Orchestral Academy

The PKF – Prague Philharmonia Orchestral Academy was established in 2008 as the very first project of its kind in the Czech Republic. Due to overwhelming interest, the number of the Academy students has increased from five to the current twelve or fourteen in the wake of the first year of this unique project's existence, a number that is matched in the 2014–2015 season as well.  

Its aim is to seek out talented music school students and graduatesand provide them with practical experience of playing with an orchestra.

This project makes it possible for talented young musicians to gain high-quality practical experience performing with an orchestra while affording the orchestra the opportunity to boost its ranks with fully-fledged young players.  

In 2009, some Orchestral Academy members participated in the unique YouTube Symphony Orchestra project, while two of them, Jakub Fišer and Ondřej Martinovský, performed alongside 90 other chosen musicians from around the world under the conductor M. Tilson Thomas at New York's Carnegie Hall. This serves as proof of the PKF – Prague Philharmonia Orchestral Academy's exceptionality and usefulness to its members.The Orchestral Academy of the PKF – Prague Philharmonia is primarily intended for students of secondary schools and universities of music, as well as graduates whose musical education has been completed through leaving examinations at the secondary-school or university level in the Czech Republic or abroad, who possess the artistic ability to perform in the PKF – Prague Philharmonia or other orchestras of similar quality. The Orchestral Academy is organised through PKF – Prague Philharmonia. This one-year course is intended for musicians aged between 18 and 30 from the Czech Republic, EU member states, and other countries. Membership and the associated scholarship may only be obtained twice.The PKF – Prague Philharmonia grants applicants membership in the Orchestral Academy and its associated year-long scholarship on the basis of an audition. Throughout the duration of the course, students undergo a comprehensive educational programme that includes individual teaching of parts under the guidance of the concert masters and leading players of the PKF – Prague Philharmonia. At the same time, they gain invaluable orchestral experience in the form of artistic participation in PKF – Prague Philharmonia projects at home and abroad, concerts of chamber and contemporary music, recordings of CDs, and numerous other activities such as seminars with soloists, conductors, and other visiting internationally renowned artists.

In 2014 the project Orchestral Academy is financially supported by the Ministry of Culture of Czech Republic and Air Navigation Services of the Czech Republic. The project is supported by ČEZ Foundation.

Scholarships and other benefits

Students do not pay for their membership of the PKF – Prague Philharmonia Orchestral Academy, the PKF – Prague Philharmonia pays their tuition fees and grants scholarships. In the 2013-14 season, the scholarship for one student totals CZK 40,000 / 10 months (divided into monthly payments). The PKF – Prague Philharmonia is entitled to change the scholarship amount in serious cases. Payment of the scholarship is conditioned on the student’s active participation in the training course and abiding by the PKF – Prague Philharmonia terms.

Other benefits
The PKF – Prague Philharmonia may offer students the opportunity to take part in studio recordings, in the case of which the student is entitled to a fee. 

A member of the Orchestral Academy is also paid a fee when participating in other PKF – Prague Philharmonia projects (e.g. concerts within subscription cycles K or S). Beyond the framework of compulsory orchestral practice and provided that the artistic standard is met, a member of the Orchestral Academy may also be offered the opportunity to work with the PKF – Prague Philharmonia as a temporary player. 

The PKF – Prague Philharmonia does not provide students of the Orchestral Academy with accommodation in Prague, neither does it cover any accommodation-related costs and costs for individual travel to the PKF – Prague Philharmonia residence. Nor does membership of the Orchestral Academy include the right to free entry to PKF – Prague Philharmonia premises, provision of a concert outfit or financial compensation for using the student’s own clothes, provision of an instrument or parts thereof owned by the PKF – Prague Philharmonia (or the PKF – Prague Philharmonia Foundation) or financial compensation for using one’s own instrument.

Admission terms

Musicians from the Czech Republic, other EU member states and non-EU countries who by 1 September in the year of the training course’s commencement have reached the age of 18 and have not exceeded the age of 30 and have completed their music education with a leaving examination or graduation from a secondary school or university in the Czech Republic or abroad. The PKF – Prague Philharmonia does not arrange residence and other formalities relating to the artist’s participation in the training. 

Applicants for participation in the PKF – Prague Philharmonia Orchestral Academy are selected on the basis of an audition announced by the PKF – Prague Philharmonia and its subsequent decision. The PKF – Prague Philharmonia is not obliged to occupy the position for which the audition is announced, neither is it obliged to implement the PKF – Prague Philharmonia Orchestral Academy project. The PKF – Prague Philharmonia is entitled to terminate the training course if the student shows a lack of interest or it is revealed that the student does not meet the orchestra’s artistic criteria. In the event that an applicant has already undergone the training within the PKF – Prague Philharmonia Orchestral Academy and if a vacant position for the respective instrument is announced for the next season too, the applicant can again register in the audition, yet not more than twice, with the upper age limit also restricting admission to the Orchestral Academy. 

Admissions for Orchestral Academy are going to take place on June 19, 2017 from 9am till 6pm and on June 20, 2017 from 9am till 6pm for winds. Send your CV until June 10 on pkf@pkf.cz.