An experience for life
To be a professional musician in an orchestra – this is the dream of many students. While personal playing skills and solistic interpretation are part of their studies, students usually lack practice in playing with large ensembles or orchestras. At the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin (RSB), the Orchestra Academy for Strings was established in 2002 by the orchestra’s friends and supporters.
Since then, every two years, 13 scholarships have been awarded to young musicians under the age of 26. The students apply from all over the world for these scholarships. Once they have arrived in the orchestra, they enrich the diversity of the RSB.
How does the Academy work?
Academy members get assigned to orchestral duties and play side by side with their colleagues in rehearsals, concerts and tours, as well as on CD recordings. They each have a permanent mentor in their section. These mentors
support the academists with advice and constructive criticism, they give lessons and pass on their personal experience.
The academy members are thus strengthened as artistic individuals, but above all they experience how it is to work as part of an artistic community. Regular workshops outside the actual musical repertoire complete this training. For example, they learn about preparing rehearsals, the dramaturgy of concert programs, communicating music to children and adults, and musician’s health. Once a year, the members of the Orchestra Academy give a chamber recital. The time with the RSB can be a real kcikstart for the career of many members of the academy. They earn positions in renowned national and international ensembles – in some cases during their time at the academy – and can start their professional lives in a strengthened position, in some cases even at the RSB itself.
Members season 2022/2023
Mentors of Orchestra Academy
Assistant Principal2nd Violin
Assistant Principal Viola
Associate Principal Viola
Konstanze von Gutzeit
Konstanze von Gutzeit - Principal Cello
Born into a family of musicians, Konstanze von Gutzeit began playing the cello at the age of three. She completed her studies from the age of thirteen with Heinrich Schiff in Vienna, and later with Jens Peter Maintz in Berlin and Wolfgang Emanuel Schmidt in Weimar.
Since 2012 Konstanze von Gutzeit has held the position of principal cellist of the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin. She is also internationally active as a soloist and chamber musician. She has performed with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, the Bochumer Sinfoniker, the Vienna, Munich and Stuttgart Chamber Orchestras, the Kammerakademie Potsdam, the Bruckner Orchestra Linz and many others. She has worked with conductors such as Kurt Masur, Vladimir Jurowski, Michael Sanderling, Marek Janowski, Alexander Shelley and Yuri Bashmet. She has appeared at festivals such as the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, the Lucerne Festival, the Verbier Festival and the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in numerous recitals and chamber music concerts.
From the beginning of her musical career, Konstanze von Gutzeit drew attention to herself through numerous international competition successes. She is a prizewinner of the Grand Prix Emanuel Feuermann 2010 and the International Prague Spring Competition 2012. In 2013 she was awarded 1st prize at the “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy” University Competition in Berlin as well as the interdisciplinary “Mendelssohn Prize”. She was also the winner of the Domenico Gabrielli Competition in Berlin, the “Gradus ad Parnassum” Competition in Austria, the “International Gianni Bergamo Classic Music Award” in Switzerland and the “International Suggia Prize” in Portugal. At the German Music Competition 2010 she was awarded a scholarship by the German Music Council and included in the national selection “Concerts of Young Artists”.
Konstanze von Gutzeit plays a cello by Gioffredo Cappa from 1677 as well as a new instrument by the Berlin instrument maker Ragnar Hayn from 2017.
Hans-Jakob Eschenburg - Principal Cello
Hans-Jakob Eschenburg received his first cello lessons at the Rostock Conservatory. After studying with Josef Schwab at the Hochschule für Musik “Hanns Eisler” Berlin, he was principal cellist of the Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra from 1984 to 1988.
With the renowned Petersen Quartet, of which he was a founding member until 2000, he won several international competitions (Prague, Evian, Florence, Munich) and appeared on the major concert stages and at numerous festivals in Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australia. Several of the Petersen Quartet’s numerous CD recordings have won international awards.
Since 1999 Hans-Jakob Eschenburg has been principal cellist of the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin. He held the same position in the chamber orchestra “Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach”. He frequently appears as a soloist and chamber musician, including as a member of various chamber ensembles such as the Gideon Klein Trio. Hans-Jakob Eschenburg teaches as an honorary professor at the Hochschule für Musik “Hanns Eisler” Berlin. He is also involved as a mentor of the Orchestra Academy of the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin.
Assistant Principal Cello
Hermann F. Stützer
Principal Double Bass
Contact and application
The Academy currently has 13 places for string players (maximum age: 26).
We publish vacancies here.
For general information
Christian Schwärsky | Orchestra Office
Dorothea Groß | Orchestra Office
Phone +49 (0) 30 202 987 520/521