Berlin Phil is now looking for 3 horns

Berlin Phil is now looking for 3 horns


norman lebrecht

August 11, 2018

We reported yesterday that the Berliners had lost their American principal horn. His is not the only section vacancy.

Principal Horn

Required pieces: Mozart Concerto KV 495 and Strauss First Horn Concerto
Application deadline: 12 February 2019
Audition: 27/28 March 2019

High Horn

Required pieces: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Horn Concerto No 4 E flat major KV 495 and Richard Strauss  Horn Concerto No 1 E flat major op 11
Application Deadline: 18 December 2018
Audition: 30/31 January 2019

Low Horn

Required Pieces: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Horn Concerto No. 3 E flat major K. 447 and Hermann Neuling Bagatelle
Application Deadline: 5 December 2018
Audition: 17/18 January 2019


Highly qualified applicants should send their application (PDF) only by e-mail to:

Stiftung Berliner Philharmoniker
Herbert-von-Karajan-Str. 1
10785 Berlin, Germany


  • Simon Evnine says:

    What do you reckon the salaries are ?

    • Simon Evnine says:

      I should think the salaries would be quite acceptable. Maybe in the region of $75,000? And who are you, and why do you use my name?

      • Max Grimm says:

        Pay for a Berliner Philharmoniker section player is currently ~ €8.500/$9.845 per month and ~ €9.770/$11.315 per month for a principal.
        Depending on the system used by the Berliner Philharmoniker, a member may receive 12, 13 or even 14 months worth remuneration per calendar year.

  • BPhil Fan says:

    They are also looking for a a First Concertmaster. Who is leaving?

    • Felix Mendelssohn says:

      There is no vacancy for 1st concertmaster- rather for the Konzertmeister position, since Andreas Buschatz left the Orchrstra to become 1st concertmaster of the Leipzig Gewandhaus.

  • Archie_V says:

    Daniel Stabrawa must be coming up for retirement soon – he’s been with the BPO for 35 years. Although both Daishin Kashimoto and Noah Bendix-Balgley do quite a lot of guest-soloist work outside the orchestra, most of the principals do that, and I’d be surprised if either of them jumped ship to pursue a solo career, as Guy Braunstein did.

  • anon says:

    It used to be that Berlin was stable as a rock, auditions are not won easily, you get tenure, you stay forever.

    Now, not only is there an endless rotation of people trying out, people then fail to get tenure, and when they do, they leave in their prime to try to forge solo careers that rarely pan out (name one!)

    What is happening?

    • Caravaggio says:

      I strongly believe that Simon Rattle finished destroying the Berlin Phil. The band no longer plays or sounds as in the days of Karajan and Abbado. It has transformed into another competent but bland and generic international orchestra. No longer is their sound or manner recognizable among a hundred others. Same has happened to the Vienna Phi. In the case of the latter no blame can be assigned to any one conductor so has to be personnel changes: younger players with no notion of what went on before or without notion of how to coax the once fabled sound from their unique instruments. Pity.

      • Jewelyard says:

        You are completely wrong here. The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra has the MOST recognizable, unique sound of any orchestra in the world. The principals of the BPO are virtuosos without parallel. Show me a better flute player than Dufour or Pahud!? A better principal Horn than Stefan Dohr?! A better concertmaster than Noah Bendix-Balgley?! The list goes on and on. Ive heard most of the great orchestra of
        The world and can’t think of one that holds a candle to the BPO in any respect.

        • Chuck says:

          I have been a regular attendee at Chicago Symphony Orchestra concerts for more than 30 years. I was very sad when Matthieu Dufour left Chicago for Berlin. Since Stefán Ragnar Höskuldsson has become principal flute of the CSO, I am I no longer sad. In fact, I could not be happier.

        • Sue says:

          Totally agree.

        • John Kelly says:

          100% agree. And if Caravaggio can’t hear that the VPO has unique sounding horns and oboes, he must be deaf. They sound like have sounded for at least 70 years, based on recordings.

