A License to Play – The Orchestra Academy of the Berliner Philharmoniker
How do you actually become a member of the Berliner Philharmoniker? One particularly promising way is through the orchestra’s own academy, founded in 1972 by Herbert von Karajan. Here, outstanding musicians are methodically prepared for the work in a top orchestra. Our documentary presents this unique institution.
Former students of the Orchestra Academy can be found everywhere, whether in the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, 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 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: About a quarter of the members of the Berliner Philharmoniker today are former students of the Academy.
Herbert von Karajan's idea was appealing: With the Orchestra 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.
In their film, Daniel Finkernagel and Alexander Lück vividly show how the Orchestra Academy operates. The viewer accompanies the students to rehearsals, performances and music lessons, and encounters musicians of the orchestra including chief conductor Sir Simon Rattle in conversation. A fascinating portrayal of an institution that serves today as a model for the training of musicians around the world.