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Music at the TU Dortmund

Orchestras, choirs, big bands - the musical life at TU Dortmund University is colorful: jazz, rock and pop are as much a part of the repertoire as classical works.

The ensembles of the Institute of Music and Musicology include students of all faculties, employees as well as alumni of the TU Dortmund. Every semester, performances and concerts are scheduled in which the results of the rehearsal work are presented. These events play a significant role in shaping the cultural offerings on campus and in Dortmund.

In the following, the ensembles of the TU Dortmund are briefly introduced.

A sheet of music on a music stand. © Nikolas Golsch​/​TU Dortmund
The University Orchestra at the concert. © Nikolas Golsch​/​TU Dortmund

The Dortmund University Orchestra was founded in 1991 by Prof. Werner Abegg. The current conductor is Prof. Ingo Ernst Reihl. The orchestra consists of 50 to 60 members, including both students and alumni of all Dortmund universities. The rehearsals and concerts focus on works of the 19th and 20th centuries - from great symphonic poems to world premieres of contemporary music. To date, in addition to the annual semester concerts, several large-scale projects have already been realized. Concerts are regularly held in the TU Dortmund Audimax, in the city and in the surrounding area.

The special profile of the TU Dortmund - the combination of nature, culture and technology - is also reflected in the university orchestra. After all, energy is not only created in the DELTA particle accelerator, but also in Beethoven's 5th Symphony and in the interaction of the orchestra. Hence the orchestra's motto: music meets technology.

The student orchestra at the concert. © Oliver Schaper​/​TU Dortmund

The Dortmund Student Orchestra was founded by students in 1994 and now has around 80 musicians from all departments. The current director and conductor is Holger Ellwanger. The student orchestra has all the usual registers of a large symphony orchestra and the concert programs take into account all epochs of symphonic music - including film music.

Each semester, a symphonic program is prepared, which is traditionally performed in two end-of-semester concerts in the Audimax of the TU Dortmund University. In addition to the weekly rehearsals, there is a rehearsal weekend in the surrounding area every semester, during which the concert program is intensively prepared. The orchestra has traveled and continues to travel to other countries such as France, Russia and Portugal.

The symphonic wind orchestra performing. © Nikolas Golsch​/​TU Dortmund

The Symphonic Wind Orchestra (SBO) was founded in 2001 by students around conductor Marcus Sieverdingbeck. In 2009, Constantin Hesselmann took over the direction of the orchestra. Today, the ensemble has over 50 members. The SBO wants to show that there is a modern symphonic wind music beyond the usual clichés that can inspire.

The programs of the SBO concerts reflect the whole variety of literature for wind orchestra, with an emphasis on demanding original literature for wind orchestra. Arrangements and entertaining works round out the repertoire. The SBO also devotes itself to novel concert projects with other ensembles. Another special feature are pedagogical concerts, which are performed for students in wind classes.

Eight musicians of the Ensemble for New Chamber Music stand side by side with instruments in their hands. © Judith Wiesrecker​/​ Ensemble für Neue Kammermusik

This ensemble loves experimentation: whether concerts in a stalactite cave and complete darkness, in the cinema or even abroad - since its founding in 1995, the musicians* have always taken on new challenges. Under the direction of Dr. Maik Hester, the ensemble has (premiered) numerous works by composers such as Mauricio Kagel, Rodrigo Ratier and Tom Johnson. Some of them were tailored to the flexible instrumentation or composed by the students themselves. Whether minimal music, jazz in tango nuevo style, or music for silent films, the ensemble embodies one thing above all: a desire for the new, for trying things out. Since the winter semester 2000/01, the ensemble has been firmly anchored in the curriculum of the TU Dortmund University. It is open to all students of the university and works on a project basis. All instruments and voices are welcome. Over the years, the ensemble has developed a broad repertoire with a focus on minimal music and experimental music for flexible instrumentation. Another thematic focus is the composition of film music, which is created specifically within the framework of the seminar. The spectrum of these activities ranges from silent film classics to experimental documentaries. Each semester has a special theme, and it has become a tradition to perform the seminar participants' own pieces as well.

The university choir at a performance. © Roland Baege​/​TU Dortmund

The University Choir was founded by Prof. Willi Gundlach and is currently under the direction of Heike Kirzinger. The choir's profile can best be described by the word "versatility". The choir is open to members of all disciplines. The stylistic spectrum ranges from great works of classical music to original choral pieces from the contemporary folk, rock and pop scene in varied forms of presentation.

The members of the chamber choir. © Stephan Timphus

The Chamber Choir of the TU Dortmund was also founded in 1978 by Prof. Willi Gundlach. Ulrich Lindtner has been artistic director since October 2006. The choir's approximately 40 singers include current and former music students, members of other departments, and qualified singers with no direct ties to the TU Dortmund.

The choir presents its demanding repertoire at a high technical and interpretational level and studies a new program every semester. In addition to a cappella choral music from a wide variety of epochs, the program also regularly includes larger vocal-instrumental works.


The members of the guitar ensemble. © Yannick Schulte​/​TU Dortmund

The guitar ensemble of TU Dortmund University was founded in 2015 by the multiple award-winning Peruvian guitarist Juan Carlos Arancibia, who has been teaching in Germany for several years and gives master classes at international guitar festivals. Currently, all members of the young guitar ensemble are student teachers majoring in music at TU Dortmund University.

