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Former students of the Orchestra Academy can be found everywhere, whether in the Royal Concertgebouw 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 1972 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: About a quarter of the members of the Berliner Philharmoniker today are former students of the Academy.

To mark the anniversary, Sir Simon Rattle conducts an orchestra of former and current students who came together for one day only to perform Anton Bruckner’s Eighth Symphony. The orchestra’s foundation, Stiftung Berliner Philharmoniker, presented the Academy with a new work for its birthday by the British composer Benedict Mason, a riveting introduction to the Bruckner whose world premiere the current and ex-students also perform.

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