Kurt-Singer-Institute for Music Physiology
and Musician's Health (KSI) was founded in
2002 at the University of the Arts Berlin
(UdK) and the Hanns Eisler School of Music
Name patron is the Jewish physician and
musicologist Kurt Singer, who headed a medical
counselling centre at the Musikhochschule in
Berlin from 1923 to 1932. This makes him the
successor of surgeon Moritz Katzenstein. In
addition, he held a teaching position for
musicians’ diseases. He was released from his
duties with the seizure of power by the Nazis
and died in Theresienstadt concentration camp
in 1944. The musicians’ medicine specialist
Prof. Dr. med. Dipl. Mus. Alexander Schmidt
has headed the institute since 2014.
In East Berlin/GDR, the medical care of
musicians, dancers and artists was provided in
the ambulatory Berlin stages, including
examinations of their performance and fitness.
In addition to a directly responsible company
doctor, orthopaedic surgeons, ENT specialists,
ophthalmologists and dentists also worked
there. The singers were examined in the
Phoniatric Department of the University Clinic
for ENT-Medicine of the Charité.
Prof. Dr. med. Christoph Wagner, one of the
pioneers of music physiology, founded the
"Institut für experimentelle Musikpädagogik"
(Institute for Experimental Music Pedagogy) in
1974 as the first institute of this kind in
Germany and Europe. His work was intended to
clarify the relationship between music
physiology and musical practice. From 1979 it
was called the "Institut für Musikphysiologie"
(Institute for Music Physiology).
The Berlin Institute is, beside the institutes
in Hanover an Dresden, the third of the
institutes for music physiology founded in
Germany. With its name, it is reminiscent of
Kurt Singer and his concern to give the health
of musicians an important place in music
From 1987 to 1990, Dr. Hartmut Puls
established the Department of
Physioprophylaxis at the Hanns Eisler School
of Music Berlin, which was promoted by the
first elected rector after the political
turnaround, the pianist Professor Annerose
Schmidt, as an elective compulsory part of the
studies. As a result, the university was the
first in Germany in which a movement subject
became an obligatory part of the training of
Even before the foundation of the institute in
1996, a consulting session for musicians in
and outside the university was set up at the
former High School of Arts Berlin.
At the Hanns Eisler School of Music Berlin the
subject "Physioprophylaxis" (Dr. Hartmut Puls)
was integrated into the curriculum as a sports
therapeutic prevention offer.
In May 2002 the present institute was
founded in cooperation between the University of
the Arts Berlin (UdK) and the Hanns Eisler
School of Music Berlin (HfM).
* 11.10.1885, Berent (West Prussia)
† 07.02.1944, Ghetto Theresienstadt
Founding members were Prof.
Dr. med. Helmut Möller (Director), Prof. Heide
Görtz (Deputy Director), Prof. Dr. Ulrich
Mahlert, Alexandra Müller, Prof. Markus Nyikos,
Grazyna Przbylska-Angermann, Prof. Dr. Herbert
Wiedemann (UdK), Prof. Kristin Guttenberg and
Dr. Hartmut Puls (HfM). The establishment of
such an inter-university institute was largely
due to the dean of the former UdK Prof. Dr.
Patrick Dinslage and the rector of the HfM Prof.
The KSI bundled the various courses that had
existed up to then and extended the range of
courses to include medical / music-physiological
counselling and support for music students,
research into preventive measures and the
management and supervision of the continuing
vocational training course "Music Physiology in
Artistic Everyday Life".
Since 2010, the KSI has been put on a broader
basis on the initiative of Rector Prof. Weigle,
the provisional head of the KSI Prof. Guttenberg
and Alexandra Müller, and the Department of
Audiology and Phoniatrics of the Charité under
Prof. Dr. med. Manfred Gross, by including
musicians’ medicine in a cooperation agreement
with the Charité.
Prof. Dr. med. Tadeus Nawka, took over the
provisional leadership in 2012 until 2014 Prof.
Dr. med. Dipl. Mus. Alexander Schmidt was