top of page
The Berlin Academy of American Music in Bucharest

The Berlin Academy of American Music The Berlin Academy of American Music was founded on the idea that performers and audience members could connect on a deeper level through music, at a time when the world had been cut off from connection. Against all odds, an orchestra was formed at the height of the pandemic, because Garrett Keast believed that music - perhaps more than anything - had the power to keep us connected.

The orchestra has come a long way since its creation in 2020, from its debut concerts in a 100-seat hall in 2021 to its invited performances at sold-out, internationally renowned venues of 2000+ seats, including Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie and the George Enescu Festival. Without support, however, these giant steps would not have been possible for a start-up-style orchestra founded during one of the world’s most challenging times in recent history.


Genuine Connection is at the heart of BAAM’s work. We strive to connect composers, musicians, audiences, and even continents to develop a deeper sense of understanding. 


BAAM presents the works of past and living American and American immigrant composers to European audiences and beyond. We wish to build a transatlantic community, broaden representation in classical music, and start dialogues about relevant themes including cultural exchange, diversity, and immigration. In a world where the media promotes the sensationalism of “us versus them,” we believe that bringing light to our differences and learning to appreciate them creates enriched experiences and lives. And one of the most successful ways of doing this is through the universal language of music.


It is a surprise to many that Igor Stravinsky, perhaps the most influential composer of the 20th century, was an American citizen! Primarily known as a Russian composer, Stravinsky spent more of his life in the USA than in France and Russia, receiving his American citizenship in 1945. Here are just some of the composers you may recognize who immigrated to the US and became American citizens in the years shown below:

Why is BAAM Important?

  • Sergei Rachmaninoff in 1943

  • Arnold Schoenberg in 1941

  • Alma Mahler in 1946 (wife of Gustav Mahler)

  • Kurt Weill in 1943

  • Erich Korngold in 1943 (film composer: "The Adventures of Robin Hood")

  • Béla Bartók in 1945

  • Paul Hindemith in 1946

  • Franz Waxman in 1935 (film composer: "Sunset Boulevard" and "The Bride of Frankenstein")

  • Ursula Mamlok in 1945 (teacher at the Manhattan School of Music, influencing several generations of U.S. composers)

Relevance is critical in classical music. These composers and their music highlight topics that are still relevant today: a globally connected society, immigration, war, genocide, and social justice.

The world continues to innovate and change, and yet classical music is still largely defined by its old European roots and composers. While the great symphonies of Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven have stood the test of time as important pillars of this genre, support for classical music will continue to decline if there isn’t change.


We provide Innovative Programming, expanding and redefining the classical canon, infusing concert programs and musical education with something relevant, exciting, and uniquely American. By performing fresh repertoire and bringing it to European audiences who have rarely had the opportunity to hear it, we have the ability to reinvigorate what it means to be a fan of classical music. This could be the difference between keeping this incredible, inspiring music in our concert halls – where people can feel the energy and resonance of the music – and having this kind of experience left only to recordings and playlists for those who happen upon its existence.


BAAM’s programming includes the works of classic American composers (e.g., Bernstein and Copland), historically underrepresented composers (e.g., Florence Price, George Walker), and contemporary composers (e.g., Anthony Davis, Philip Glass, Caroline Shaw), as well as works that have connections to American themes.


Through this repertoire, we bring to light the stories of real people, whose experiences carry important and relatable messages to us all. Through the themes that inspired their music, we are weaving a compelling tapestry that builds community and connection.

The Future is Here.

Collaborative Excellence is integral to BAAM’s success. Ensuring and building upon the legacy of American classical music requires working together with American composers, world-renowned soloists, and top international musicians. While based in Berlin, our orchestra players have origins spanning five continents. We also find many historical music connections between Berlin and cities throughout the U.S., and we want to continue building meaningful partnerships between these communities. 

Without collaboration, we might as well be confined to our homes once again, separated from what is perhaps humanity’s greatest purpose: to come together and serve one another in ways that benefit us all.

Empowers us to broaden transatlantic connections by presenting the works of American composers to European audiences


Supports the programming of new works, particularly by underrepresented composers, and


Helps to build the classical music audience of the future by subsidizing ticket costs, ensuring affordability for more people

BAAM’s future is about more than sustaining the presence and availability of American classical music; it is also about inviting communities to reach beyond their boundaries to connect with one another.


A financial contribution to the Berlin Academy of American Music:

How Your Gift Makes a Difference

If the mission of BAAM resonates with you, we hope you will consider becoming a donor. Your financial support will help us to continue redefining the boundaries of classical music and its ability to create major shifts throughout the lives of many. Join us in making a difference!

Email us at for instructions based on your preferred currency.

Email us at or call +49 173 8901595


Donations from American supporters are administered through our 501c3 American partner, America Gives, Inc., which administers donated funds

and provides U.S. donation receipts. BAAM is a registered non-profit in Germany, under the legal name of Berlin Institute of American Music gUG (haftungsbeschränkt).

American Supporters

European Supporters

Donations in EUR
with German tax-compliant donation receipts via PayPal (button below) or IBAN:

Berlin Institute of American Music
IBAN: DE11100701240203136700


Donations in USD
with IRS tax-compliant donation receipts

Donations in EUR with German tax-compliant donation receipts via PayPal (button below) or IBAN:

Berlin Institute of American Music
IBAN: DE11100701240203136700


bottom of page