The best string players aged 11 to 19 from the Federal Republic’s music schools meet several times each year in the Deutsche Streicherphilharmonie (DSP) for phases of rehearsal and concerts with their musical director Wolfgang Hentrich, guest conductors, and soloists of international repute. Since the ensemble’s foundation in 1973, string musicians from the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin have been committed to teaching its members, their intense work with the individual sections helping to create the DSP's characteristic, fully homogeneous string sound. Some RSB musicians played in this, the youngest German repertory orchestra themselves in the past – and so traditions continue between these mentoring and mentored orchestras officially certified by the Jeunesses Musicales.

RSB tutors:
Bodo Przesdzing (1st Violin)
Karin Kynast (2nd Violin)
Claudia Beyer (Viola)
Volkmar Weiche (Cello)
Axel Buschmann (Double bass)



› Fiona Buhr is 15 years old, she started playing the violin in the DSP three years ago, and has now transferred to the viola on her teacher's recommendation.

How did you come to the Deutsche Streicherphilharmonie?
I admit it wasn't my own idea, it came from my violin teacher, who was determined to find me a place in a good orchestra. Actually, I was already in a school orchestra but I was immediately enthusiastic about the DSP.

What do you like about the work in the ensemble, and with the teachers from the RSB?
It's great to work together with professional musicians, who have different training again from our music teachers at school. We get a real impression of how a major orchestra works. And in the orchestra we can talk among ourselves about music – and naturally about other things, as well. I have found a very wide circle of friends through the DSP, scattered all over Germany.

How do you manage to cope with school as well as the DSP projects?
It's hard work but it is doable. I am also at a school that's reasonably willing to accept it. In the upper classes the DSP time ought to be reduced, but my teachers actually allow me a free hand.

In 2016 you played at the sing-along concert of the Rundfunkchor Berlin together with colleagues from the RSB. How was that day?
It was a bit like in the DSP but another level above that. At first I was rather nervous playing alongside a real musician but soon the pleasure in being there and being allowed to play in the Philharmonie got the upper hand.

What have been the most special moments to date?
Naturally, the first rehearsal phase was special, I was very excited before that. But I was well accepted and the teachers have taken care of me and my work in such a wonderful way. Some particularly pleasurable moments in 2016 included, for example, the concerts in the Tonhalle Düsseldorf and at Young Euro Classic in the Konzerthaus Berlin. And of course it was through the DSP that I started playing viola!

Do you have plans for the future yet?
Since last summer I have been a young student at the Young Academy Rostock, in the class of Claudia Beyer, who is also my DSP teacher. This is a huge opportunity for me, as I would like to study the viola. But before that happens, I am looking forward to many more DSP projects.


› Karin Kynast has played in the first violins of the RSB since 1988 and works as a DSP teacher with the second violins.

What prompted you to become a DSP teacher?
I have very precise memories of my start at the RSB; I noticed one colleague in particular because of his openness and the way he approached the younger ones: Bodo Przesdzing, who is retired now, but is also a DSP teacher. Later, he spoke to me and asked if I would take over the second violins of the DSP. Of course! I was already familiar with running sectional rehearsals from the cappella academica at the Humboldt University, although not with the age group 11 and over. I was rather nervous about that, but everything has gone very well. And even to the present day, it always is exciting to see what group you have, as the young people move on after two or three years and the section changes quite rapidly.

Were you in a youth ensemble yourself?
No, oddly enough I never came across anything of the kind, but that was perhaps because very early on, I attended a special class for music in Leipzig. But actually, I first got to know playing in an orchestra at the RSB. When I began, I was just 22 and didn't have any experience at all. For me, Bodo Przesdzing was the most important contact at that time, and he always supported me in a very constructive way.

What is a typical rehearsal phase at the DSP like?
In a normal situation we begin with two days of sectional rehearsals to practise everything and to stabilize the groups as such. Work on details in sound and precision help us to get off to a good start – passing on our experience is what we are all about. These are followed by tutti rehearsals with the conductor, and then the concert.

What does it feel like to see your protegés later on stage?
It's wonderful! Sometimes I am very moved when sitting in the concert, feeling so much warmth, sound and enthusiasm come from the podium. Up until now, I have only very rarely been really nervous.

What is the most important thing you can pass on to these young people?
Pleasure in music! Not to let themselves be daunted by anyone who might tell them that something or other is wrong. It gets hard as soon as you let anyone spoil your enjoyment of the music.