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More about the Institute

Throughout its history, the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis (SCB) has been a wellspring of inspiration and impetus for the study and practice of Early Music. Thanks to the dovetailing of teaching, research and performance practice, the SCB has become the leading centre in this highly specialised field of music.


The development of the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis has been largely shaped by two of the institute’s original tutors: cellist and gambist August Wenzinger (1905-1996) and violinist, composer and music educator Ina Lohr (1903-1983). The SCB began life as a music school for children and amateur musicians, and as a concert venue. Before long, it began offering classes for aspiring and working professional musicians. In 1954, it joined forces with the Musikschule Basel (classes for amateur musicians) and the Basel Conservatory (now the Hochschule für Musik, Klassik) to form the Musik-Akademie Basel. SCB founder and director since 1933, Paul Sacher (1906-1999) remained at the helm of the new institute until 1969. In 1999, the SCB officially gained the title School of Early Music, and in 2008 joined the group of professional institutions of higher education known as the University of Applied Sciences and Arts (FHNW). The Music School of the SCB, however, remains part of the Musik-Akademie Basel.

Renowned alumni and teaching staff

Notable SCB alumni include Gustav Leonhardt, Jordi Savall, Hopkinson Smith, Benjamin Bagby, Barbara Thornton, Paul O’Dette, Bruce Dickey, Christophe Coin, Andrea Marcon, Paolo Pandolfo, Andreas Scholl, Maria Cristina Kiehr, Gerd Türk, Amandine Beyer and Leila Schayegh.

Notable SCB teaching staff includes August Wenzinger, Hans Martin Linde, Thomas Binkley, Jaap Schröder, Eugen M. Dombois, Edward H. Tarr, René Jacobs, Montserrat Figueras, Jordi Savall and Chiara Banchini.

Today’s teaching staff are equally notable  Early Music performers and academics, and include former SCB students: Hopkinson Smith, Anthony Rooley, Conrad Steinmann, Crawford Young, Dominique Vellard, Evelyn Tubb, Gerd Türk, Donna Agrell, Christophe Coin, Paolo Pandolfo, Jean-François Madeuf, Marc Hantaï, Jörg-Andreas Bötticher, Andrea Marcon, Katharina Arfken, Wolfgang Zerer, Amandine Beyer, and Leila Schayegh, to name but a few.

Mission of the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis

Founding Statement