The Schubert Song Project on Die Schöne Müllerin

Program Outline


What is The Schubert Song Project?

The Schubert Song Project on Die Schöne Müllerin is a song performance course for adult amateur singers and pianists aged 30kath-logo or older who would like to improve their interpretive, collaborative, and performance skills as part of an intensive course on Schubert’s beautiful song cycle, Die schöne Müllerin or The Beautiful Miller Girl.

Led by instructors Kathryn Whitney and Anna Cal, and taught over a series of weekends in April and May, 2017, the Schöne Müllerin Project offers singers, pianists, and non-performing auditors the chance to take part in a unique joint performance project exploring the music, poetry, and performance tradition of Schubert’s wonderful song cycle for voice and piano.

Collaborative Performance

Collaborative work is a key component of the Schöne Müllerin Project. The course will teach students about the song cycle as a work of poetry and music, but it is also designed to go deeper into the cycle as a reflection of the intimate and convivial performing tradition that supports it.

The Schöne Müllerin Project is thus more than simply a course leading to a performance of an important piece; it also affords participants unprecedented insight into the intimate and intriguing collaborative relationship between pianist and singer that lies at the core of Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin, and of the song repertoire for voice and piano.

Please donate to support the ongoing development and enrichment of VCM SongArt projects with Kathryn Whitney and Anna Cal.

Choose Option #4 VCM-SongArt Project: Schöne Müllerin

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Openings are still available for both singers and pianists either as Performer or as Understudy. Please email Kathryn Whitney at to apply.

Note: Successful applicants will have their information forwarded by Kathryn Whitney to the VCM’s Registrar, and will be notified to proceed with payment.

Participating Performers and Understudies, click to PAY NOW 

Auditors click to register NOW online!


How the Schubert Song Project works:

the Schöne Müllerin Project achieves this balance between instruction and exploration by placing collaborative performance at the heart of the course.

Our students include performing singers and pianists, understudy singers and pianists, and auditors.Each type of student plays an important role in the project, whether as part of a performing pair, as a member of an understudy partnership, or as an engaged audience member and classmate who provides receptive listening and commentary to both the students and instructors throughout the course.

Singer-pianist Duos

Singer-pianist duos are the cornerstone of the Schöne Müllerin Project. All performers and understudies will be paired with a number of partners to form singer-pianist duos that will work together to explore Schumann’s songs within collaborating partnerships, as would have been common among amateur musicians during Schubert’s lifetime.

Song Selections

Each student will work on between two and six songs (depending on their choice) over the course of the project. Students explore these songs both as individuals in their private sessions, and with their duo partners in both private coachings and group sessions.

Group Sessions

The majority of our work together will take place in group sessions, which are timetabled for Saturday and/or Sunday afternoons in April and May, 2017. Group sessions include Masterclasses, Workshops, Lectures, and Faculty Open Rehearsals, all of which are attended by performers, understudies, and auditors. (See links on the right of this page for more information about individual elements.)

Private Coachings

Singer-pianist duos will take a number of private Duo Coachings with Kathryn Whitney and Anna Cal, where they will work with each instructor separately to explore the intricate and intimate settings in Schubert’s songs from the perspective of a collaborative pair. Additionally, each student will attend a number of private Solo Coachings with Kathryn Whitney (singers) or Anna Cal (pianists), at times to be arranged to suit mutual timetables.

Final Performances

The course finishes with three Final Concerts – two Final Student Concerts and one Final Faculty Concert. The Final Student Concerts will feature a full performance of Schubert’s 20-song cycle, Die Schöne Müllerin. Each student will perform between two and four songs in the joint performance of the piece. The following week, our faculty will perform the full cycle in the Final Faculty Concert.

We hope you will join us on our journey to the heart of Schubert’s The Beautiful Miller Girl!

Program Details

The Schöne Müllerin Project will take place in April & May, 2017.
Our group classes will take place on weekend afternoons, with at least one afternoon session each weekend for these two months.
Private solo and duo coachings will be arranged individually to suit personal timetables.
Our final student concerts take place on the last weekend in May.
Students may miss up to three group sessions (with notice so they can be accommodated by the timetable) and still be eligible to participate in the course.

How to apply:
Performers and Understudies: Places remain for both singers and pianists.
Please write to Kathryn Whitney at

Auditors may register online right away - see program overview for link.



Kathryn Whitney

Canadian/British singer Dr Kathryn Whitney was raised on Vancouver Island and now divides her time between Britain and Canada. A versatile musician whose work combines concert and recital performance with a wide range of collaborative research, educational and other projects, she is a lyric mezzo-soprano with an “impressively wide dynamic range” (Oxford Times) and a “special gift” for interpreting text (Nanaimo News) whose singing has been described as “meaty”, “prophetic” (Oxford Times) and “very touching” (Sir John Eliot Gardiner). Kathryn is a freelance performer, teacher, researcher, and solo and choral clinician. She is currently an Associate Fellow at the Institute (…)


Anna Cal

ANNA CAL is trained in the famous tradition of Russian piano schools. She studied at the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in St. Petersburg with well-known Russian performers and professors including Vitaly Berzon, Pavel Yegorov and the late Helen Shishko. She holds Master degrees with high distinction in three fields: piano performance, piano pedagogy and collaborative piano. After studying in Russia, Anna spent two years in Rome, Italy where she worked as a soloist and a voice coach. Anna is a senior teacher at the Victoria Conservatory of Music where she teaches piano, piano pedagogy and collaborative piano. She is Director of Collaborative piano and Interpretation in German Lieder Projects. Anna is a frequent performer in Victoria as a soloist and in collaboration with vocalists and instrumentalists.