In the beginning – a dream
To become a professional orchestral musician – a dream of many young musicians. While skills such as instrumental technique and soloistic interpretation are studied in depth during their studies, students are often lacking in practical experience in orchestral playing. The Orchestra Academy for Strings was established in 2002 at the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin (RSB) upon an initiative by the friends and supporters of the orchestra. Currently, 13 scholarships for two years each are awarded to young musicians under 26 years of age, accepting applications from students from around the world. The students make their contribution by enriching the diversity of the RSB.
“In chamber music, you learn how to play together and interact, but to develop the ability to fit into a collective sound – you can only achieve this by playing in an orchestra. And the Academy offers you that chance!”(Juliane Färber, 2nd Violin)
How does the Academy work?
The members of the Academy are required to play normal orchestra sessions and play side-by-side with permanent colleagues of the orchestra in rehearsals, concerts and tours, as well as CD recordings. Each Academy member is assigned a mentor from their instrument section. The mentors support the students of the Academy by sharing their experience through one-on-one lessons giving advice and constructive criticism.
The “academists” are thus strengthened as artistic personalities, but above all they develop a concept of an artistic collective. Regular workshops away from the usual performances and rehearsals complete the training. This includes, for example, coachings for audition preparation, or lectures on subjects such as dramaturgy of concert programmes, music education for children and adults, as well as occupational health issues. Once a year, the academy students give a chamber music concert, which will take place this season on 8 October 2020 at the silent green in Wedding, Berlin.
“It is only after prospective musicians are offered an academy position in a professional orchestra that they gain a long-term insight into the practices of the profession they strive to enter. The conservatoire alone cannot reveal whether the profession ultimately suits the student (and whether the student suits an orchestra).”(Andreas Kipp, Cello)
“The outstanding workshops are a great way to help you reduce your performance anxiety and develop a healthy posture when playing both in an orchestra and as a soloist.”(Richard Polle, 1st Violin)
For many members of the Academy, their time at the RSB acts as an important stepping stone in their careers. Many go on to acquire positions – some even whilst still enrolled in the Academy – in renowned national and international ensembles to start their professional careers with a solid footing. Some even stay on to become a permanent member of the RSB.
Mentors of the Orchestra Academy
Principal 2nd Violin
Nadine Contini - Principal 2nd Violin
Nadine Contini, principal second violin, has been a member of the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin since March 2005.
She was born in 1979 in Saarbrücken and received her first violin lessons at the age of 5 years with Ms Christa Schmitt-Rink. Later she studied under Ulrieke Dierick. In 1996 she was admitted to the Pflüger-Stiftung Freiburg and the Spohr-Akademie for the promotion of highly gifted young violinists, where she was trained by Wolfgang Marschner and Ariane Mathäus. In 2000, she began her studies at the Musikhochschule “Hanns Eisler” in Berlin with Antje Weithaas, where she graduated with the concert exam of 2008. She attended master classes with Antje Weithaas, Wolfgang Marschner, Christian Tetzlaff, Guy Braunstein, and Boris Pergamenchikov.
Nadine Contini has won awards in numerous competitions: In 1998, she was awarded with the first “Young Musicians” federal prize. In addition, she received a second prize at the International Max Reger Competition and a special prize for the best interpretation of a solo work by Max Reger. In 2004, she won the competition of Ibolyka-Gyarfas-Stiftung. She was awarded with prizes for cultural promotion by the Casino Gesellschaft Saarbrücken and the Saarländischen Rundfunk. In addition, she was the prize winner and scholarship holder of the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben.
As a soloist, she has performed with the Landesjugendorchester of Saarland, the Cairo Chamber Orchestra, the Cairo Opera Orchestra, the Deutsche Spohr Philharmonie, the Symphonieorchester des Saarländischen Rundfunks as part of the concerts of young artists, the Max Bruch Philharmonie and the Brandenburger Symphoniker.
Nadine Contini plays a violin made by master violinmaker Stefan-Peter Greiner from Bonn and is involved as a mentor in the orchestra academy of the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin.
Assistant Principal Viola
Alejandro Regueira Caumel
Assistant Principal Cello
Hermann F. Stützer
Principal Double Bass
Contact and application
The academy currently provides 13 seats for string players (maximum age: 26 years).
The selection is carried out through an audition.
For general information
Tel. +49 (0) 30 202 987 520/521