Congratulations to Diyang Mei, who won the audition for the position of first principal viola on 11 February. This is the first time that a Chinese musician has been given a position with the Berliner Philharmoniker. Diyang Mei, currently principal violist of the Munich Philharmonic, succeeds Máté Szűcs, who left the orchestra at the end of the 2017/18 season.
Born in Hunan in 1994, Diyang Mei first began learning the violin before switching to the viola at the age of ten. He studied at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing under Shaowu Wang and at the University of Music and Performing Arts Munich under Hariolf Schlichtig. In addition to several other competitions, the violist won first prize at the 2018 ARD International Music Competition. The following year, Diyang Mei, who works as a soloist with renowned orchestras and musicians, began his career as an orchestral musician with the Munich Philharmonic.
A series of auditions also took place in recent weeks in which young musicians qualified for probationary periods with the Berliner Philharmoniker: two positions in the violins will be filled in future by the violinists Vineta Sareika-Völkner and Christa-Maria Stangorra, a scholarship holder of the Karajan Academy. The horn section is pleased to welcome the Hungarian László Gál (high horn) and the Estonian-born Paula Ernesaks (low horn), a scholarship holder of the Karajan Academy, too. Four other musicians have already begun their probationary period with the orchestra: the clarinettists Matic Kuder and Andraž Golob as well as the double bass player Piotr Zimnik, former scholarship holder of the Karajan Academy, and the cellist Uladzimir Sinkevich.