Musicboard-Berlin > Funding > Hinterhalt Commission

Hinterhalt Commission: Deutsche Oper Berlin

Next Application Deadline 1.6.2024 – 6:00 p.m.

Maureen Noe
T +49 (0)30 221 84 89 88

1 Overview

In cooperation with the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Musicboard’s Hinterhalt Commission supports the composition and design of a production in the project ›Aus dem Hinterhalt‹ in the Tischlerei of the Deutsche Oper Berlin. From own artistic material, the commissioned artist develops an original music theatre production as commentary on the opera works premiering on the main stage of the Deutsche Oper Berlin in the same season. The project is being realised in thematic and conceptual cooperation with the Deutsche Oper Berlin and starts in 2024. The performances will take place on 11, 12 and 13 July 2025. In addition to the artistic development of the artist, the Hinterhalt Commission aims to create interdisciplinary exchange and collaboration between popcultural and classical music scenes and between independent and institutional music structures.

The Hinterhalt Commission addresses artists of all genres of popular music as well as cross-genre or experimental pop music that cannot be clearly assigned to the categories of jazz or classical and new music.

2 Conditions

Eligible to apply are:

  • solo artists, duos and bands living and working in Berlin
  • pop musicians that work professionally and stand out through their creative achievements. Formal musical training is not a prerequisite.

3 The Hinterhalt series

The late-night performance series ›Aus dem Hinterhalt‹ has been taking place in the Tischlerei of the Deutsche Oper Berlin since 2016. The idea behind the series is to showcase commentaries on opera works that are premiering on the main stage of the Deutsche Oper Berlin in the same season. In a collaboration between popcultural guest artists from various disciplines and members of the ensemble and orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, ›Aus dem Hinterhalt‹ produces evenings blurring the boundaries between concert and music theatre, performance and installation. Each evening of the series reflects the opera canon subversively and anarchically, subtly and critically.

4 The Commissioned Work

The Musicboard awards one Hinterhalt Commission in 2024.

The commissioned work includes the instrumental, vocal or electronic composition for a music theatre production in the series ›Aus dem Hinterhalt‹ as well as its conception and realisation.

In 2024/25, ›Aus dem Hinterhalt‹ brings together various artists and contributions in one evening and explores diverse aspects across the entire season. The artist commissioned by Musicboard develops a piece out of own artistic material in thematic and conceptual cooperation with the director of the evening (Ariane Kareev) and the dramaturgy department of the Deutsche Oper Berlin. A close dialogue with the production’s directing team and the other participating artists is desired, so that the commissioned work becomes an integral part of the evening as a whole. The integration of singers and musicians from the ensemble of the Deutsche Oper Berlin is expected. The total length of the commissioned work is approximately 45 minutes. The artist will realise its premiere and two further performances in the Tischlerei.

The Hinterhalt series has two parts in the 2024/25 season: IMMERSION in September 2024 and EMERSION in July 2025. The commissioned work will take place in the second part of the series. Thematically linking to the first part, director Ariane Kareev seeks connecting elements and parallels between the new productions of the entire season in EMERSION and rewrites the topics raised from today’s perspective. She creates a transdisciplinary evening with contemporary artistry, real-time visuals, pop and electronic music. Also involved in the production are Josa Kölbel (choreography), Lasse Winkler (music), Phil Hagen Jungschläger (creative code) and Petra Schnakenberg (set design).

The artists have the opportunity to receive coaching from Jovanka von Wilsdorf during the development of the commissioned work.

5 Timeframe

The development of the commissioned work will begin in 2024 and the piece will be performed on three consecutive evenings in 2025. The performances will take place on 11, 12 and 13 July 2025. These dates are fixed and cannot be postponed. The ten-day work and rehearsal period in the Tischlerei (1–10 July 2025) is also fixed.

6 Contributions

The Musicboard covers:

  • a singular contribution for the conception and composition of the commissioned work in the amount of 8,000 euros
  • the costs for six coaching sessions with Jovanka von Wilsdorf

The Deutsche Oper Berlin further contributes:

  • a performance fee for three evenings in the total amount of 2,000 euros
  • the participation of singers and musicians from the ensemble of the Deutsche Oper Berlin – upon consultation with the opera and orchestra directors
  • dramaturgical support as well as supervision of both the conceptual work and the interpretation of the main-house opera works by Konstantin Parnian, dramaturge of the Deutsche Oper Berlin, and the artistic direcor of the Tischlerei, Carolin Müller-Dohle
  • the Tischlerei as venue
  • a 10-day rehearsal period in the venue (1–10 Juli 2025)
  • light, video and sound equipment as available in the Tischlerei
  • the supervision of the production by the technical staff of the Tischlerei
  • individual pieces or props from the opera’s main collection – upon consultation with the production designer and the costume director
  • the supervision by the marketing and press department of the Deutsche Oper Berlin in the usual context of the series
  • the opportunity to visit the opera and become acquainted with the business

7 Application

The following information and documents must be supplied, in German or in English, using exclusively the application tool that can be accessed via the button at the end of this page:

  • Completed Application Form
  • Statement of Purpose
    motivation and presentation of the planned artistic project for the commissioned work
  • Artistic profile
    including a list of artistic milestones such as shows, productions, releases, collaborations, awards and grants
  • Specification of costs
    Please do not submit a detailed specification of costs in your application. Please enter a lump sum of 10,000 euros in the application form under project costs (project contribution and performance fee). It is not necessary to provide own or third-party funds. Please indicate no when asked about own and third-party funds.
  • Three music samples
    to be uploaded as mp3s
  • Scans of certificate of registration or personal ID (front and back)
    indicating Berlin as place of residence. For bands, the registration certificate of the applicant band member is sufficient.
  • for non-EU citizens: Passport scan
    including residence permit, duration of stay, and type of work permit. For bands, the document of the applicant band member is sufficient.

