“Even for an orchestra that lives and breathes tradition, recruiting the next generation of talent is no longer self-evident,” writes Rebecca Schmid in Friday’s (12/28) International New York Times. “That is why, for the first time in its history, the Vienna Philharmonic is opening an academy to train musicians hands-on. Auditions begin early next year…. Only 12 players, ages up to 26, will gain admission to a fully subsidized two-year program…. At least one instrumentalist will be from the United States … and talks are underway with leading East Coast conservatories.… Seasoned conductors such as [Franz] Welser-Möst, Riccardo Muti, Zubin Mehta and Herbert Blomstedt are already lined up to coach and lecture academy members … The Philharmonic has distinguished itself over the centuries for its specifically Viennese, as opposed to German, sound culture…. Until the 1970s, the sound culture was easily transmitted as most members studied with a Philharmonic player at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna before joining the orchestra. But in recent years, recruitment has become less and less local…. The academy will be an opportunity to widen networks for recruiting and to embed young players in the Philharmonic’s working conditions.”

Posted January 2, 2019