The Hermann-Levi-Academy of Bayerisches Staatsorchester
The Hermann Levi Academy of Bayerisches Staatsorchester was founded in 2002 under the name "Orchestra Academy of Bayerisches Staatsorchester" in order to pass on the centuries-old tradition of one of the oldest German orchestras to young musicians; and in this way to keep the special sound and playing culture of this unique orchestra alive for future generations.
The aim of the academy is to enable young musicians to gain orchestral experience under professional conditions, especially in opera literature with its specific requirements, but also in the symphonic field.
Hermann Levi's artistic personality combines the two great fields in which the Bayerisches Staatsorchester excels: Opera and Concert. He was one of Johannes Brahms' closest friends for many years and premiered several of his works. Later he became Richard Wagner's most important musical collaborator and remained an indispensable conductor at the Bayreuth Festival until 1894. He also championed other contemporary composers who were not yet widely recognised in the repertoire of the time, such as Robert Schumann, Anton Bruckner, Hector Berlioz and Peter Tchaikovsky. Moreover, it is thanks to him that Mozart's da Ponte operas became established as a cycle on opera stages; he performed all three largely in their original form and translated them faithfully to the works. Many proverbial phrases such as "Reach out to me, my life" can be traced back to Levi. Last but not least, he encouraged young musicians, premiered early orchestral works by the adolescent Richard Strauss and also supported and recommended him in his first steps as a conductor.
Because of his Jewish origins, Levi's importance has been downplayed and his memory neglected since the 1930s. As part of the effort to rectify this oversight, the Orchestra Academy has been named "Hermann Levi Academy" since July 2021: as a perpetual reminder of Hermann Levi's importance for music and in particular his pioneering work at the National Theatre in Munich, and as an inherent obligation to continue telling the story behind his name to future generations.
The Hermann Levi Academy is supported by
Freunde des Nationaltheaters e.V., Dr. Helmut Röschinger
The Academy is geared toward highly gifted music students up to the age of 26, who have already completed their higher education or can provide proof of a comparably high level of training. Consequently the Hermann-Levi-Academy sees itself as an enhancement and logical continuation of the studies at a conservatory. After successful passing their audition, academy students are accepted with a stipend of 800 euros a month for a two-year period in the Hermann-Levi-Academy . Ther they recceive further instruction from one of the first-chair players of the orchestra, while concurrently being additionally monitored by a tutor from their own instrument section who will function as a direct contact person.
In the few years of its existence, the work of the Hermann-Levi-Academy of Bayerisches Staatsorchester has already shown some remarkable successes: virtually all of our students have received steady positions in major orchestras. One special source of pride, however, is that we have been able to engage three of them for posts in our own orchestra.