• The project will take place from 11 – 13 March 2022 in the Château de Fontainebleau, France.
  • Four young double bass players are invited to take part in the academy project after having passed an audition.
  • The intensive course is focused on getting an integral vision of the instrument of the instrument – from the Violone to the Double Bass – as an orchestral and as a solo instrument. It considers the original set up and uses gut strings to explore the original color and sound.
  • Formats include conferences, group lessons, individual lessons, and a final recital.



10.03.2022: arrival

11.03.2022: course day 1

    • Conference on “The secret codes of interpretation in music”
    • Practice and application of the concepts and content on the conference
    • Individual lessons

12.03.2022: course day 2

  • Conference on “Exploring the orchestral sound”
  • Solo works for bass and orchestra solos played in original tuning, on gut strings and with the authentic set up
  • Individual lessons / ensemble rehearsals

13.03.2022: course day 3

  • Ensemble rehearsals, solo pieces rehearsals
  • Final recital



Every participant is required to bring…

  • Double-bass with gut strings and a period bow
  • selected orchestral excerpts which will be announced in advance
  • one or two solo pieces to work on in the individual lessons and for the final recital
  • …a lot of questions!



Nicola dal Maso & Diego Zecharies


Participation in this course is free of charge. The Balthasar Neumann Choir and Ensemble e.V. will also cover travel expenses, accommodation and per diems.

This call for applications is addressed to students or professional double bass players of all countries up to the age of 30.



Application deadline is 10.02.2022. Please submit your application via email to with the following documents:

  • CV (including contact details, date of birth, photo)
  • letter of motivation
  • the video audition file: two contrasting movements of one piece or two different pieces of your choice (3-8 min in total)
     (–> please check the indications in the section “audition video”)

The results will be announced via email in the end of Feb 2022. More details on the content can be given upon request.


Auditions are held online and you are required to hand in an audition video with two contrasting movements of one piece or two different pieces of your choice (3-8 min in total). The video has to be recorded in one continuous take and must not be edited. In order to guarantee that the recording has not been edited, it is important to ensure that you are visible throughout the take. You can take your time in between the musical pieces, and you can also tune your instrument if necessary, but the camera must be on the whole time. The video should be uploaded on YouTube, marked as ‘not listed’ and you just have to send us the link.

The video doesn’t have to be professional; you can record it with a device that you have at hand (computer, phone), but please take care that the audio quality is good in order to evaluate the submissions properly.


“Life is a constant tension between tradition and innovation. We need the one to be grounded and the other to keep moving. And we need to remember that all tradition is the result of successful innovation. Thriving societies and communities can find a healthy balance between the two. The truth-seekers, whether they’re scientists, journalists, artists, have a particular responsibility to investigate, communicate, and integrate the new with the old. 

 On the Double-Bass – maybe more than other orchestral instruments – the interpretation and musical education are very much conditioned to what “works”, or it is “effective” for an audition to win a position in an orchestra and not on the development of the player as an integral musician. There are many auditions all over the world won by the players who just play accurate in rhythm and in tune. Musicians who bring their own vision after digging deep into the music, take risks for the sake of the interpretation and – even if they play accurate in rhythm and in tune – are dangerous in the actual system. They have always been.

But: Time is changing because we are making the change!

To do so, it is essential to have an integral conception of our instrument and on the music we play. Every interpretation is valid if we can sustain it with well-founded arguments, derived from the deep study of the character, style and rhetoric of the work. And, having the ability to think and feel beyond yourself is essential. You must be able to zoom out and see the bigger picture to see why your conclusions matter.

Let’s meet in Fontainebleau during three intensive days to have an integral view of our instrument, from the Violone to the Double-Bass as an orchestral and solo instrument. We will play on the original set up, on gut strings, with the color and sound the pieces were conceived for but applying the playing technique of the XXI century. We can tell you already: it’s sounding amazing. 

We will Integrate history and present, like all of us do, in every day of our life. Is it possible? We are convinced that yes, it is.”

Nicola dal Maso & Diego Zecharies