Top orchestras are brought to life by top musicians. The Gürzenich Orchestra’s Orchestra Academy fosters young orchestral players and considers itself an international finishing school for talented instrumentalists who prepare here for a professional career after or toward the end of their studies. Up to 15 exceptional young talents have the chance to experience the daily working life of a leading German symphony and opera orchestra – an ideal transition from studies at a music academy to the musician’s profession. After an exacting selection process, Academy members participate in the Gürzenich Orchestra’s rehearsals, concerts and opera performances alongside their mentors, at Cologne’s Philharmonie and Opera House and also on worldwide concert tours.
Several alumni of the Orchestra Academy now hold professional orchestra positions: harpist Anneleen Schuitemaker plays with the Concertgebouw-Orkest in Amsterdam, flutist Pipilota Neostus with the Sinfonietta Riga, Markus Knoben joined the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn, Fernando Zavala plays with the Düsseldorf Symphony Orchestra, Clara Zschocke joined the Tyrolean Symphony Orchestra in Innsbruck, Julius Joachim the Mannheim Philharmonic, and Ayça Akünal is a member of the Bergische Sinfoniker.
Besides rehearsals, concerts, performances, recordings and tours in one of the most distinguished German symphony and opera orchestras (up to 15 services per month), the training comprises regular instrumental and chamber music teaching from members of the orchestra, workshops and coaching services to handle fears of performing and improve stage presence, as well as chamber concerts. The students are supported by mentors from the orchestra. The training lasts two years. The notice period for termination is four weeks.
The conditions include a monthly salary of €900 gross from the Gürzenich Orchestra, plus €75 monthly stipend and an annual lump sum for reeds and strings from the Orchestra Academy association. The academy scholars themselves bear the costs of their health insurance.
Any donation to support the orchestra academy is most welcome. To receive a contribution receipt please name your full address on your transfer order.
Orchesterakademie des Gürzenich-Orchesters Köln e.V.
IBAN: DE91 3705 0299 0000 4562 27
des Gürzenich-Orchester Köln e.V.
Daniel Raabe, chairman
- age limit: 27 years at the beginning of the academy
- proof of instrument insurance
- certificate of enrollment
Auditions only on invitation
Concert with Peter Eötvös
In May 2021 the great conductor, composer and pedagogue Peter Eötvös is among the Gürzenich Orchestra’s featured guests. At the Philharmonie, he will conduct the German premiere of his work »Siren’s Song«; on the same programme, the violinist Isabelle Faust plays the violin concerto »Alhambra« by Iannis Xenakis.
Together with the orchestral academy of the Gürzenich Orchestra, Eötvös will rehearse a chamber music programme featuring works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, György Ligeti and himself. The performance takes place at the Wallraff-Richartz-Museum in Cologne on Sunday, May 30, 2021 at 6 pm.