Kaulbachstrasse 16

In the course of founding the Orff Centre Munich, the Bavarian Ministry of Finance named a state-owned property at Kaulbachstraße 16 as a possible office building. Liselotte Orff and the Carl Orff Foundation were spontaneously convinced by this proposal after an initial inspection, despite the pending need for renovation. Located in close proximity to the Bavarian State Library and the Ludwig-Maximilians University, it now offers an inviting setting as a research and event location with its office and archive rooms, library and an event hall as well as the beautiful garden.

Only later did it emerge that the house was already closely associated with the name of Carl Orff in its history. From 1936 to 1944, the Günther School, the training centre for gymnastics, rhythm, music and dance that Carl Orff had founded with Dorothee Günther in 1924 and from which the Orff Schulwerk emerged as Elementary Musical Exercise (1931-34), was based in the building, which was erected by a student fraternity in 1932.

A few months after the forced closure of the Günther School by the National Socialist rulers - a fate that met many dance and gymnastics schools - a bomb hit in January 1945 almost completely devastated the building. In 1951, the factory owner Hermann Fink bought the destroyed property and had a new building constructed, which was closely modelled on the former building in its room layout. In the spacious house, which served him and his wife as a private residence with commercially used rooms, the couple invited important artists to public concerts in larger circles.

He himself proudly described the "hall and stage system with the special sound systems" installed by Hermann Fink for this purpose as "unique in Germany in this form", which is why it is "increasingly used by the relevant state agencies (radio, theatre, artists' groups, orchestras) [...]"*. When his property was sold in 1965, the purchase contract included the value of the stage equipment and the stereo system alone at an amount of DM 310,000.

The house, acquired by the Free State of Bavaria, was used by the State Academy for Television and Film as a teaching and administration building for 21 years from 1967. Important directors and well-known producers - including Wim Wenders, Alexander Kluge and Bernd Eichinger - completed their studies in this building.

After the university moved to significantly larger premises on the outskirts of Munich, the building could be converted and renovated from autumn 1988 for the purposes of the newly founded Orff Centre Munich.

* H. Fink to the Bayer. Kultusministerium, letter dated 7.10.1953, BayHStA MK 49749.

** See Munich Land Registry, land register "Schönfeld-Vorstadt", vol. 38, sheet 950, annex.