About us

We, the Akademische Philharmonie Heidelberg, are a large symphonic orchestra consisting mainly of students from the Heidelberg/Mannheim region. In 2006, the orchestra emerged from the Collegium musicum of Heidelberg University. At that time, we played under our previous conductor, Peter Shannon. After a brief period of transition, we were then conducted until 2009 by Wolfgang Seeliger, who firmly established the Akademische Philharmonie within the musical life of Heidelberg. From October 2009 until August 2019, Jesko Sirvend has been our conductor. With him we have managed, amongst others, to sell out nearly all of our concerts, to start a series of concerts in Dillenburg, to produce a CD recording of Mahler's 5th symphony, and to go on two concert tours to China.

Since October 2019 Olivier Pols is our conductur. After his sold-out, first concerts with the Akademische Philharmonie Heidelberg in spring 2020 the choice of him as our conductor has been titled "A real stroke of luck" ("Ein echter Glücksgriff") in the Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung.

Today, we consist of about 110 fellow musicians and are one of the largest amateur orchestras in our region. We all share the joy in weekly rehearsals in a relaxed atmosphere but on a high level, and in performing the pieces we have worked on multiple times a year in Heidelberg's Halls. At our concerts, we perform both well-known and less frequently played pieces in unusual and exciting combinations. We hope that in this way, we can pass on our enthusiam about classical music to our audience.

We are particularly pleased that we have been able time and again to play alongside renowned soloists. In the course of the last years, we have played with, amongst others, Soyoung Yoon, award winner of the Queen Elisabeth Competition 2009 and leader of the Basel Symphony Orchestra, Hye-Sung Na, ensemble member of the Theater & Orchester Heidelberg, and Silvia Careddu, solo flute of the Wiener Philharmoniker and the Wiener Staatsoper.

New exciting projects are already in planning and we are always happy to find new commited orchestra members to help us realise them!

Our conductor - Olivier Pols

Olivier Pols is the conductor of the Akademische Philharmonie Heidelberg since October 2019.

Since the beginning of the concert season 2018/19, he is first assistant conductor at the Pfalztheater Kaiserslautern. He was visiting conductor with the Rhenische Philharmonie Koblenz, with the Stuttgarter Kammerorchester, the Neue Elblandphilharmonie Riesa, the Philharmonie Südwestfalen as well as with the National Symphonic Orchestra Ishevsk (Russia).


Join us!

Dear Musician,

Are you looking for an orchestra in Heidelberg? Do you want to get to know demanding orchestral pieces and perform them alongside other dedicated young musicians?

The current plan is to start weekly rehearsals in April or May (Thursdays from 19:30-22:00h in the "Alte Pädagogische Hochschule" at Keplerstraße 87, 69120 Heidelberg). Depending on the situation this may or may not change.


Normally you can get to know us, the orchestra, and our conductor, Olivier Pols, at a public rehearsal. Currently this is not possible due to the strict contact rules. But it’s possible to get to know us regardless! Every month or so we are meeting in an online format to listen to the pieces we are going to perform together and to analyze the sheet music. You are more than welcome to join! Just send Felicitas a short message to let us know.


If you consider applying please send us a short paragraph about your musical background, past activities and auxiliary instruments (like piccolo, alto trombone, contrabassoon, english horn etc.) you might happen to play.

Also check your calendar to confirm that you can attend the weekly rehearsals and rehearsal weekends. You can find the dates on the Startpage. Reliably partaking in weekly rehearsals is essential for a successful concert!


At the moment, we are particularly looking for double bass player. But do not hesitate to contact us if you happen to play any other instrument, as we are always looking for ambitious musicians!


Auditions will take Place on the 15th of April. We will decide later on if auditions can be held in person or whether we will have to resort to an online format. Please prepare a solo piece for your instrument (5-10 min), you will also be given a few excerpts "prima vista".



If you are interested in joining, please contact Felicitas to introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your musical past. She can provide further information and will give you the exact date and time of your audition.




Additional info for clarinet players: Please only register for auditions if you can provide both a Bb- and an A-clarinet!