Paula Ernesaks becomes a horn player for the Berliner Philharmoniker

An Estonian orchestra musician, Paula Ernesaks, won the Berliner Philharmoniker’s audition to become their low horn player; the Berlin-based orchestra is ranked as one of the best in the world.

“We are beyond happy to announce that the wonderful Paula Ernesaks from Estonia just won our low horn audition here – she’s an amazing person and player, congrats dear Paula!” the orchestra’s horn section announced on their Facebook page on 10 December.

Paula Ernesaks (second left) with some of her new colleagues at the Berliner Philharmoniker. Photo by the Hornisten der Berliner Philharmoniker Facebook page.

Ernesaks began her horn studies at the age of 14 at Espoo Music Institute in Finland. She earned her bachelor’s degree at the Sibelius Academy, also in Finland.

As an orchestra musician, Ernesaks gained experience in several youth orchestras such as Verbier Festival Junior Orchestra, Verbier Festival Orchestra, European Union Youth Orchestra and Orkester Norden. She also participated in the apprenticeship programme in the Finnish National Opera Orchestra and Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra.

In 2019, she became an academist of the Karajan Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic.

Paula Ernesaks. Photo by Taavi Kull.

Two other Estonians have previously played with the Berliner Philharmoniker – Kalev Kuljus, who was the guest oboist of the orchestra from 2002–2003 and Martine Värnik, who played for two years as a member of the Karajan Academy from 2002-2004 and later as the guest oboist.

The Berliner Philharmoniker, founded in 1882, is ranked as one of the best orchestras in the world by several classical music magazines. Its principal conductors over the years have included Richard Strauss, Herbert von Karajan and Simon Rattle.

Cover: Paula Ernesaks. Photo by Taavi Kull.

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