Every year, about 1,500 music students complete their studies at German universities or music academies. They have a degree in the bag, are full of motivation, idealistic – and hardly prepared for what is going to come. The competition is big. Too big to just rely on their luck. Depending on the size and reputation of the orchestra, up to 300 musicians apply for a vacant position. The challenge then is to be special in every respect.
Only very few music students learn during their studies how to present themselves in a promising way before and during the 'interview'. This is due to the lack of preparation by the university or academy professors for the 'shark pool called job hunting', but also due to the indifference of the students themselves. The musicians trained there are often soloists who neither know how a winning application should look like, nor how to make an outstanding impression in the stressful situation of an audition. Sample applications for other professions are only partly useful and information material is hard to find. For the following article, 110 members of 15 German professional orchestras completed a questionnaire, giving their opinion on application and audition.
Sara Täuber: Über die Kunst der gewinnbringenden Selbstdarstellung. Kleiner Leitfaden für angehende Orchestermusiker
published in: das Orchester 1/2009, Translation into English: Esther Dubielzig