With a tradition dating back to 1570, the Staatskapelle Berlin is one of the oldest orchestras in the world. Initially, it was exclusively dedicated to music at court. However, when Friedrich the Great founded the Königliche Hofoper, today's Staatsoper, in 1742 and merged it with the Kapelle, its sphere of activity expanded and the success story began.
The special, dark and warm sound of the Staatskapelle, which connoisseurs praise, has grown out of the long tradition; the greatest conductors of their time shaped the instrumental and interpretive culture of the orchestra. The Staatskapelle Berlin is an essential part of the artistic profile of the Staatsoper: it carries the majority of opera and ballet performances and performs major symphonic works from the classical, romantic and classical modern periods to contemporary music, including world premieres, as well as a broad stylistic spectrum of chamber music in independent concert series. Since 1992 Daniel Barenboim has been General Music Director of the Staatskapelle Berlin.
The Orchestra Academy at the Staatskapelle Berlin awards two-year scholarships to university graduates. Admission to the academy is open to students up to the age of 27. After passing the audition, the academy members take part in rehearsals, concerts and performances of operas and ballets of the Staatskapelle and thus have the unique opportunity to work with first-class musicians and renowned conductors immediately after graduation, to make music in the best halls of Berlin and to take part in guest performances in important music centres of the world.