Musicboard-Berlin > Funding > Scholarships > Hinterhalt Commission

Hinterhalt Commission: Deutsche Oper Berlin

Next Application Deadline 1.6.2023 – 6 p.m.

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 project ›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. In addition to the artistic development of the scholarship holder, the scholarship 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. 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 opera works that is 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. The series ›Aus dem Hinterhalt‹ will be developed further in the 2023/24 season and will be realised as a multi-day festival format in November 2023. The premiere of the productions created within the framework of the Hinterhalt Commissions will be part of the festival.

4 The Commissioned Work

The Musicboard awards two Hinterhalt Commissions each year. Musicboard’s Hinterhalt Commission supports the instrumental, vocal or electronic 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.

In 2022, the Hinterhalt Commission focus on Richard Wagner’s romantic operas and in particular on ›Der fliegende Holländer‹.

Central themes and motifs of Wagner’s romantic operas come together in this piece, which will premiere at Deutsche Oper Berlin in November 2023. Each scholarship holder is free 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.

5 Timeframe

Concept and composition phase: January to November 2023
Performances: November 2023

The exact periods of the concept and composition phase will be coordinated between the cooperation partners and the selected musicians. The performance dates will be determined by Deutsche Oper Berlin.

6 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
  • 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
  • the opportunity to visit the opera and become acquainted with the business

The Musicboard and the Deutsche Oper Berlin will facilitate the audiovisual documentation of the performance.

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
    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 a list of artistic milestones such as shows, productions, releases, collaborations, awards and grants
  • 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 Commissions are 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 Europe. Jury members are usually appointed for a period of three years. The following jury is appointed to the Scholarships & Residencies programme in 2022:

  • Aida Baghernejad
    cultural journalist
  • Ji-Hun Kim
    Editor-in-chief Das Filter, freelance lecturer, DJ and music producer
  • Katja Lucker
    Managing Director of Musicboard Berlin GmbH
  • Thien Nguyen
    label owner, DJ, music and film producer
  • Pamela Owusu-Brenyah
    A&R, music consultant and curator Pop-Kultur Festival
  • Misla Tesfamariam
    artist manager, label owner

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 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 must my statement of purpose be designed?
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.
How must my artistic resume be designed?
The artistic resume 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.
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 Musicboard’s Hinterhalt Commissions is June 1, 2022 at 6 p.m. Until then, applications can be received online and will be posted as received before the deadline. The application is 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. The upload speed of our servers can decline with increased traffic to the site. If technical problems arise, 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 application period for the year 2022 has ended. Information on the application for 2023 will be announced in spring/summer 2023.


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)