The group's diverse program ranges from early music to baroque, classical, romantic and modern. In addition to original pieces, arrangements are often performed on stage, expanding the repertoire for the formation. Rehearsals are held regularly on Tuesday evenings. Interested persons - also from other faculties - are always welcome.

A hand playing a wind instrument © Nikolas Golsch​/​TU Dortmund

The still young jazz ensemble has been under the direction of Peter Brand since the summer semester of 2017. The combo focuses on the spontaneity of jazz: improvised solos and interaction between the musicians*. In addition to groovy jazz classics, e.g. by Herbie Hancock or Lee Morgan, lesser-known pieces with more unusual instrumentation and arrangements from their own pen are also played.

Musician and actor of the ensemble Mask & Music. © Sebastian Schweer

The group Mask & Music, founded in 2010, was created through a student initiative and consists of about 70 participants who combine the areas of orchestra and choir work as well as acting and dance into joint large-scale projects. People of different ages contribute their skills and creativity. Lennart Woltering is the musical director.

The tuba quartet in front of a rhino on campus. © Madita Wendland

In the euphonium-tuba quartet, the largest, deepest and most imposing instruments of the brass family have come together. The walls shake and the floor vibrates, but there are also very soft and gentle tones that you wouldn't expect from these instruments. Well-known pieces from rock and pop, jazz and classical music, but also original compositions sound in this instrumentation in a very special timbre.

eight people, each holding a flute © Bileam Kümper

Under the direction of Howie Cohen, nine flutists currently work in the Flute Ensemble, in varying instrumentation, on both original and arranged works. In 2018, they are providing a new diverse program. Students who are learning or have learned the flute as a second subject are welcome to participate.

A conductor conducts the musicians. The name Groove m.b.H. is written on the music stands. © Archiv​/​TU Dortmund

The 20-piece big band - students, former music students and exceptionally talented young jazz musicians* from the region - has been playing jazz inside and outside the university walls since 1991 under the direction of co-founder Michael Kröger. The Groove m.b.H. can look back on numerous successful gigs in jazz clubs and on concert stages in NRW and beyond.

Musicians in summery, colorful outfits sit and stand on a stage playing their instruments, in front of them stands a conductor © Oliver Schaper​/​TU Dortmund

The Big Band Hava Nice Day has existed since 1985 and has been led by founder Martin Scheer ever since. With its broad repertoire, ranging from swing to rock and blues to Latin, the big band has become an institution at the TU Dortmund. Hava Nice Day aims to promote interaction and the fun of music and to explore a wide variety of musical styles.

Further information is available from the Institute for Music and Musicology at TU Dortmund University and at TU Culture.

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Location & approach

The campus of TU Dort­mund University is located close to interstate junction Dort­mund West, where the Sauerlandlinie A 45 (Frankfurt-Dort­mund) crosses the Ruhrschnellweg B 1 / A 40. The best interstate exit to take from A 45 is “Dort­mund-Eichlinghofen” (closer to South Campus), and from B 1 / A 40 “Dort­mund-Dorstfeld” (closer to North Campus). Signs for the uni­ver­si­ty are located at both exits. Also, there is a new exit before you pass over the B 1-bridge leading into Dort­mund.

To get from North Campus to South Campus by car, there is the connection via Vogelpothsweg/Baroper Straße. We recommend you leave your car on one of the parking lots at North Campus and use the H-Bahn (suspended monorail system), which conveniently connects the two campuses.

TU Dort­mund University has its own train station (“Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät”). From there, suburban trains (S-Bahn) leave for Dort­mund main station (“Dort­mund Hauptbahnhof”) and Düsseldorf main station via the “Düsseldorf Airport Train Station” (take S-Bahn number 1, which leaves every 15 or 30 minutes). The uni­ver­si­ty is easily reached from Bochum, Essen, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Duisburg.

You can also take the bus or subway train from Dort­mund city to the uni­ver­si­ty: From Dort­mund main station, you can take any train bound for the Station “Stadtgarten”, usually lines U41, U45, U 47 and U49. At “Stadtgarten” you switch trains and get on line U42 towards “Hombruch”. Look out for the Station “An der Palmweide”. From the bus stop just across the road, busses bound for TU Dort­mund University leave every ten minutes (445, 447 and 462). Another option is to take the subway routes U41, U45, U47 and U49 from Dort­mund main station to the stop “Dort­mund Kampstraße”. From there, take U43 or U44 to the stop “Dort­mund Wittener Straße”. Switch to bus line 447 and get off at “Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S”.

The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dort­mund University. There are two stations on North Campus. One (“Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S”) is directly located at the suburban train stop, which connects the uni­ver­si­ty directly with the city of Dort­mund and the rest of the Ruhr Area. Also from this station, there are connections to the “Technologiepark” and (via South Campus) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at North Campus and offers a direct connection to South Campus every five minutes.

The AirportExpress is a fast and convenient means of transport from Dortmund Airport (DTM) to Dortmund Central Station, taking you there in little more than 20 minutes. From Dortmund Central Station, you can continue to the university campus by interurban railway (S-Bahn). A larger range of international flight connections is offered at Düsseldorf Airport (DUS), which is about 60 kilometres away and can be directly reached by S-Bahn from the university station.

The facilities of TU Dortmund University are spread over two campuses, the larger Campus North and the smaller Campus South. Additionally, some areas of the university are located in the adjacent “Technologiepark”.

Site Map of TU Dortmund University (Second Page in English).