The Belgrade Philharmonic has finished the auditions for the first orchestral academy – The Philcademy, which will be organised in the period 7–15 November with the idea to provide young musicians with an entirely free opportunity for professional and practical training. Out of 125 applicants from Serbia and the region, we have selected 49 best ones, who will be able to gain experience in orchestral performance, under mentorship of the BPO musicians.
Eligible candidates for the Philcademy included music academy students and graduates up to 27 years of age. There was a specific programme for the audition – excerpts from Beethoven’s Symphony No 7 and Stravinsky’s The Firebird, which will also be the repertoire of the final concert. The audition panel used strict criteria to select the candidates that are willing to cooperate in the orchestra, follow the instructions of their mentors, their section principals and, finally, of the conductor. The panel, consisting of the concertmasters and relevant section principals, selected 49 most promising musicians who demonstrated the qualities required in an orchestral musician.
Separate section rehearsals with mentors are scheduled between 7 and 10 November 2016, whereas full orchestra rehearsals will take place in the period 11-14 November at the Belgrade Philharmonic Hall, which will also be the venue of the final concert on 15 November, under the baton of the French conductor Fabrice Bollon.
Young musicians said they were delighted about the opportunity offered by the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra, confident that this would be an excellent and significant experience, which they lacked in their formal training. BPO musicians are proud that they will share their knowledge with younger fellow musicians, as well as for the fact that the Belgrade Philharmonic follows global trends in this aspect, too. Although it is quite new in Serbia, similar educational concepts have had a long tradition internationally.