Berlin Philharmonic reject their youngest player

A teenaged Austrian, Florian Pichler, was hired as second trumpet in the Berlin Philharmonic in August 2014.

We understand his two-year contract has now ended without renewal.

Florian played his last concert with the Berliners at the end of July. It’s tough out there.

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  • That’s a very negative way of looking at it !

    He’s probably had two fantastic years and it’s opened up many opportunities.

    • You must be new here. If there’s a way to put a negative and melodramatic spin on a story, however unlikely the spin may be, Norman will do it.

  • Big changes in that section then with Mr Velenczei stepping down to 2nd and presumably Mr Kretzer retiring in the not too distant future. Interesting that the new appointments just out still leave a second principal horn seat unfilled – vacant for quite a few years now.

  • I remember reading that 2/3 of their appointments end without tenure whereas the tenure rate in North America is somewhere >95%. If that’s true, then this is not really all that newsworthy. I suppose NL is only mentioning him because he published something about him before?

    In any case, getting into the BPO is probably such a big “+” on his résumé that he shouldn’t have much trouble getting into auditions for other orchestras.

    • I don’t know the specific statistics, but these don’t surprise me – at least in my limited experience. The failure to receive tenure says nothing about one’s ability. He must be an exceptional player to be given that opportunity in the first place. It may just mean that he needs more orchestral experience or that he may not be the best match with the rest of the section (which is why one has to go through a probationary period in a major group). Having consistency in any ensemble is as important as anything else. And, I agree, having the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra on your resume can only be a good thing. I’m sure we all wish him the best.

      • Thanks. I meant to include a “correct me if I’m wrong” clause.

        A 1/3 no-tenure rate is still astronomically higher than in the US. My point stands (although not as tall as I thought).

        • Your point still stands pretty tall, if you take into account that the Berlin Phil’s 1/3 no-tenure-rate is below the average of German orchestras on the whole. Two or three years ago, the Deutsche Orchestervereinigung e.V. (DOV) estimated that on average ~40% of trial phases in German orchestras ended unsuccessfully.
          (I shall endeavour to find the respective publication, as it was a very interesting read)

  • I guess he now has 2 years with the Berlin Phil on his resume. As a young man. That ought to get him some auditions. Or at least on the short list. His career is far from over.

  • I do wonder if the London orchestra system of a couple of weeks trial for those brass players who do good auditions isn’t fairer? Generally it only takes a couple of concerts for a brass section to come to an opinion one way or the other, why spin it out so long?

    • A couple of weeks trial? Judging from some brass players’ websites and e.g. the LSO’s list of performers that they put on the Bearbican concert leaflets, I got the impression that London orchestras would employ you (and a couple of others) for what feels like years as a substitute player and then – perhaps – invite you to join. I’d be very interested if you knew more about London’s brass hiring process.

  • I’d say that two years in one of the top orchestras in the world at 18 would position him nicely for a principal post in many other of the top orchestras in the world.

    • I’m glad that this sentiment is prevailing here on slippedisc. To have two years of experience with the BP is a big plus on his resume. I was pretty surprised to see that he had won the position in the first place, 18 is very young for such an esteemed orchestra.

      Best wishes to him.

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