Group photo of the Karajan-Akademie.
The Karajan-Akademie der Berliner Philharmoniker | Picture: Peter Adamik

Concert information

Composer in Residence


Kirill Petrenko feels a special bond with the Karajan Academy’s new generation of orchestral musicians. Now the Berliner Philharmoniker’s chief conductor will be conducting the ensemble in Felix Mendelssohn’s “Italian” Symphony, a work filled with sunshine, clarity and energy. Chamber music precedes it on the programme: Mendelssohn’s miraculous Octet for strings and the sumptuous Quintet that Jörg Widmann – the current season’s Composer in Residence – composed for the Karajan Academy in 2006 when he won the Claudio Abbado Prize.


Karajan-Akademie der Berliner Philharmoniker
Kirill Petrenko conductor


Felix Mendelssohn
String Octet in E flat major, op. 20

Jörg Widmann
Quintett for Oboe, Clarinet, Horn, Bassoon and Piano


Felix Mendelssohn
Symphony No. 4 A major, op. 90 “Italian”

Chamber Music Hall

16 to 37 €


Series KA: Karajan Academy

Remaining tickets are available at the box office or by telephone (+49 30 254 88-999).


Karajan Academy

The Karajan Academy of the Berliner Philharmoniker is an institution for the promotion and training of young orchestra musicians. It was founded in 1972 by the then chief conductor Herbert von Karajan to train the next generation of outstanding musicians by giving them individual and chamber music lessons from members of the Berliner Philharmoniker.

They also take part in the orchestra's rehearsals and concerts, giving them the opportunity to learn from top musicians and gain concert practice. In addition, the Karajan Academy organises its own concert series in which the scholarship holders perform music from the Baroque to the avant-garde under the direction of renowned conductors such as Kirill Petrenko, Sir Simon Rattle, Reinhard Goebel, Susanna Mälkki and Matthias Pintscher. The joint performance with the orchestra's respective artist in residence and the monthly carte blanche concerts, in which the scholarship holders present themselves as soloists or in ensembles, are also part of the academy's training programme. The aim of the programme is to train young orchestral musicians who will find employment either with the Berliner Philharmoniker or with other top orchestras. Around a third of today's Berliner Philharmoniker have emerged from the Karajan Academy.

Kirill Petrenko

Kirill Petrenko has been chief conductor and artistic director of the Berliner Philharmoniker since the 2019/20 season. Born in Omsk in Siberia, he received his training first in his home town and later in Austria. He established his conducting career in opera with positions at the Meininger Theater and the Komische Oper Berlin. From 2013 to 2020, Kirill Petrenko was general music director of Bayerische Staatsoper. 

He has also made guest appearances at the world’s leading opera houses, including Wiener Staatsoper, Covent Garden in London, the Opéra national in Paris, the Metropolitan Opera in New York and at the Bayreuth Festival. Moreover, he has conducted the major international symphony orchestras – in Vienna, Munich, Dresden, Paris, Amsterdam, London, Rome, Chicago, Cleveland and Israel. Since his debut in 2006, a variety of programmatic themes have emerged in his work together with the Berliner Philharmoniker. These include work on the orchestra’s core Classical-Romantic repertoire, most notably with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony when he took up his post. Unjustly forgotten composers such as Josef Suk or Karl Amadeus Hartmann are another of Kirill Petrenko’s interests. Russian works are also highlighted, with performances of Tchaikovsky’s operas Die Frau ohne Schatten and Elektra attracting particular attention recently.