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String by String

The Hauser Foundation loans a viola, a cello, and a violin to students each year

Freiburg, Nov 06, 2017

String by String

Photo: Jürgen Gocke

Each of the 51 foundations at the University of Freiburg has a special focus defined by its founders: They financially support students who want to study abroad or conduct research, provide researchers with funding for projects, and help teachers put new ideas into practice in seminars and lectures. In our ongoing series, Sarah Schwarzkopf presents a selection of the University’s many foundations.

Photo: Jürgen Gocke

The Hauser Foundation loans out a viola, a cello, and a violin every year to “deserving students,” according to the foundation’s charter. This is part of its goal to promote a culture of music and musicology at the University of Freiburg. Originally named the Franz and Joseph Hauser Foundation, the organization was founded by Sophie Hauser in 1943 on her eightieth birthday as a way of promoting students and researchers at the University of Freiburg’s Department of Musicology. Mrs. Hauser named the foundation after her husband Joseph Hauser and his father, the famous opera singer Franz Hauser.

Sophie Hauser also not only decided to donate her entire estate to the University of Freiburg when she died; six years before she established the foundation, she also donated five string instruments, two pianos, and many books and pieces of sheet music to the Department of Musicology. Unfortunately, this generous gift did not last long. “On November 27, 1944, an Allied air raid destroyed the rooms of the Department of Musicology, including parts of the library, the collection of instruments, and the inventory of the Hauser Foundation. Only three string instruments and a dozen books that had belonged to Joseph Hauser survived in storage,” said Professor Dr. Christian Berger from the Department of Musicology.

Earnings Are Divided into Thirds

The three surviving valuable instruments from the Hauser Foundation are loaned out to students on a yearly basis. This enables students who do not own an instrument of their own to take part in the Hauser Foundation’s open chamber music competition, for example, or other musical events at the University of Freiburg. The loan is also good for the instruments: They do not lose their tone quality because they are being played. Although the Freiburg University of Music maintains and manages the loan agreements for the viola, cello, and violin, students of the University of Freiburg are also eligible to borrow them.

In addition to loaning instruments, the Hauser Foundation hands out awards and funds. It divides its earnings into three areas according to the foundation’s charter. One third goes toward scholarships for outstanding and deserving music students in need, and toward funding assistants and teachers at the Department of Musicology. Another third is reserved for prize money and for supporting academic works in the field of musicology. The last third goes toward promoting a culture of music at the University of Freiburg. Those interested in applying for funding may contact the University of Freiburg’s Administration of Foundations and Endowments office. In 2016, the Hauser Foundation gave a total of €3,036.


Foundations at the University of Freiburg

Several of the 51 foundations at the University of Freiburg have roots that go all the way back to the Middle Ages. The oldest seventeen foundations belong to the Vereinigte Studienstiftungen-Verwaltung (United Academic Endowment Holding), while the newer foundations, except for three, belong to the Stiftungsfond (Endowment Fund). The endowments received in the form of monetary and non-monetary gifts are invested by the University. Every year, the University distributes two-thirds of this revenue, keeping the remaining third as inflation compensation. Each foundation has a charter that defines who is eligible for funding (as a rule, need is prioritized above merit) and states the foundation’s overall goal.

List of All Foundations