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Job vacant: Concertmaster at the Vienna Philharmonic

February 18, 2015 by norman lebrecht

18 comments.


Girls and boys, this is the big one…. put your apps in now.

The job has just gone online. It’s open to men and women and all auditions except the last are behind a screen. The sessions are mid-June, peak of the asparagus season. The winner will join the State Opera orchestra, with a probationary period on the Vienna Phil.

Click here for details.

vienna phil audition


Comments (18)

  1. Simon S. says:

    Girls?!? ROTFL

    Oh, yes:
    “Die Wiener Staatsoper strebt die Erhöhung
    des Frauenanteils an und fordert daher qualifizierte
    Frauen ausdrücklich auf, sich zu bewerben.”

    ROTFL

    1. Jaypee says:

      Tell us more about the number of blacks in major American symphony orchestras… Funny: I don’t see anyone complaining about that. It’s true that it’s much more fun to hit on the Germans and the Austrians… and so original!

      ROTFL indeed…

      1. David says:

        I suspect a certain degree of envy in the antiGerman tone often encountered on these pages. The VPO is quite simply the best, an intolerable state of affairs for some.
        Hard cheese.

      2. JP says:

        Although it would be wonderful to see more African Americans in US orchestras, the ratios of African American classical music students in conservatories to working African Americans in US orchestras is far closer than Asian classical music students (in German speaking conservatories) to working Asian musicians in those regions.

        There’s even a joke that if you get lost in Berlin on your way to either school, you should follow the Asians out of the U-Bahn. (Unfortunately) that’s hardly the case in the States with African American music students. US orchestras, I would however say, reflect a more true ratio of Asians in conservatories to Asians in orchestras. The rosters of NY Phil, LA Phil, Boston and Chicago Symphonies, and the Philadelphia Orchestra would be a good place to start.

        1. Max Grimm says:

          While bigotry is undeniably alive and well in the world, one commonly overlooked fact is that virtually 100% of Asian music students in the USA speak English and therefore don’t have the language problem when seeking orchestral jobs. The number of Asian music students in Germany who have a good command of the German language is anything but 100%. Couple that with orchestras that inform applicants that the “Umgangssprache” (the common language) used is German and orchestras that only advertise or list vacancies in German…

      3. Anon says:

        Jaypee: considering the near impossiblity for ANYONE of ANY race to land a job in a major US orch. these days, then hoping the orch. won’t go bankrupt or lock out the players once you do get the job, consider it a blessing for those minority groups which you feel are under-represented to be obliged to find another profession. They have a better chance at financial security and success in most any other profession.

        It borders stupidity to go into the music profession with hopes of winning a big orchestral job right now. It’s like winning the lottery. The NAACP can thank its lucky stars if musicians of color are under-represented in big orchestras. They will enter other professions and probably be much happier and far more successful.

  2. NYMike says:

    Of their four listed concertmasters, it’s Rainer Küchl who’s retiring and who had hair in the videos when he was Bernstein’s concertmaster of choice. Now bald, he leaves still playing well at mandatory 65 retiring age.

  3. Andrew Condon says:

    This is actually the second time that this post has been advertised. Auditions held last autumn failed to produce a winner.

  4. Novagerio says:

    Sad in many ways. The Werner Hink – Rainer Küchl Days are over….:(

  5. Una says:

    Perhaps no one wants the job … not even a man!

    1. Concert listener says:

      Rest assured, there are many. We are talking about the best orchestra in the world after all.

  6. Michael Endres says:

    Dear VPO, please give the job to a female Asian violinist, otherwise ….

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FZSTM3knaao (from 0.33 sec. onwards )

    1. Max Grimm says:

      Absolutely, anything else would neither be fair nor transparent. Therefore I say the VPO forgo the audition and directly appoint Yuki Manuela Janke (while she is female, she is only half Asian unfortunately) to the position of concertmaster. She served as 1st concertmaster of the Staatskapelle Dresden from 2012-2014.

      1. Andrew Condon says:

        Buy didn’t pass her probation at Dresden?

        1. Max Grimm says:

          No, she unfortunately did not pass. Neither did the candidate on trial for principal trumpet. The Staatskapelle Dresden now has 12 vacancies, 10 of which are for principal positions.

        2. Anon says:

          correct. For unknown reasons. They also had a half Asian (Korean) cello concert master, Isang Enders, but he passed his probation and quit after a few years for a solo career.

          1. Max Grimm says:

            True. And Mr. Enders won the job after the Staatskapelle had been searching and holding auditions for over 10 years. Lets hope it won’t take that long to find the right person this time (beside the concertmaster of the cellos, they’re looking for a 1st concertmaster, a concertmaster of the 2nd violins, a 1st principal violist, and a principal double bassist and more principals in the woodwinds and brass)

          2. Concert listener says:

            The recent events in Dresden certainly will not have made their search for excellent players in the vacant seats easier, that was a classical shot in the own foot as far as attraction on the job market is concerned. And then we are all curious what we will hear from Berlin in May. Will it affect Dresden’s chief? Interesting times.


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