        • Tamino says:

          Totally disagree about the unique sound. Berlin Phil has no really distinguishable unique sound as an orchestra anymore. But they have extraordinary capable individual players. But each with their own extraordinary sound. Great orchestra. But no signature sound, except loud maybe.
          It is to be expected to lose the homogenized sound over some years as an orchestra, as soon as the force that created and supervised it, Karajan, was no more.

        • Will says:

          Let’s be clear about exactly what Caravaggio is suggesting. Of course it can’t be denied that all those superb BPO principal players can play all their solos absolutely accurately and perfectly ‘in tune’ ( whatever that means when we consider that the BPO’s prevailing pitch is about A=444).
          But the ‘area of dissatisfaction’ is surely to do with overall style and characterfulness ( and the implied current lack of ‘personality’) rather than the sheer ability to play all the notes beautifully!)

      • Don Pasquale says:


      • Bruce says:

        Funny: the Vienna Phil is famous for hiring “within the tradition,” i.e. only (or mainly) graduates of the conservatory there, and many of the musicians are sons of previous musicians, etc. That’s how they are thought to have maintained their sound as long as they have.

        Do they now hire musicians with no notion of the past?

        • barry guerrero says:

          More people are learning to play the Wiener single F horn outside of Vienna now. They use those horns almost exclusively.

          • Jon Eddie says:

            More people are dabbling with it. I can’t imagine there are many proficient players of it outside of Austria.

          • Shalom Rackovsky says:

            There is absolutely no mass movement to trade in F/B-flat double horns, which have become the world orchestra standard, for single-F Vienna horns. Most of the professional players I know have never even held a Vienna horn.

      • Conducting Feminista says:

        DAMN RIGHT! Berlin Phil needs a woman conductor so that she can restore it to its former glory and surpass Karajan.

    • Bruce says:

      Pahud’s solo career “worked out,” he just got tired of it (at least from the interviews I’ve seen, I don’t know him).

      I didn’t try to keep track of Baborak.

      • anon says:

        It was getting increasingly kitsch, him dressing up in period costume as Frederic II… Let’s all forget his forays into “jazz”… Even Galway had to (though he enjoyed it immensely) cross over considerably playing pop tunes….

        • MacroV says:

          If you look at his website, Manny Pahud has a very busy solo/chamber career going.

          Maybe not as high-profile as Galway, but one that seems to reflect his stature as both pre-eminent soloist and orchestral star (and one bolsters the other).

          • Anon says:

            Manny? I have met him several times and I must say I’ve never heard him called “Manny”. Nor in the flute community has he ever been called that.

          • Bruce says:

            Relax. That’s just Macrov’s pet name for him.

        • Sue says:

          Are you saying he’s left the BPO? Haven’t noticed Andreas Ottensamer there of late either. Tell.

          • Tutti Flutie says:

            Omg this is how stupid rumors begin. Pahud is still very much Berlin’ s Prinicipal Flute. And Ottensamer is still Princ Clarinet. Berlin has 2 Principal Winds in each section which gives them time off to pursue solo careers or teach or whatever. Both Pahud & Ottensamer have VERY successful solo careers outside of Berlin Phil. When Pahud isn’t there, the other Berlin Principal Flute Mathieu Dufour is playing.

          • anon says:

            Ah Prince Andreas, so dreamy, such lips, I wish I were a clarinet mouthpiece. My main crush used to be Manu (by the way, the diminutive for Emmanuel is Manu, not Manny, see youtube video of French president Emmanuel Macron upbraiding a cheeky teenager who called him Manu instead of Monsieur le Président)

            The principal oboe (son-in-law of the now retired other principal flute was also dreamy.

            Do the Berlin woodwinds hire based on looks? It certainly helps with the digital concert hall… I pause a lot!

  • Rob says:

    I can play the recorder and metal fire grate.

  • Jonathan says:

    BPO also has a vacancy for High Clarinet, Principal Viola, Violin tutti and 1st Concertmaster. Interesting.

  • Hilary says:

    What a splendid building. Shame about the immediate vicinity.

  • Sue says:

    We’ve got a spare bull in the back paddock.