The Hermann Levi Academy

The Hermann Levi Academy supports talented young musicians by giving them the opportunity to practice with the orchestra under professional conditions, discovering  opera literature with its specific requirements as well as symphonic music.

The Bayerisches Staatsorchester’s Hermann Levi Academy was originally founded in 2002 under the name “Orchestra Academy of the Bayerisches Staatsorchester”. Its task was to pass on the traditions of one of the oldest German orchestras to young musicians and consequently keep this particularly special sound and performance culture alive for subsequent generations. Since July 2021, the Orchestra Academy has included the “Hermann Levi Academy” title in its name to honour Hermann Levi’s importance in the world of music and in particular his forward-looking creativity at the National Theatre in Munich.

Would you like to apply for the Bayerisches Staatsorchester’s Hermann Levi Academy?
You’ll find all the information on requirements as well as dates and application requirements at

Seeing (differently) through music

Musicians of the Hermann-Levi-Academy in the Alte Pinakothek

Dr. Mirjam Neumeister, head of the collection of Flemish Baroque painting, begins her talk with a statement: "We are at war!
This was meant to refer to the pandemic that has now lasted a good two years, and yet the message currently takes on a frighteningly topical dimension. This video clip is one of a total of three short films with music and images, created in the Alte Pinakothek in Munich. Here Peter Paul Rubens meets Paul Hindemith - Baroque painting meets the music of the 20th century. The Infernal Fall of the Damned (c. 1621) by Paul Rubens and Paul Hindemith's Sonata for Viola (1921) with the 4th movement: Rasendes Zeitmaß. Wild. Beauty of tone is incidental. There is nothing more to say.

Der Höllensturz


The Bayerisches Staatsorchester’s Hermann Levi Academy offers highly talented musicians under 26 years the opportunity to gain  first professional experiences and to get to know the extensive repertoire of one of the world's leading opera orchestras. 

During the two years of the programme, participants will take part in rehearsals, concerts and opera and ballet performances up to ten times each month, in addition to receiving regular lessons by members of the Bayerisches Staatsorchester. 

The training also includes chamber music and solo performances, as well as audition preparation and mental training. Graduates of the Hermann Levi Academy have gone on to join the Bayerisches Staatsorchester, while others have been engaged by renowned orchestras for example in Oslo, Basel, Stockholm, or Berlin.

Scholarship students’ training is based on four focus points – orchestra practice, lessons, chamber music and mental training:

The core of the Academy is its cooperation with the Bayerisches Staatsorchester which includes ten performance duties per month: these can be rehearsals, opera or ballet performances or concerts. This gives scholarship students the chance to develop the opera repertoire from classical to contemporary together with General Music Director Vladimir Jurowski and other renowned conductors. In addition to active participation in the orchestra, the young musicians have access to all rehearsals, performances and concerts in the house as listeners. They can observe the growth of an entire opera production from beginning to end by looking over the shoulder of renowned singers and directors. Thus, their musical education goes far beyond purely instrumental training, but contributes to their development as artistic personalities.

The academy members receive regular lessons from the orchestra’s soloists. Firstly, the pieces currently on the programme are studied to allow the academy members a smooth entry into the everyday world of opera. Secondly, the lessons serve to prepare audition programmes and the solo literature of each instrument.

Chamber music concerts by the members of the academy are held two or three times per season in the Allerheiligen-Hofkirche of Munich’s Royal Residence, now converted into a beautiful concert hall, which is also home to the orchestra’s chamber music series. In further lessons, the musicians are prepared and supported by members of the orchestra. The cooperation with the singers of the Bayerische Staatsoper’s Opera Studio for one of the annual chamber music concerts produces diverse programmes that allow a look beyond the boundaries of instrumental music. A special opportunity to cooperate directly with General Music Director Vladimir Jurowski are the annual festival concerts, for which he personally rehearses and performs pieces written especially for the musicians of the Hermann Levi Academy.

To prepare the scholarship students for the increasingly demanding requirements ofauditions at top orchestras, they receive mental training by graduate psychologist Ulrike Klees, a specialist with particular experience in working with musicians.


Hermann-Levi-Akademie des Bayerischen Staatsorchesters
z.Hd. Elfi Wallisser
Max-Joseph-Platz 2
80539 München

Bei Fragen zur Hermann-Levi-Akademie (HLA) wenden Sie sich bitte an Elfi Wallisser unter
+49 89 21 85 13 10 oder [email protected].


In his artistic personality, Hermann Levi combined the two traits that made him stand out at the Bayerische Staatsorchester: Opera and concerto. For many years, he was one of Johannes Brahms’s closest friends and delivered the world premieres of several of the composer's works. He later became one of Richard Wagner’s most important collaborators and remained an indispensable conductor at the Bayreuth Festival until 1894. He also supported other contemporary composers, who were not yet generally acknowledged in the repertoire of the day, such as Robert Schumann, Anton Bruckner, Hector Berlioz and Pyotr Tchaikovsky. He established Mozart’s da Ponte operas as a cycle on opera stages, performing and interpreting all three largely in their original form and true to the original piece. Many literal lyrical formulations such as, "Take my hand my life”, are attributed to Levi. And most importantly, he supported young musicians, delivered world premieres of early orchestral pieces by Richard Strauss as the composer grew in popularity and even supported and recommended Strauss during his first steps as a conductor.

Levi’s importance was played down in the 1930s due to his Jewish heritage, and his legacy was neglected. As part of the efforts to rectify this dereliction, the Orchestra Academy has included “Hermann Levi Academy” in its name since July 2021, as an eternal reminder of Hermann Levi’s importance in the world of music and in particular of his path-breaking creativity at the Naational Theatre in Munich - and as an inherent obligation to continue telling the history behind his name to future generations.


At this point we would like to thank the supporters of the Hermann Levi Academy , who, who make an inestimable contribution to promoting young talent at the Bayerisches Staatsorchester:

Hermann Levi Academy main sponsor: SIEMENS

Further Hermann Levi Academy sponsors:
Freunde des Nationaltheaters e.V., Dr. Helmut Röschinger

Would you also like to contribute to promoting young talent at the Bayerisches Staatsorchester or find out more about other support options? Our Development team looks forward to hearing from you and helping you:

Bayerische Staatsoper Development Office
[email protected] 
+49 89 21 85 10 39