Published on 15 March 2017
In a first-ever partnership with the prestigious Orchestra Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic in Germany, the Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) has sent two young Singaporean musicians to Berlin for two weeks, to receive training from members of the world’s most famous orchestra.
Horn player Kartik Alan Jairamin, 32, and percussionist Mario Choo, 29, will be on attachment to the Academy from March 6 to 18. The two-week period will include individual classes on their instruments, chamber music opportunities, orchestral audition training, as well as observation of orchestral rehearsals and performances. Both musicians are on SSO’s fixed-term contracts for young musicians to experience orchestral playing. Their time at the Academy will supplement this experience, and help to further prepare them for a lifetime career as a professional orchestral musician.
Founded 45 years ago by the legendary Herbert von Karajan and funded by private donors, the Orchestra Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic has produced many of the world’s leading orchestral musicians today. Almost one-third of the members of the Berlin Philharmonic today are former students of the Academy.
Says Mr Chng Hak-Peng, CEO of the Singapore Symphony Orchestra: “Orchestral playing is a craft that calls on a heightened sense of musicianship and awareness of the music happening around you, and an orchestra academy works with musicians on this specific craft. We are delighted to partner with the Orchestra Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic because of its tradition of excellence, and its holistic approach to developing ‘complete musicians’.
Says percussionist Mario Choo of his experience so far, “It’s amazing to have the opportunity to work closely with the Berlin Philharmonic, widen our experience and understand what it takes to be a complete musician. I have been working closely with Rainer Seegers, who has been principal timpanist of the orchestra since the time of principal conductor Herbert von Karajan, who was also the founder of the Orchestra Academy.”