Puneet Varma (Editor)

Berlin University of the Arts

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Public University

Martin Rennert

+49 30 31850

EUR 70 Mio

Administrative staff
c. 700

Total enrollment
3,541 (2013)

Berlin University of the Arts

1696/1869/1875 1966/1975

Academic staff
845 (2007) Research associates: 1,952 (2007)

Hardenbergstraße 33, 10623 Berlin, Germany

Notable alumni
Günter Grass, Joachim Sauter, Christian Leden, Isabel Mundry, Norbert Bisky

The Universität der Künste Berlin, UdK (Berlin University of the Arts), situated in Berlin, Germany, is the largest art school in Europe. It is a public art and design school, and one of the four research universities in the city.


The university is known for being one of the biggest and most diversified universities of the arts world-wide. It has four colleges specialising in fine arts, architecture, media and design, music and the performing arts with around 3,500 students. Thus the UdK is one of only three universities in Germany to unite the faculties of art and music in one institution. The teaching offered at the four colleges encompasses the full spectrum of the arts and related academic studies in more than 40 courses. Having the right to confer doctorates and post-doctoral qualifications, Berlin University of the Arts is also one of Germany’s few art colleges with full university status.

Outstanding professors and students at all its colleges, as well as the steady development of teaching concepts, have publicly defined the university as a high standard of artistic and art-theoretical education. Almost all the study courses at Berlin University of the Arts are part of a centuries-old tradition. Thus Berlin University of the Arts gives its students- at an early stage of rigorously selected artists and within the protected sphere of a study course – the opportunity to investigate and experiment with other art forms in order to recognise and extend the boundaries of their own discipline.

Within the field of Visual Arts, the university is known for the intense competition that involves the selection of its students, and the growth of applicants worldwide has increased during the years, due to Berlin's important current role in the cultural innovation worldwide. In the same way, the University of the Arts is publicly recognized for being on the cutting edge in the areas of Visual Arts, Fashion Design, Industrial Design and Experimental Design.


Its roots institutions date back to the foundation of Academie der Mal-, Bild- und Baukunst (Academy of the Art of Painting, Pictorial Art and Architecture), the later Prussian Academy of Arts, at the behest of Elector Frederick III of Brandenburg. The two predecessor organisations were Königlich Akademischen Hochschule für ausübende Tonkunst (Royal Academy of Musical Performing Art) established in 1869 under Joseph Joachim, which also had adopted the tradition of the famous Stern Conservatory, and the Berlin State School of Fine Arts founded in 1875.

In 1975, both art schools merged under the name Hochschule der Künste Berlin, HdK. The organization received the title of a university on 1 November 2001.

Exchange program

The exchange program with UDK is a direct enrollment program offered during the fall, spring and academic year to students interested in the arts and with four semesters of German language study. Each academic year the school receives 100 exchange students on the basis of institutional agreements. Students participating in the exchange are required to subsidize their own accommodations with little help from the school.

Art fair

Annually, the university opens its doors to the public in its four colleges (UdK Rundgang), offering one of the most important art fairs in Berlin due to new proposals that highlight its young artists.

Notable alumni

  • Sebastian Bieniek, artist
  • Jorinde Voigt, artist
  • Norbert Bisky, painter
  • Claudio Arrau, pianist
  • Antonio Piedade da Cruz, (1895–1982) Indian painter and sculptor
  • SEO (artist), artist
  • Eduard Franck
  • Leopold Godowsky, pianist
  • Günter Grass, sculptor, 1999 Nobel prize in Literature
  • Burkhard Held, painter
  • Arnulf Herrmann, composer
  • Christian Leden, ethno-musicologist; composer
  • Kim Yusob, South-Korean painter
  • Otto Kinkeldey, (1878–1966), musicologist, academic music library pioneer
  • Otto Klemperer, conductor
  • Felicitas Kukuck, composer
  • Moritz Moszkowski, pianist, composer
  • Isabel Mundry, composer
  • Adolfo Odnoposoff, cellist
  • Rudolph Polk, violinist
  • Enno Poppe, composer
  • Gabriel and Maxim Shamir, (previously Scheftelovich), early 1930s, Graphic Artists
  • Martina Schumacher, painter
  • Kathrin Sonntag, artist
  • Richard Aaker Trythall, pianist, composer
  • Christa Frieda Vogel, photographer
  • Ignatz Waghalter, composer, conductor
  • Bruno Walter, conductor
  • Kurt Weill, composer
  • Isang Yun, composer
  • Josephine Meckseper, artist
  • Notable teachers

  • Ai Weiwei 2012–
  • Joseph Ahrens 1945–1969
  • Wiel Arets 2005–2012
  • Georg Baselitz –2005
  • Jolyon Brettingham Smith 1977–1981
  • John Burgan 1996–2001
  • Massimo Carmassi
  • Tony Cragg –2006
  • Pascal Devoyon 1996-
  • Olafur Eliasson 2009–2014
  • Heinz Emigholz
  • Valérie Favre 2006-
  • Emanuel Feuermann 1929–1933
  • Friedrich Goldmann 1991–2005
  • Christian Grube 1973-
  • Elisabeth Grümmer 1965–1986
  • Byung-Chul Han 2012-
  • Pál Hermann 1902–1944
  • Fons Hickmann 2007–
  • Paul Hindemith 1895–1963
  • Karl Hofer
  • Leiko Ikemura
  • Joseph Joachim 1869–1907
  • Gesche Joost 2011-
  • Mark Lammert 2011-
  • Mitzi Meyerson
  • Aurèle Nicolet 1926-
  • Daniel Richter 2005–2006
  • Max Rostal 1928–1933
  • Matthias Sauerbruch 2012–2014
  • Joachim Sauter
  • Arnold Schoenberg 1922–1933
  • Clara Schumann 1819–1896
  • Laszlo Simon 1981–2009
  • Walter Stöhrer
  • Witold Szalonek 1973–?
  • Leo van Doeselaar 1995–
  • Jean-Philippe Vassal 2012–
  • Vivienne Westwood 1993–2005
  • Josef Wolfsthal 1926–1931
  • Ji-Yeoun You 2009-
  • Isang Yun (composer) 1970–85
  • Siegfried Zielinski 2007-
  • Thomas Zipp 2008-
  • References

    Berlin University of the Arts Wikipedia

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