Originally conceived purely as a master class, over the years a festival called „Liedkunst im Schloss vor Husum“ came into being. The coursework remains public and in 2021, as in years past, has had a great response from an ever-growing audience. Some of the participants are studying at music colleges, some are already working as professionals. The high standards of the master class, which is organized in close cooperation with the North Frisian Foundation, as well as the County Music School of North Frisia, ensures a careful selection of highly qualified participants, as previous festivals have demonstrated.
The directors and founders of the event are the internationally renowned singer Ulf Bästlein and the pianist Charles Spencer, one of the leading song accompanists of our time. Charles Spencer‘s musical partners include Jessye Norman, Christa Ludwig, Thomas Quasthoff, Thomas Hampson, Vesselina Kasarova and Elina Garança. The bass-baritone Ulf Bästlein, who grew up in Husum, is a professor for singing at the University of Music in Graz and the University of Music in Lübeck. Both artists are connected by their long-standing intensive artistic and pedagogical collaboration.
In autumn 2018, Ulf Bästlein was awarded the highest award of the district of North Frisia – the Hans Momsen Prize – for his many years of service to cultural life in North Friesland. In 2021, Prime Minister Daniel Günther presented him with Schleswig-Holstein’s highest award for his “outstanding services to the state of Schleswig-Holstein”: the Order of Merit.
In the Liedkunst concerts, the Schleswig-Holstein native Ulf Bästlein has always implemented portraits of a cultural inheritance and possible future of the music of his homeland. The names Theodor Storm, Friedrich Hebbel, Emanuel Geibel, Klaus Groth, Johann Heinrich Voß, Hardenack Otto Conrad Zinck, Gustav Jenner orHans Christian Détlefsen have been common denominators of the programme of the last 19 years of Liedkunst im Schloss vor Husum.