National and international cooperation

The Orchesterzentrum|NRW facilitates entering professional life for its students by offering them various opportunities during their studies to be part of professional ensembles and orchestras. To this end, the Orchesterzentrum|NRW works together with various cooperation partners.   Students can make use of the Centre’s networks and develop their own contacts in the orchestra landscape. Below, we present current and new cooperation projects:

NRW Orchestra Internships

In addition to their studies, the Orchesterzentrum|NRW offers its students and Master’s course postgraduates from the four partner colleges the opportunity to gain valuable practical experience at one of the professional orchestras in the region. Collaborative NRW Orchestra Internships are currently in place with ten orchestras in North Rhine-Westphalia, which accept the students into their ranks for six months in each case in order to carry out joint projects and productions. The interns get to know everyday life in the orchestra, build up a valuable network and can prepare themselves intensively for their future career. They also receive a grant which is financed for the most part by the Ministry of Culture and Science for the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

“For a young musician, this sort of internship is the best opportunity to gain experience on a professional level and thus ensure a successful start to a career. I was able to gain the necessary experience in Dortmund for my permanent position at the Theater Ulm and to be best placed for my duties as trumpet soloist.”
Hans Lehmann, trumpeter and former intern with the Dortmunder Philharmoniker

Detailed information on the NRW Orchestra Internships and on the possibilities for participation can be found here.

MCO Academy at the Orchesterzentrum|NRW

In the MCO Academy at the Orchesterzentrum|NRW, selected young musicians from several international organisations become part of the excellent Mahler Chamber Orchestra (MCO) in its symphonic projects and benefit in workshops and chamber music projects from the experience of MCO musicians, having the opportunity to play in concerts together with them and international stars and thus gain an understanding for a musical career in a free ensemble.

The Academy was founded in 2009 through the collaboration of MCO and the Orchesterzentrum|NRW. Since then, the participation of Master’s students from NRW has been made financially possible thanks to the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

“The MCO Academy is both catalyst and inspiration for a new generation of professional musicians, students who gain insight into the different facets of Mahler Chamber Orchestra through their work with the orchestra’s musicians. With its innovative structure, international identity and joyful music-making at the highest level, the MCO – together with the Orchesterzentrum|NRW and further partners – enriches the creative and diverse cultural landscape of North Rhine‐Westphalia through this unique and forward‐looking educational model."
Isabel Pfeiffer‐Poensgen, Minister of Culture and Science, German Federal State of North Rhine‐Westphalia

Detailed information on the MCO Academy, on possibilities for participation and on past project phases can be found here.

Balthasar Neumann Academy

The Orchesterzentrum|NRW has been cooperating with the Balthasar Neumann Academy since 2018. Together, projects serving international understanding and the formation of networks are offered to students of the OZM and its four partner colleges of music. In particular, the artistic focus lies also on alternating musical epochs and the passing on of the respective historically-informed practice of performance. In the context of the Cuban European Youth Academy (CuE), for example, participants in 2018 and 2019 implemented chamber music projects on both sides of the Atlantic with young musicians from Cuba, involving works from the Baroque and Classic periods from both Cuba and Europe. The CuE is under the patronage of Federal Foreign Secretary Heiko Maas.

“The project is not only enriching for the musicians and for the audience, but also for the bilateral relations between Germany and Cuba that can build on the trust and network created.”
Heiko Maas, Federal Foreign Secretary and patron of the Cuban-European Youth Academy

Detailed information on cooperation with the Balthasar Neumann Academy, on possibilities for participation and on past projects can be found here.