University of Music and Performing Arts Graz

The University of Music and Performing Arts Graz, also known as Kunstuniversität Graz (KUG) is an Austrian university. Its roots can be traced back to the music school of the Akademischer Musikverein founded in 1816, making it the oldest university of music in Austria.[2][3][4][5]

University of Music and Performing Arts Graz / Kunstuniversität Graz (KUG)
Palais Meran.jpg
Established1963 (predecessor 1816)
Academic staff
Professors 117 / 105.1
Students2199 (incl. “official co-registration” on courses offered in partnership with another institution and non-degree students)
Location, ,
University of Music and Performing Arts logo.JPG


In 1963 the Conservatoire of the Province of Styria was elevated to an Austrian state institution – the Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Graz. Its president (1963–1971) was Erich Marckhl. As a result of the 1970 Kunsthochschulorganisationsgesetz [Universities of the Arts Organisation Act] the academy became the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Graz.[6] Friedrich Korcak was appointed as the first rector in 1971.

A concert series was set up as early as 1982, in collaboration with the Association of Friends of the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst Graz,[7][8][9] which at the time include three different series: the main concert series, abo@MUMUTH and the concert series for young audiences.[10][11]

In 1983, KUG (at that time still a Hochschule) was granted the authority to award degrees. The first doctoral degree programme was offered in 1986 and the first graduation ceremony was held on 21 June 1991.

KUG received its current name in 1998, when the Federal Act on Organisation of Universities of the Arts (KUOG 98) came into effect and all Austrian art academies were renamed “universities”.

In September 2009, academic and artistic doctoral schools were established at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz.[7] With its Dr.artium programme, KUG became the first university in Austria[12] (and according to the university itself, the first institution in the German-speaking countries), to offer an artistic doctorate degree. This academic doctoral school replaced the previous inter-university philosophy and science doctoral degrees. The first artistic doctoral degree was completed at KUG in 2013.[7]

In the winter semester 2019/2020[13] there were 1903 students taking degree courses at KUG (1512 primarily registered at KUG and 391 taking courses offered in partnership with another institution and primarily registered at the partner institution under “official co-registration”), plus 296 non-degree students. The proportion of women was 47%. The proportion of foreign students was 50% (for students taking degree courses and primarily registered at KUG), or just below 52% (taking into account “official co-registration” and non-degree students, particularly the programmes for promotion of emerging talent, and for children and young people).

Since 1989, KUG has held an international chamber music competition “Franz Schubert and Modern Music” every three years.[14]


It was announced that Georg Schulz would return as rector in October 2018.[17] Due to an appeal by the Equal Opportunities Committee relating to alleged discrimination against Rector Freismuth (who was still in office) on the basis of gender, age and ideology, from 1 October 2018 an interim rectorship was instated under the leadership of Executive Vice-Rector Eike Straub.[[18] At the start of the summer semester 2020 Georg Schulz took up the rectorship again. His team consists of Vice-Rectors Gerd Grupe (Research, Gender and Diversity), Barbara Simandl (Finance and HR administration), Constanze Wimmer (Academic and international Affairs) and Marie-Theres Holler (Infrastructure and Digitalisation). Alongside his statutory duties as rector, Georg Schulz is also responsible for art and quality management.[19]


The Palais Meran has been the main building of the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz since 1963 and is used not only as a venue for events, but also by several institutes and administrative bodies. It was built between 1841 and 1843 in the late classical style by Georg Hauberisser senior on the grounds of a former Meierhof, (a building occupied by the estate administrator) and was the residence of Styrian Habsburg Archduke Johann.[20]

The MUMUTH project took first prize in an international competition won by Dutch architect Ben van Berkel in 1998. It was opened in 2009 and is dominated by steel, concrete and glass in various combinations and superimpositions. As well as the large György-Ligeti-Saal, a concert space with an elaborate system of variable acoustics, it offers an orchestra rehearsal space and a rehearsal stage, plus additional studios, workshops and theatre infrastructure.[21][22][23] In 2010 MUMUTH was awarded the Fischer von Erlach Prize and the Urban Land Institute Award for its architecture.[24][25]

The Neubau [New Building] was constructed between 1988 and 1993 based on plans by Viennese architect, Klaus Musil. It is also known as the "Piano", because of its footprint. The first floor holds ensemble and seminar rooms, while the extended top floor boasts 83 rooms for individual tuition. On the ground floor are the canteen and the Aula (auditorium). The neighbouring building, erected in 1998, houses the library and the archive.[26]

The Theater im Palais (T.i.P.) is home to the Institute of Drama and its rehearsal spaces and stage areas. The building, which is separated from the palace itself by the courtyard, was originally used as a cart shed and stables. In 2013/14 the building was renovated based on plans by architect Johannes Wohofsky, and extended with a new glass foyer giving a view of the old facade. The exterior shell in front of the facade, made from gold-coloured, perforated aluminium sheet creates a visual design feature and provides shade from the sun.[27][28]

The Reiterkaserne, which is a listed building, was built in the 1840s to accommodate cavalrymen, and served as barracks for around 100 years. It has been renovated since 2005 on the basis of plans by Graz-based architect Josef Hohensinn. The building encloses a courtyard, and a new structure has been added facing onto Leonhardstrasse. Since 2007 it has housed teaching rooms and office space (particularly for the Institute of Music Education), concert halls and the workshops of the Institute of Stage Design.[29]

The former Palais Schwarzenberg, which originates from the 16th century, contains the Institute of Church Music and Organ, together with its Centre for Organ Research, on two floors. The historic arcade courtyard is one of the outstanding architectural treasures of the old town of Graz. The institute's rooms include rehearsal spaces, a recording studio and offices, plus a total of nine pipe organs of different constructions, a digital electronic organ and other related instruments.[30][31]

