Herbert von Karajan Prize to Oscar Jockel

Awards & Successes
Oscar Jockel | © Tom Thiele

The prestigious Herbert von Karajan Prize, worth a total of 50,000 euros, has been awarded for the 6th time this year as part of the Salzburg Easter Festival. The prize winner is, among others, the composer and conductor Oscar Jockel, who was featured in the celebrated production "Westbam meets Wagner".

Born in Regensburg in 1995, Jockel currently lives in Paris, Berlin as well as in Bretstein, a remote mountain village in Austria. He received his first musical education with the Regensburger Domspatzen under Domkapellmeister Roland Büchner and studied at the Mozarteum University (1st diploma, bachelor and master) in composition with Achim Bornhöft as well as in conducting with Reinhard Goebel (early music), Bruno Weil (romantic and opera), Johannes Kalitzke (new music), Karl Kamper (choral conducting) and music theory (bachelor) and composition with Klaus Lang at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz. He also deepened his conducting studies with Alain Altinoglu and his composition studies with Frédéric Durieux as a master student in Paris at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse.

Oscar Jockel has received numerous scholarships and awards, including from the German Bundestag as a cultural youth ambassador to the United States, from the City of Regensburg, from the Kai-Uwe von Hassel Foundation, and from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.


Jockel as Conductor

Oscar Jockel is currently an assistant conductor with the Berlin Philharmonic for Kirill Petrenko and is a two-year conducting fellow of the Karajan Academy, having been a winner in the conducting competition at the Philharmonie Berlin in October 2021 for the Siemens Conductors Scholarship. In addition to assisting the principal conductor in concert and opera, the duties also include conducting his own concert projects together with the academy members of the Berliner Philharmoniker.

Also in 2021, Oscar Jockel won a position as assistant conductor at the Philharmonie de Paris with the Ensemble intercontemporain and its director Matthias Pintscher, which he has held for two years since February 2022.

In the 2022/23 season, he followed invitations to, for example, the Salzburg Easter Festival as well as the Gewandhaus zu Leipzig, the opening concert of the 2022 International Bruckner Festival in Linz, the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn, the Munich Radio Orchestra, and the Ensemble intercontemporain in Paris.


Jockel as Composer

In the 2020/21 season, Oscar Jockel was appointed the first Composer in Residence of the Brucknerhaus Linz, which supported him with composition commissions for a wide variety of instrumentations. In 2019, he won 1st prize in the organ composition competition organized by Anton Bruckner Privatuniversität and Brucknerhaus Linz and received a commission from the International Mozarteum Foundation for his opera Lob des Schattens, which premiered in Salzburg. In 2021, Jockel was a winner of the Franco Donatoni Composition Competition in Milan.

Previous commissions range from works for solo instruments to sound installations and orchestral works, the latter for the Bruckner Orchestra Linz or the Camerata Salzburg, for example.

In recent years, he has taught composition as a lecturer at Salzburg College and has been invited to be a visiting professor at the Indian Institute of Technology in Hyderabad in February 2019.

Most recently, he made a splash at the Easter Festival with his arrangement and orchestral performance with DJ Westbam - an engagement that has helped him achieve a professional life goal.

"For me, it's a huge privilege to be able to work with the Gewandhaus Orchestra at the Salzburg Easter Festival. If you start from the point of view of fame and reputation, then you're already at the top ... there's not much room for improvement," Jockel said in an interview with ORF.

Jockel shares the Herbert von Karajan Prize, donated by Eliette von Karajan, the widow of the conductor who died in 1989, with Michael Löhr and Alexander Köpeczki.