The Academy of Music Hanns Eisler Berlin, founded in 1950 under the name German Academy of Music, is situated in the historical centre of Berlin on Gendarmenmarkt, directly behind the Konzerthaus Berlin. The New Marstall, with its prominent address on the Schloßplatz close to Museum Island, was opened as a further location in April 2005. Presided over by its director Prof. Dr. Stefan Willich this well-respected institution boasts a symphony orchestra, a chorus, the ECHO New Music Ensemble, numerous chamber music formations.
Each year, over 350 events are presented – concerts, opera productions, class recitals and exam concerts. Close relationships exist with the Konzerthaus Berlin and the Berlin Philharmonic Foundation, and in both these houses regular orchestral, choral and staff concerts take place.
The last few years have seen the founding, in cooperation with the University of the Arts, the Kurt Singer Institute for Musicians’ Health, the Institute of New Music and the Jazz Institute Berlin. These institutions are a mark of the comprehensive education profile in an innovative format.
Internationally renowned artists such as Kolja Blacher, Hanspeter Kyburz, Marie Luise Neunecker, Thomas Quasthoff, Julia Varady, Antje Weithaas and Tabea Zimmermann guarantee a high teaching standard. In orchestral workshops and masterclasses students have the opportunity to work with such famed artists as Midori, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Daniel Barenboim, Zubin Mehta, Kent Nagano, Seiji Ozawa, Thomas Quasthoff, Sir Simon Rattle and Christian Thielemann.
In addition to the outstanding teaching staff, the Academy’s excellence also lies in the practice-oriented nature of the training and in the impetus that results from working with great artists. This is achieved through close contact with top orchestras and theatres as well as through workshops, for example the conductor's workshop Interaction with the Critical Orchestra, where conducting students enter into musical dialogue with members of leading orchestras and are confronted with professional criticism. Working in front of an audience and stage experience are integral aspects of the training and at the same time place the Academy firmly on the cultural map of Berlin.
Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Sir Simon Rattle and Wolfgang Rihm support the artistic and pedagogical aims of the Academy in their function as Honorary Senators. The Academy Council, at the interface between higher education, state and society, includes external representatives of the arts, economics and academia, such as Thomas Greiner, Prof. Monika Grütters, Christian Töpper and Dr. Elmar Weingarten. The Society of Friends of the Academy of Music Hanns Eisler Berlin e. V. under its patron, former President Dr. Richard von Weizsäcker, supports the Academy and its students by means of benefit concerts and the organisation of the student performers’ agency "Eisleriana".
Academy graduates include: Jochen Kowalski, Roman Trekel, (voice), Georg Katzer, Siegfried Matthus, Friedrich Schenker (composition), Vladimir Jurowski, Ernst Stoy, Sebastian Weigle, Feng Yu (conducting), Peter Konwitschny, Christine Mielitz, Vera Nemirova (opera directing), Isabelle Faust (violin), Claudio Bohórquez, Sol Gabetta, Danjulo Ishizaka, Johannes Moser (cello), and in the field of jazz Volker Schlott, Rolf von Nordenskjöld (saxophone).