Other KUG facilities can be found at Brandhofgasse 18, Elisabethstrasse 11, Moserhofgasse 34 and 39–41, Heinrichstrasse 78, Inffeldgasse 10 and 12, Leonhardstrasse 18 and 21, Lichtenfelsgasse 21, Maiffredygasse 12b, Merangasse 38, Mozartgasse 3 and Petersgasse 116.[35] There is also a campus in Oberschützen (Burgenland).[32] There is also a campus in Oberschützen (Burgenland). [33]

Artistic-Scientific FacilitiesEdit

  • Institute 1 Composition, Theory of Music, History of Music and Conducting
  • Institute 2 Piano
  • Institute 3 Strings
  • Institute 4 Wind and Percussion Instruments
  • Institute 5 Music Education
  • Institute 6 Church Music and Organ
  • Institute 7 Voice, Lied and Oratorio
  • Institute 8 Jazz
  • Institute 9 Drama
  • Institute 10 Opera
  • Institute 11 Stage Design
  • Institute 12 Oberschützen
  • Institute 13 Ethnomusicology
  • Institute 14 Aesthetics of Music
  • Institute 15 Early Music and Performance Practice
  • Institute 16 Jazz Research
  • Institute 17 Electronic Music and Acoustics
  • Doctoral School for Scholarly Doctoral Studies
  • Artistic Doctoral School
  • Centre for Gender Studies

Fields of StudyEdit

  • Stage design
  • Communication, Media, Sound and Interaction Design – Sound Design (in partnership with the Fachhochschule Joanneum)
  • Computer Music
  • Performing Arts / Drama
  • Conducting: Choral Conducting, Opera Repetiteur Work, Orchestral Conducting and Choral Conducting Education
  • Artistic-Academic Doctoral Degree (doctor artium)
  • Academic Doctoral Degree (PhD)
  • Electrical Sound Engineer (in collaboration with Graz University of Technology)
  • Vocal Studies: Voice, Concert Singing, Opera, Performance Practice in Contemporary Music (PPCM) – Vocal
  • Music Education – Instrumental and Vocal: Classical, Jazz und Folk Music
  • Instrumental Studies Classical, Early Music, Performance Practice in Contemporary Music (PPCM)
  • Jazz
  • Catholic and Protestant Church Music
  • Composition and Music Theory: Composition, Opera Composition, Music Theory and Education in Composition and Music Theory
  • Teacher Training: Music Education, Instrumental Teaching, Technical and Textile Design (in Lehramtsverbund Süd-Ost)
  • Musicology (in collaboration with the University of Graz)

Almost all courses are offered under the Bologna system, with three or four year bachelor’s degrees, two year master’s degrees and three year doctoral degrees. Exceptions to this are Stage Design and Performing Arts, both of which are four-year diploma courses.

Honorary membersEdit

(brackets: year of award)

Honorary doctorateEdit


Former students and graduatesEdit


  1. ^ "Rektorat".
  2. ^ "University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna".
  3. ^ "Mozarteum University Salzburg".
  4. ^ "History".
  5. ^ "General Information".
  6. ^ a b "History of KUG".
  7. ^ a b c "From an Academy to a University. KUG Timeline".
  8. ^ "Kunstuni-Abos | Vielfalt und Zusammenspiel als Programm". 2019-06-27.
  9. ^ "Abos an Kunstuni Graz: Reiches Programm und viel Vermittlung".
  10. ^ "Abos an Kunstuni Graz: Viel Vermittlung zum vielfältigen Programm".
  11. ^ "Abonnements an der Kunstuniversität Graz".
  12. ^ "Dokter der Kunst: „artistic reasearch" an der Kunstuni Graz". 2021-09-30.
  13. ^ "Wissensbilanz 2019" (PDF; 2,7 MB). June 2020. pp. 41ff.
  14. ^ "Schubert-Wettbewerb an Kunstuni Graz". 2018-02-18.
  15. ^ "Bildung: Georg Schulz ab 2020 neuer Kunstuni-Rektor". 2019-09-18.
  16. ^ Michael Tschida (2020-03-02). "Kunstuniversität Graz: Georg Schulz nach acht Jahren wieder Rektor". Kleine Zeitung.
  17. ^ Norbert Swoboda (2018-06-29). "Kunstuni Graz – Georg Schulz kehrt als Rektor zurück". Digitalabo erforderlich
  18. ^ "Universitätsrat der KUG bestellt Interimsrektorat". 2018-09-26.
  19. ^ "The History of the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz".
  20. ^ Entry about Graz – Palais Meran at Burgen-Austria (Castles Austria)
  21. ^ "Mumuth - Graz".
  22. ^ "MUMUTH - Haus für Musik und Musiktheater". 2018-09-26.
  23. ^ "Music Theatre".
  24. ^ "Fischer-von-Erlach-Preis verliehen".
  25. ^ "ULI Awards for Excellence: Winners through the Years".
  26. ^ "Neubau".
  27. ^ "Theater im Palais".
  28. ^ "Theater im Palais (TiP)".
  29. ^ "Kunstuniversität Graz – Reiterkaserne".
  30. ^ Entry about Graz – Palais Schwarzenberg at Burgen-Austria (Castles Austria)
  31. ^ "Institute 6 Church Music and Organ".
  32. ^ "Additional locations".
  33. ^ "Institut Oberschützen der Kunstuniversität Graz".
  34. ^ "Kunstuni: Sheila Jordan wird Ehrenmitglied". 2016-01-13.
  35. ^ "Erstes Ehrendoktorat der Kunstuni Graz geht an Phil Collins". 2019-05-10.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 47°04′21″N 15°27′01″E / 47.07250°N 15.45028°E / 47.07250; 15.45028