In addition to the donation-funded, non-profit Association which enables the training of young gifted musicians by members of the Berliner Philharmoniker, there has been yet another institution since the year 2000: the Stiftung zur Förderung der Orchester-Akademie (Foundation for the Promotion of the Orchestra Academy). Its sole aim is to provide long-term support for this training ground for excellent orchestral musicians, founded by Herbert von Karajan.
Claudio Abbado, Karajan's successor and chief conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker from 1989 to 2002, provided the Academy with substantial support by allowing the assets of the Claudio Abbado Music Foundation to benefit the foundation in 2002. In honour of the great conductor, the Karajan Academy awards the Claudio Abbado Composition Prize on an occasional basis. The award-winner is at the same time commissioned to write a work that takes into account the instrumentation of the students and corresponds to their musical and artistic skills. The work is rehearsed with the students by the composer and premièred at a concert of the Karajan Academy.