Musicboard-Berlin > Funding > Scholarships > Hinterhalt Commission

Hinterhalt Commission: Deutsche Oper Berlin

Last Application Deadline 1.3.2021

Maureen Noe
T +49 (0)30 288 787 88

1 Overview

In cooperation with the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Musicboard’s Hinterhalt Commission supports the composition and design of a production in the series ›Aus dem Hinterhalt‹ in the Tischlerei of the Deutsche Oper Berlin. From own artistic material, the Musicboard scholarship holder develops an original evening of music theater as commentary on one of 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. 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. Formal musical training is not a prerequisite.

2 Conditions

Eligible to apply are:

  • solo artists and duos living and working in Berlin
  • pop musicians that work professionally and rely on their own musical material

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 one of the operatic works that is premiering on the main stage of the Deutsche Oper Berlin in the same season. In a collaboration between guest artists from various disciplines, members of the ensemble and orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin and the series’ artistic director Elia Rediger, ›Aus dem Hinterhalt‹ produces evenings blurring the boundaries between concert and music theatre, performance and installation. Each evening of the series reflects the operatic canon subversively and anarchically, subtly and critically while the specific way in which it engages with the respective opera upon the scholarship holder to decide. Each artist is able to decide which parts or aspects of the given opera the evening addresses. The Hinterhalt format provides a platform for the premieres of newly composed music as well as for the adaptation of existing artistic material.

Musicboard’s Hinterhalt Commission supports the electronic and/or instrumental composition of the music for an evening in the series as well as the evening’s conception and realisation. The integration of singers and musicians from the ensemble of the Deutsche Oper Berlin is expected. The scholarship holder will develop the piece out of own artistic material in thematic and conceptual cooperation with the Deutsche Oper Berlin, and will realise the piece’s world premiere at Deutsche Oper’s Tischlerei.

4 Timeframe

The Musicboard awards two Hinterhalt Commissions each year. In 2020, the Hinterhalt Commissions centre on the theme ›The Power of the Arts‹ and are set in dialogue with Richard Wagner’s ›Der Ring der Nibelungen‹. The first Hinterhalt Commission will focus on Richard Wagner’s ›Siegfried‹, while the second Hinterhalt Commission will revolve around Wagner’s ›Götterdämmerung‹. The performance dates will be determined by Deutsche Oper Berlin.

Concept and composition phase: within the year 2020

Performance – Hinterhalt Commission I: January 29, 2021
Performance – Hinterhalt Commission II: October/November 2021

5 Contributions

The Musicboard covers:

  • a singular contribution for the conception and composition of the evening in the amount of 5,000 euros per commission

The Deutsche Oper Berlin further contributes:

  • a performance fee in the amount of 1,000 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 work by a dramaturge of the Deutsche Oper Berlin and the curator of the Hinterhalt series, Elia Rediger
  • the Tischlerei as venue
  • a 4-day rehearsal period in the venue
  • light, video and sound equipment as available in the Tischlerei
  • the supervision of the production by the technical staff of the Tischlerei
  • stage equipment according to the series’ »basic setting« consisting of canvas, beanbags, couches and platforms – upon consultation with the stage designer
  • 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
    die Betreuung durch die Marketing- und Presseabteilung der Deutschen Oper Berlin im üblichen Rahmen der Hinterhalt-Reise
  • the opportunity to visit the opera and become acquainted with the business

6 Application

The following 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
    using no more than two A4 pages, including the presentation and basis of the planned artistic initiative in the context of the scholarship, and when applicable, description of the project partners and verification of collaborations
  • Artistic resume
    including proof of past performances, releases, and collaborations with other artists (e.g. in the form of web links, graphic documents or screenshots)
  • 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.

7 Selection Procedure

The Hinterhalt Commissions are awarded through Musicboard Berlin GmbH upon recommendation of a three-year term, independent jury of Berlin-based pop experts and in consultation with the Senate Department for Culture and Europe. In the fall of 2020 the following jury was appointed to the Scholarships & Residencies programme:

  • Elia Rediger
    musician and curator of the series ›Aus dem Hinterhalt‹, Deutsche Oper Berlin
  • Julia Lorenz
    music journalist and writer
  • Katja Lucker
    Managing Director of Musicboard Berlin GmbH
  • Pamela Owusu-Brenyah
    A&R, music consultant and curator Pop-Kultur Festival
  • Sarah Farina
    DJ and producer

A short description of the jury members is available here.

8 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 FAQs 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«?
In the Scholarship programme, 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 scholarship or a residency. Still, for many projects it is advisable to apply for several types of funding.
How should I structure my statement of purpose and my artistic resume?
Your statement of purpose should explain, in two pages or less, why you are applying for a Hinterhalt Commission and what artistic initiative you would like to undertake in the context of series. It should specify the applicant’s artistic vision for the composition and design of an evening in the Hinterhalt series. Applications without a statement of purpose cannot be considered. We deliberately omit a template for your artistic resume since artistic careers can vary so widely. The presentation can be made graphically, in text, as a biography or in the form of a portfolio. It is helpful to indicate milestones in your artistic career, such as releases, particular performances, awards, residencies, artistic collaborations or co-ventures with partners from the music industry (labels, agents, etc.). To verify these weblinks, graphic attachments or screenshots can be helpful, but they are not necessary in every single instance.
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 each year for Musicboard’s Hinterhalt Commissions is midnight March 1, or 12 a.m. November 2. Until then, applications can be received online and will be posted as received before the deadline. The application is received when after a successful transmission a pdf appears for downloading. Only after a positive jury decision the signed application document has to be sent to the Musicboard by postal service. We recommend allowing plenty of time for the application and its attachments to upload, and not waiting until the last minute to apply. The upload speed of our servers can decline with increased traffic to the site. We do not recommend the use of Google Chrome as a browser. If problems arise with the filing, please make a screenshot, save the application draft and advise us by email at:
What are the selection criteria of the jury, and when will I be informed of their decision?
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. The jury’s decision follows the application deadline by 4 to 6 weeks, and applicants are informed by email. Acceptances and declines 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.

The Hinterhalt Commissions were suspended in 2021 due to the pandemic. Information on the application for 2022 will be announced in January 2022.

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)