Only fully completed documents can be considered. All applications will be handled confidentially and used exclusively for decision-making and funding purposes. Publication of certain relevant details is granted by the applicant as part of the application process.

8 Selection Procedure

The Hinterhalt Commissionis awarded through Musicboard Berlin GmbH upon recommendation of an independent jury of Berlin-based pop experts and in consultation with the Senate Department for Culture and Social Cohesion. Jury members are usually appointed for a period of three years. The following jury is appointed in 2024:

  • Aida Baghernejad
    cultural journalist
  • Ebru »Ebow« Düzgün
    artist, label owner, manager and event organiser
  • Ji-Hun Kim
    editor-in-chief Das Filter, freelance lecturer, DJ and music producer
  • Misla Tesfamariam
    artist manager, label owner
  • Thien Nguyen
    label owner, DJ, music and film producer
  • Yeşim Duman
    curator, moderator, DJ

A short description of the jury members is available here.

9 Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve collected here some frequently asked questions about Musicboard’s scholarships. This information is intended for general advice, is not legally binding, and does not take the place of an examination of individual circumstances. We will gladly answer further, detailed questions on the funding programme by phone or by email. Please read the FAQ and other explanatory notes on this website carefully before contacting us. We also recommend the free services of the Kulturförderberatung by Kreativ Kultur Berlin, which supports artists in all disciplines in their search for possible funding, can offer tips for preparing applications and can provide review of applications.

What is meant by »living and working in Berlin«?
With the Hinterhalt Commission, Musicboard funds exclusively musicians and bands who live and work in Berlin. In the case of bands, that means that the majority of band members live in Berlin and make their livelihood here. Residency and livelihood for solo acts must be established with residence permits or personal ID (front and back), and for bands with the residence permit or personal ID (front and back) of the applicant band member. In both cases, the nationality of the musician is irrelevant to the funding decision. For non-EU citizens filing an application, it is necessary in addition to the Berlin residence certificate to provide a passport that includes residence permit, duration of stay, and type of work permit. Please note that Berlin residence must be officially verified. Rent contracts etc. are not sufficient for proof of residence. We kindly ask you to refrain from submitting such documents containing sensitive personal data.
I’ve just submitted another application to Musicboard. Can I still apply for the Hinterhalt Commission?
In general, it is possible for musicians to be funded repeatedly and in successive periods. Likewise, it is possible in a single round to apply for a residency, a scholarship and a Hinterhalt Commission, although each must be applied for separately. The jury will evaluate all applications and, due to the high volume of applications, will generally recommend either a commission, a scholarship or a residency. Still, for many projects it is advisable to apply for several types of funding.
How do I submit my letter of motivation?
Since 2023, the motivation can be entered into fields in the online application form. In the application form, applicants must explain, among other things, why they are applying for the Hinterhalt Commission and what artistic project or type of collaboration they would like to pursue. The letter of motivation should outline the applicant’s artistic vision for the composition and design of the commission, the expectation for the applicant’s artistic and professional development, and information about partners and target group.
How should my artistic profile look like?
The artistic profile is meant to describe the applicants’ artistic career. In the application form, we also ask for milestones in the artistic career in the form of a brief list of artistic milestones such as shows, productions, releases, collaborations, residencies, awards and grants. You are welcome to voluntarily provide information about your accessibility requirements and your social position in the field access information (e.g. self-description, gender, disability, age, sexual identity), if it plays a role in your artistic identity and your work and you would like the jury and partners to be aware of it.
What songs can I submit as music samples? Are demos acceptable?
The music samples should be three songs that represent you and your art. They need not be the newest songs, or the ones that you want to work on during your project. Demos can be submitted. Depending on their quality, it may be wise to provide in addition one or two fully produced works.
When exactly is the application deadline?
The application deadline for the Hinterhalt Commission is June 1, 2024 at 6 p.m. Until then, applications can be submitted online and will be posted as received before the deadline. The application has been successfully received as soon as it appears in your user profile in the »Submitted Applications« section. We recommend allowing plenty of time for the application and its attachments to upload, and not waiting until the last minute to apply. If technical problems arise, please take a screenshot, save the application draft and notify us by email at:
What are the jury’s selection criteria?
The jury bases its decision above all on the artistic quality of the work, chances of success and the persuasiveness of the application as presented. The project idea should be meaningful for the development and career of the applicant. This can be determined by the applicant’s statement of purpose. A particular focus of the jury is the music samples provided. Funding decisions are made with a view toward building the diversity of Berlin’s music scene. Musicboard and the appointed jury place great value on inclusion and gender balance.
When will I be informed of the funding decision?
The jury’s decision follows the application deadline by 4 to 6 weeks, and applicants are informed by email. Acceptances and rejections are sent at the same time. Usually, more applications are received than can be funded, and Musicboard is not obliged to explain its decision. There is no legal entitlement to funding.

Are you familiar with all information regarding the funding? If so, apply now!


Musician Steve Mekoudja performs with several dancers at Hinterhalt-Festival 2023
Hinterhalt 2023 - Steve Mekoudja (photo: Amelie Kahn-Ackermann)
babelfis performs at Aus dem Hinterhalt 2023 in front of a large video screen
Aus dem Hinterhalt 2023 - babelfis (photo: Amelie Kahn-Ackermann)
Aus dem Hinterhalt (Photo: Eike Walkenhorst)
Aus dem Hinterhalt 2019 – Mary Ocher (Photo: Eike Walkenhorst)
Aus dem Hinterhalt (Photo: Eike Walkenhorst)
Aus dem Hinterhalt (Photo: Eike Walkenhorst)