General rehearsal of the Karajan Academy at the Berliner Philharmonie

The executive board of Willkommen in Berlin invited the members to an exciting general rehearsal of the Karajan Academy at the Berliner Philharmonie on 29 May 2022. The director of the Karajan Academy, Mr. Peter Riegelbauer, warmly welcomed the members at the foyer on the second floor with a view of the National Galerie and the Kulturforum, and gave an interesting, short introduction. As the name indicates, the Karajan Academy was founded by the legendary conductor, Herbert von Karajan and just celebrated its 50th birthday last May. It is the Berliner Philharmonie’s talent factory and a pioneer in promoting young talented musicians worldwide. Meanwhile, almost half of today's musician at the Berliner Philharmonie come from the academy. Only 40 musicians out of thousands of applications worldwide are selected each year to receive the two-year scholarship. The instrumental ability and musicality during the audition are not the only decisive factors in winning a place in the orchestra, but also the sound conception that harmonizes with the musical ensemble.

We had the pleasure to see a young Japanese female conductor, Nodoka Okisawa who is the scholarship holder at the Karajan Academy and the assistant to Kirill Petrenko, rehearsing few musical pieces with the international young musicians. Together, they performed beautifully the charming “Sinfonietta” of Francis Poulenc and the humorous “Der Bürger als Edelmann” of Richard Strauss. In addition, the the flute concert by Dai Fujikuras took the audience into meditative, Far Eastern world through the sound of all flute sizes, from the half-size flute piccolo to the double contrabass flute. The WiB members were dazzled and thrilled. Among the WiB members, H.E. Mr. Vu Quang Minh, the new ambassador of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, with his son, as well as the wife of the Ambassador of the Republic of Cameroon, Mrs. Fatou Hassana Epse Ndocki attended this musical event.