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The academia palatina is a concept devised by the ALLEGRA agency on behalf of the MusikForum Mannheim e.V. to inspire a new, young audience to take an interest in classical music. The setting up of the "Mannheimer Zentrum für Alte Musik" (Mannheim Centre for Old Music) has closed a long-standing gap in the region.

In an instance of unique international collaboration, two prominent musicians joined forces in 2006 to initiate this project: Florian Heyerick from Belgium and John Holloway from England. At public events, the audience enters into a dialogue with the ensemble. Presentations during the concerts allow the audience to take an active role in the performance and gain insights into the music, the era in which it was composed and the way it was performed at that time.

The programmes focus on a 17th and 18th century repertoire and on reconstructing the way in which musicians performed at that time at the courts of Mannheim, Darmstadt, Dresden, Vienna and Paris, among others. The music is performed exclusively on historical instruments. The highlight of the regular events is an annual orchestra academy about "Mannheimer Schule".

Beyond that 2006 and 2007 an international competition for historical instruments was conducted. The jury was looking for programmes that stand out from run-of-the-mill programmes and that showcase rarely played or newly discovered works. With its summer academy and competition, the MusikForum Mannheim e.V. makes an important contribution to promoting new and elite musicians who are trained at the academy and give concerts with an orchestra of professional musicians.

The academia palatina tooks place with the jubilee of the city 2007 as a funded project of Culture office of Mannheim. The intention was the first-time reconstruction of the Mannheimer Hofkapelle on its original instruments. The concert with this orchestra conducted by Florian Heyerick was held on 14th September in the Rittersaal of the castle of Mannheim. Simultaneously it was the opening of the Great Baroque Festival of "Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden Württemberg".