Former students of the Karajan Academy can be found everywhere, whether in the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, London Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre de Radio France, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, the Staatskapelle Berlin, the Vienna and Munich Philharmonic orchestras – and of course the Berliner Philharmoniker. “Learn from the pros” is the motto of the Academy. Founded in the early 1970s by Herbert von Karajan and funded by private donors, highly talented young musicians are taught by members of the Berliner Philharmoniker and are prepared for the life of professional orchestral musicians. A commitment that bears abundant fruit: today, around one-third of the members of the Berliner Philharmoniker are former students of the Academy.
Herbert von Karajan’s idea was appealing: With the Karajan Academy, an institution was created in which young, well-trained graduates can receive the best possible preparation for the profession of orchestral musician. Both in classes and working together with long-standing and experienced members of the Berliner Philharmoniker, the students learn the particular style and the sound ideal of the orchestra. More than just learn it, they internalize it. However, the training goes far beyond that: According to Peter Riegelbauer, double-bass player of the Berliner Philharmoniker and head of the Karajan Academy, the young instrumentalists get a sense of what it means to be a “complete musician”, who not only work intensively on their own development, but also learn to widen their experience and meet the world with a thirst for knowledge and open eyes.