Uli Partheil: Music for all at Bessunger Knabenschule

Most importantly, the Knabenschule centre is a place of music. What does it do to promote an active and creative association with music? It provides space – literally – to the music and the people
who associate with it. For instance, the centre provides practice rooms in which people can explore music on their own initiative and in any direction.
As a result, the Knabenschule centre is almost entirely occupied by the supra-regional “Darmstädter Jazz-Conceptions” workshop for a whole week in summer.
The Knabenschule centre offers people of all ages space for making, enjoying or learning music. Here, different music scenes interact, respect and exchange with each other.

In addition to concerts in the hall and basement,
a variety of classes for all ages are offered in the main building. For example, the “Jazz & Pop School” offers novice and advanced lessons in jazz improvisation taught by a loose group of local jazz musicians.
There are also percussion lessons by Bessunger Trommelwerkstatt, various choir projects, dancing and more.


The existence of a vast and lively music culture greatly depends on the availability of places where it is possible to make and enjoy music without commercial constraints. Places where musicians are given the opportunity to establish themselves before having their “big break” – or not. Places where you are allowed to experiment. Darmstadt still offers a few such spots. In my opinion, Bessunger Knabenschule and Goldene Krone are the most valuable ones. Let’s hope that they are here to stay.

Uli_Partheil-(c)Konni_PaulsJazz pianist and composer Uli Partheil was born in Darmstadt in 1968 and has been a member of the executive team of Bessunger Knabenschule for many years. In 1999, he and Jürgen Wuchner founded the Jazz & Pop School Darmstadt located at the Knabenschule centre. Uli Partheil’s jazz literature projects can be heard all over Germany. In 2008, he was distinguished with the Darmstadt music award.