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 on the 5th of November 2020 (Every Thursday from 19:30-22:00h in the "Alte Pädagogische Hochschule" at Keplerstraße 87, 69120 Heidelberg).

Auditions will take Place during the second week of November 2020 (probably the 12th of November). Please prepare a solo piece for your instrument (5-10 min), you will also be given a few excerpts "prima vista".

You can get to know the orchestra and our conductor at an open rehearsal on the 05.11.2020 at 19:30h in the "Mehrzweckhalle" of the "Alte Pädagogische Hochschule". Due to the current pandemic it is necessary to notify Felicitas in advance if you want to join the open rehearsal.

Pleas write a short paragraph about your musical background, past musical activities and auxiliary instruments (like piccolo, alto trombone, contrabassoon, english horn etc.) you might happen to play.


Also check your calendar on the to confirm that you can regularly 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!


In particular, we are looking for double bass, violin and viola as well as harp, bassoon  and flute players. French horns are always welcome, too! Do not hesitate to contact us if you happen to play an instrument not listed above, as we are alway looking for ambitious musicians!


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 own both a B flat and A clarinet!