Areas of Work 

The scope of Robert Selinger’s artistic work encompasses a wide variety of roles and activities. Nonetheless, in everything he does as a performer, pedagogue and church musician, he holds to certain essential principles: respect for one another, open communication on equal footing and the pursuit of the indescribable experience that music at its best can deliver.  

Overall Approach 

At its core, Robert’s work is all about the meeting of one human being with another, whether across time and space through the medium of art or simply in his personal interactions. His motivation lies not in self-expression, but rather the fascination of understanding the other, the process by which the foreign becomes familiar. In this regard, the words of political thinker Hannah Arendt as she describes her approach resonate with him particularly: 

“If I am to speak very honestly, I would have to say: when I am working, I am not interested in how my work might affect people. And when the work is finished, then I am finished. The essential thing for me is that I understand.  

What is important to me is the thought process itself. If I have that, I am personally quite satisfied. If I then succeed in expressing my thought process adequately in writing, that also satisfies me. 

You ask about the effect of my work on others. If I may speak ironically, that is a masculine question. Men always want terribly to be influential, but in a way, I see that from the outside. Do I imagine myself being influential? No, I want to understand. And if others understand – in the same sense that I have understood – that gives me a sense of satisfaction, like feeling at home.” 

Hannah Arendt  
(English translation by Joan Stambaugh, with modifications)  


The ability to render a composition’s entire cosmos on a single instrument sparked Robert’s enthusiasm at an early age. As he practices and performs, the three pillars of harmony, rhythm and timbre occupy a central place in his process, each inspiring new questions to explore and adding multidimensionality and power to his interpretations.  

For Robert, the sound of the harpsichord has a subtlety and austere beauty that are particularly compelling in the music of the 17th century. Under his fingers, a cornucopia of rhetorical gestures and energetic rhythms combine into a complex but unified whole, all governed by the clear and ever-present tactus. He takes a special interest in the rich soundscapes of William Byrd, Girolamo Frescobaldi, Dietrich Buxtehude and Jean Henry d’Anglebert.  

Mighty colossus and gentle giant at once, the organ has fascinated Robert since childhood. From saturated mixtures surpassing even the largest orchestral sound to tender pastel tones that can fill a cathedral from wall to wall, the organ’s immense palette of colors offers him abundant new worlds to explore, with much that is unusual and yet unknown. Without neglecting tradition, his repertoire expands the canon to include the music of Claude Vivier, Gilbert Amy, Anton Webern, Richard Wagner and the Buxheim Organ Book.  

Schwanenberg Duo

Amy Shen, violin
Robert Selinger, keyboard instruments

Spirited, incisive playing in the here and now – this is the hallmark of the Schwanenberg Duo. With varying combinations of historical instruments, Amy Shen and Robert Selinger enthrall their audiences with vivid, nuanced performances where history and storytelling are inseparably intertwined. The rich variety of their repertoire, ranging from intabulations and diminutions to continuo sonatas and obbligato duos, provides the two musicians with an inexhaustible source of new ideas.

The duo’s current projects include a complete performance of the sonatas for violin and obbligato harpsichord by J. S. Bach, a glimpse into the world of Italian virtuosi in mid-18th-century London, and a program of Austrian violin sonatas played with historical baroque organs. In addition, the duo presents children’s concerts and interactive educational workshops that have been received with great enthusiasm.

Siderea Musica

Robert Selinger, artistic director

Siderea Musica is dedicated to the performance of music that would otherwise go unheard. The ensemble focuses on rendering music as a real, tangible experience for its audiences, delivering interpretations that both move the emotions and stimulate the intellect. In its quest to find the new that often hides unexpectedly in the old, Siderea Musica delves deep into the music of the Renaissance and Early Modern Era, producing new editions of works, interpreting sources in a new light and reconstructing sounds long forgotten. Above all, its aim is to capture a piece of music on its own terms and in the context of its origin, thus recreating the sounds of the past for today’s listeners.

Siderea Musica (in English sidereal music or music from the stars) has the additional goal of bringing the worlds of science and art closer together. Named in homage to Galileo Galilei’s treatise Siderius Nuncius, which pioneered a new, evidence-based method of studying astronomy, the ensemble strives to integrate research findings of the humanities and the sciences in its performances. Siderea Musica moves fluently across these different disciplines, thriving on cooperation and the shared joy of discovery.


For Robert, the education of young people presents a complex and ever-changing challenge, one that requires him to impart the importance of critical thinking and self-reflection while simultaneously inspiring passionate music-making. He considers it a priority to establish relationships of respect and collegiality with his students and meet them as equals. On the one hand, his approach to teaching draws from the historical method of imitatio – thoughtful imitation, never just mindless copycatting. On the other hand, he is led by the ideas of discourse analysis and his conviction that truly open communication between teacher and student is just as difficult to achieve as it is indispensable.

At the Mozarteum University in Salzburg, Robert oversees chamber music and teaches theoretical subjects at the Institute for Early Music.

Church Music

As organist of the Kreuzkirche in Munich, Robert shares the joy of music with his community. In leading amateur ensembles and playing and singing with people of all ages and backgrounds, he experiences a wonderful sense of community and hopes to promote the kind of mutual understanding that is so beneficial to society as a whole. His focus here is on the social and healing effects of music; at the same time, he endeavors to expand the horizons of those he works with, continually bringing them into contact with new ways to understand the music they hear and create.