Orchestra Academy celebrates its 20th anniversary



The BRSO’s Orchestra Academy is one of the most coveted institutions of its kind in the world. In the 20 years of its existence more than 180 scholarship holders from 28 countries have completed its two-year training programme.


The Orchestra Academy of the BRSO was founded in March 2000, and the first participants could begin their training in October 2001. For 20 years up-and-coming young orchestra musicians have lived and studied in Munich in a building equipped with 18 flats as well as practice and teaching rooms.



From conservatory to professional orchestra

 For 20 years Bavarian Radio has lent its support to this major training institute in the world of music. The Orchestra Academy offers exceptionally talented young musicians a comprehensive preparation for their professional careers: they take part in rehearsals and concerts of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, receive lessons from its members, attend mental coaching and physical training sessions, study pieces of chamber music and present the results in public recitals. The main focus falls on working with highly motivated young musicians in order to exploit and cultivate their potential for the challenges of working in a top-calibre orchestra.

New training approaches in the BRSO

 With their broad-based repertoire, tight rehearsal schedules and frequent tours, the everyday life of world-class orchestras calls not only for a perfect command of an instrument but many other qualities that conservatories cannot provide by themselves: team spirit in a collective of more than 100 members, rapid mastery of a vast range of music, coping with deadline pressure and demands for perfection, and learning to spread resources over a multitude of projects. During the training programme at the Orchestra Academy the young musicians can adjust to these demands in optimum fashion and grow into their careers. The programme is adapted to meet the constantly changing conditions of the profession: participants learn methods for maintaining their mental and physical health, take part on outreach projects and develop ideas for new concert formats. Graduates of the Academy are offered positions at renowned orchestras in Germany and abroad, including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra. Fourteen have succeeded in joining the ranks of the BRSO itself.


30 Jan 2020, 3:05 to 5 pm: “Young Performers”

Curtains up on young performers! Academy participants play works by Taffanel, Rush and Janáček.

Recorded on 18 December 2020 in Studio 1 of Bavarian Radio.


5 Feb 2021, 7:05 to 8 pm, “Trial run for a dream career” by Annekatrin Hentschel
6 Feb 2021, 2:05 to 3 pm (repeat broadcast)

In this feature Annekatrin Hentschel introduces the Orchestra Academy’s founding members whose commitment helped turn the idea into reality: a BRSO academy designed to find and promote outstanding young talent, to maintain high artistic quality and to present itself as an orchestra ready to face the future. She looks back on 20 years of the Academy’s work and accompanies current participants in a week of audition training, yoga sessions, and rehearsals with Gustavo Dudamel. Together with the new management, she casts a glance into the future: what will the training of young talent look like in the new decade?


An ARD-Alpha Report on the academy

ARD-Alpha’s “Campus Magazine” met with BRSO scholarship holders who already number among the international élite of young talents.



Our video series “From desk to desk” features two orchestra members, Heinrich Braun and Philippe Boucly, talking about the beginnings of the Academy.

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