Karajan-Akademie der Berliner Philharmoniker

Enno Poppe, conductor
Saunders | Djordjević | Poppe

The Karajan Academy’s objective is to train and support emerging orchestra musicians. At the centre of this concert is the world premiere of a work by the Serbian and Berlin-based composer Milica Djordjević, which will be encircled by works by Rebecca Saunders and the German composer Enno Poppe, who will also be directing the Karajan Academy.

Peter Weibel, The Globe as a Suitcase, 2004

Peter Weibel, The Globe as a Suitcase, 2004

Photo: Oleksandr Samoylyk, Wikimedia Commons

Musikfest Berlin digital – Concert Recordings online
Live stream of the concert in the Digital Concert Hall,
available 22 September, 20:00
Recording of the concert at Musikfest Berlin on Demand,
available 23 September, 16:00 – 26 September 15:59

Music in Conversation – Artist Talks online
Talks with Enno Poppe, Milica Djordjević and Rebecca Saunders
available from 19 August

Today, it is almost a matter of course: Great, renowned orchestras host academies for the emerging generation of artists. Young musicians receive an excellent education which, however, is often mainly geared towards the solo repertoire. Here, they have the opportunity of perfecting their art side by side with experienced and excellent professional musicians – in orchestral and ensemble music, chamber music and cooperative solo projects. However, when Herbert von Karajan took the initiative to found an academy with the Berliner Philharmoniker nearly half a century ago, this was a pioneering feat.

At the beginning of this season, the work of the Karajan Academy will focus on contemporary music. Enno Poppe, a composer, conductor and clear, convincing champion of New Music, will be at the helm. His own work demonstrates the art of creating polymorphous and extensive connections from a succinct central idea, a compositional molecule, as it were. A performance of Rebecca Saunders’ analysis of the concertante as an exposed and interactive expression and her equally wild and sensitive piece for double bass concludes and rounds out one of this year’s Musikfest Berlin’s main focus themes.

Milica Djordjević's music is described as “rough, often even raw in the gesture”, as a “vital tonal language that refuses less harmony and beautiful sound than that it gives the experience of the elemental quite pleasurably: tones of the earth’s emanations.” Milica Djordević has won this year’s Claudio Abbado Composition Prize, and she also received a commission from the Karajan Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic for a new work that will be premiered that evening.

Concert Programme

Rebecca Saunders (*1967)
Double concerto for violin and trumpet, ensemble and 11 musical clocks(1999)

Rebecca Saunders
for double bass solo (2005)

Milica Djordjević (*1984)
Transfixed ʾ
for ensemble (2020)
Commissioned by Karajan-Akademie der Berliner Philharmoniker in connection with the awarding of the Claudio-Abbado-Composition-Prize 2020
World premiere

Milica Djordjević
for ensemble (2015)

Enno Poppe (*1969)
for large ensemble (2013)


Alexander Arai-Swale double bass
Ania Filochowska violin
Markus Mayr trumpet

Karajan-Akademie der Berliner Philharmoniker
Enno Poppe conductor

Programme and cast are subject to change

A Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation event in cooperation with Berliner Festspiele / Musikfest Berlin.