Director of Music

Robert Mehlhart OP

Fr. Robert Mehlhart OP is Preside of the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music in Rome. As such, he serves as dean of the Vatican’s University of Music, located in the Pontifical Abbey of St Jerome-in-the-City. The Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music (PIMS) trains church musicians and teachers of sacred music, rendering a service to the Church throughout the world. It offers a wide range of courses and degrees and currently has around 200 students from 42 nations.

In 2012, he was appointed Director of Music at the Theatinerkirche in Munich, where he directs the professional choir and orchestra in both weekly liturgical celebrations as well broadcast and concert performances. The acclaimed Vokalkapelle was founded c. 1482 as the choir to the Bavarian Royal Court and has one of the richest musical traditions in Europe.

Educated at Regensburg, Vienna and Oxford, his career has seen him associated with the Rosary Basilica of Vienna (Maria Rotunda), Blackfriars Oxford and the Arnold Schoenbergchor (Vienna).

Fr. Robert has appeared in many international Festivals, including the Salzburger Festspiele, Styriarte, and the Carinthischer Sommer, where he had the opportunity to work with Nikolaus Harnoncourt. He has regularly broadcasted on the National Austrian Broadcast Company (ORF) and has recorded on the labels Resonando and Sony Classical International.

As a composer, Fr Robert has written masses and motets for the liturgy as well as arrangements of German Christmas carols which have been recorded by the label Resonando. In 2013, he commissioned and directed the first performance of the Missa Magister Bone by the British composer Alexander Campkin. In 2020, he commissioned and directed Lamento by Mathias Rehfeldt, based on the Lamentations of Jeremiah and reflecting the global impact of the Corona crisis.

From 2018 to 2023, Fr. Robert Mehlhart was Lecturer at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München (University of Music and Performing Arts in Munich).

His academic work focuses on the history and interpretation of plainchant, with presentations at international conferences including MedRen and Cantus Planus.