credit or for credit as MUSC 4750 Vienna: Language of Lieder (3 credits) through Webster University.

The musical backbone of the three-week program is a series of:

  • Intense small-group and private lessons with leading coaches who currently teach in Vienna
  • Master classes by Wolfgang Holzmair, Norman Shetler, Walter Moore, Bernd Froehlich, and Elem Eley
  • Final recital at the the prestigious Bösendorfer Hall of the Mozart House Vienna

Successful and artistically valid interpretation of Lieder is based on mastery¬ of both language and music. Through frequent vocal coaching in Lied interpretation, intensive daily instruction in the German language, and optional technical vocal instruction, we provide opportunities for substantial growth in the art of Lied interpretation.Vienna: Language of Lieder is unique in its dual emphasis on study and preparation of Lieder, as well as study of the German language. It is our conviction that a singer cannot develop a meaningful performance of German song, unless he/she knows the language. We offer the chance to study German intensely (at any level of experience), while learning from an outstanding, small faculty of experienced and highly regarded coaches and teachers. Reflecting our strong emphasis on performance, registrants will be featured in public recital, including the final Liederabend (evening concert) in the prestigious Bösendorfer Hall of the Mozart House Vienna. While some other programs in Austria are somewhat similar to ours, none have the intensity and amount of language study we offer. It is this inclusion of a strong language component that clearly sets us apart. Qualitatively, our faculty and the artistic opportunities Vienna offers are unmatched by any other program.

Language instruction and lodging will be provided through ActiLingua Academy, an outstanding center for German instruction at all levels.

Program Highlights
The Vienna: Language of Lieder Program is a unique opportunity to study in the home town of Schubert, Brahms, Wolf, Mahler, Strauss, Beethoven, Mozart, and others! It is not an opera program, nor are voice lessons required. Voice lessons will be available for an additional fee.

Program Dates: May 31 - June 21, 2020


Elem Eley, Program Coordinator and Faculty LeaderElem Eley, Program Coordinator and Faculty Leader

Professor of Voice/Program Director/Voice Teacher/Vocal Master Class, Westminster Choir College

ELEM ELEY creatively blends his active performing career with an extensive life as teacher of singing. He is frequently heard in recital and in master class, boasts a discography of ten CDs, and has performed in concert and opera in New York's most prominent venues, throughout the country, and in Europe. Winner of the 1996 Joy in Singing Award, Elem Eley is Professor of Voice at Westminster Choir College, and is founder/director of the acclaimed study program, Vienna: Language of Lieder. Visit for further information.

Program Flyer
MUSC 4750 Vienna: Language of Lieder (3 credit hours)

Music Faculty
We have assembled an outstanding, small roster of teachers, coaches and master class teachers, in addition to the excellent faculty at ActiLingua Academy. Among the musical faculty are:

  • Deirdre Brenner – Pianist-Coach/Lied Classes/Administrative Coordinator
  • Dietmar Friesenegger – Pianist-Coach/Lied Classes
  • Bernd Fröhlich – Master Class in contemporary German diction
  • Chihiro Gordon – Pianist-Coach
  • Carolyn Hague – Vienna Conservatory, Head of Lied interpretation | Lied Classes
  • Wolfgang Holzmair – Baritone; Mozarteum (Salzburg) faculty | Master Class
  • Sholto Kynoch – Pianist-Coach/Lied Classes
  • Walter Moore – University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna; Professor Emeritus | Master Class/German Lyric Diction
  • Yumiko Osaragi – Pianist-Coach
  • Michael Pinkerton – Vienna Conservatory, Head of Voice and Opera | Lied Classes
  • Norman Shetler – University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna; Professor Emeritus | Master

Click here to read more about the Vienna: Language of Lieder faculty.


The cultural life of Vienna is in full flower in June, as is the city itself! Vienna’s unsurpassed cultural life offers an abundance of recitals, concerts and opera performances for further enrichment.

The Staatsoper will be in season (standing room nightly for three Euros!), and a great number and variety of concerts and recitals will be available.

There will be opportunity for sight-seeing, possibly including a day cruise on the Danube to the Wachau, the Melk Monastery, etc.

In addition, Vienna is home to several of Europe’s leading art museums, including the Kunsthistorisches Museum (historical art museum), the Belvedere Museum, the Albertina, the Leopold Museum, and many others.

Vienna is itself an architectural museum; its unmatched parks, the Prater, the Hapsburg Imperial Palace, Schönbrunn, and countless other sites beckon!

The weekly schedule includes small-group lessons and diction classes with some of Vienna’s leading coaches, master classes and performance opportunities.

Our program features three hours of German instruction daily at ActiLingua Academy, plus German Lyric Diction twice a week. ActiLingua provides an online placement test, which will enable placement at the appropriate level of instruction. Students will be placed in small classes, along with students from many other countries, thus contributing to the social and international benefits of our program.

The typical day includes German class, Lied class, private coachings, optional voice lessons, and additional time to enjoy all Vienna has to offer. Language classes are strictly organized into groups of six to eight students at a similar level of ability. Each week, individual schedules will be arranged accordingly. Below is a general overview of typical schedules.

Monday, Wednesday, Friday
9 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Language class, ActiLingua Academy
1:30 – 3:30 p.m. Lied class (groups of four students),
3:30 – 5 p.m. Private coachings; Optional voice lessons
Evening Master Class / Opera / Recital

Tuesday, Thursday
9 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Language class, ActiLingua Academy
1:30 – 2:30 p.m. Diction class
3 – 5 p.m. Private coachings; Optional voice lessons
Evening Master Class / Opera / Recital

All language classes are at ActiLingua Academy. Lied classes, private coachings, and diction classes take place in select studios throughout busy Vienna, including the ActiLingua Residenz.

Lodging is provided by ActiLingua at their Residenz (shared and single lodging, hearty breakfast included).

“Regardless of your long term vocal goals, this program helps to foster and enhance whatever your path is. It’s mostly focused on German lieder, but I think that the bigger focus is on expanding your own boundaries and fleshing out your own path and your own plans. I don’t think there was any part of it I didn’t enjoy. There were parts that were challenging and parts that felt nerve racking, but they’re all things that you end up overcoming, which is part of what makes it such a growing experience.”

“I feel that I have grown so much as a singer and musician and I am still continually growing with each practice session since leaving Vienna. I have been given a renewed inspiration and direction.”

“The Lied classes in particular were helpful because of the sophistication of the feedback from the coaches as well as the ability to learn from other singers. As a result, I have not only grown as a performer but also as a future teacher.”
"I became a much better artist after attending this program."

“Vienna, Language of Lieder helped me tremendously with understanding the original poems and how to connect the words truthfully with my heart. Not only had the teachers taught me how to be a sincere and generous artist, but they also helped me find the courage to be my true self and to be free!”

“The three weeks in Vienna, as I continue to think and process everything that I was able to do, becomes more and more special to me. I never thought I would have been able to learn as much as I did.”

“Thank you for allowing me to be a part of a group that has changed my outlook on singing and its effect on life.”

“Rarely does anyone have the opportunity to work with such wonderful people! The group is small and extremely friendly. The staff is incredibly knowledgeable.”

“I am very impressed with the professionalism of the organization itself, with the way the program was run, how supportive the teachers and coaches have been, and especially how much you cared about each one of us.”

“I was extremely pleased with our accommodations and with the magnificent performance space that took a place in the very heart of historic Vienna, Schubert Geburtshaus.”

“I feel that I was able to grow not only musically, but also to expand my horizons in other areas.”

“I have a better grasp on what it actually takes to be an artist, not just a singer.”

“Every coach had their own insight, and their different perspectives were both fascinating and exceedingly helpful.”

Housing and Meals
Students are housed in shared apartments (ActiLingua Residenz), each of which includes a kitchen. Tuition includes a hearty breakfast in the Residenz Frühstücksraum. Excellent lunch/dinner may be purchased in local restaurants at very reasonable prices. We recommend around $20/day for these additional meals, although you may spend less, depending on your use of the kitchen.

Program Cost
Program Fee: $3,750
Tuition (3 credits, optional): $2,175 undergraduate, $2,250 graduate
Airport Transfer Fee: A $26 fee will be added to your tuition for transfer from VIE (airport) to your residence. You will be able to take public transportation back to VIE at the close of the program, at very little cost.
Study Abroad Fee: $175 for international insurance coverage and the International Student ID Card (ISIC)

Program Fee includes: housing (with breakfast), Lied classes, private vocal coaching, diction classes, master classes, German language instruction and tours in Vienna.

Program Fee does not include: airfare, meals other than breakfast, available excursions out of Vienna or local transportation. Very inexpensive, standing-room tickets are always available for the Staatsoper, concerts in the Musikverein, Konzerthaus, etc. These opportunities are a true highlight of our program!

Budget approximately $60 USD for Vienna's excellent public transportation system (unlimited use of U-Bahn, streetcars, buses).

Deposit: A non-refundable deposit of $1,000 USD is due by March 15, 2020 to confirm a spot on the program.

Final Payment is due by April 15, 2020

Refund and Withdrawal Policy
The below information details when deposits/fees are nonrefundable

  • After Application Deadline = Program Deposit
  • After April 1= Program Deposit, Program Fee, Study Abroad Fee

Application Process
The application deadline is March 15th, 2020

To apply, follow these steps:

  1. Ensure you meet the study abroad eligibility requirements
  2. Note that Non-Webster applicants will be required to create a profile in the application system prior to beginning application.
  3. Start an application via the Webster online application system
  4. The application will ask you to fill out a number of forms, upload your audition file/link, write a brief statement of purpose, submit a passport copy and a passport sized photos.

Should you have any questions or issues while submitting an application, please email or call 314-968-6988