National Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting

The National Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting (NMO) is a prestigious two-year master’s programme offered jointly by the Conservatorium van Amsterdam and the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague. This programme is presented in cooperation with several professional Dutch orchestras, including the Residentie Orkest, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, and the North Netherlands Orchestra.

Students are taught orchestral conducting at a high technical and artistic level. Because of our collaboration with large professional orchestras, this master’s programme forms an outstanding bridge between education and practice, and also allows students the opportunity of developing and expanding their professional networks.
During the two-year programme students conduct large orchestras under the supervision of the ‘conductor on duty,’ usually the principal conductor. To prepare for working with the orchestra, students study the repertoire of the orchestra concerned under supervision of the principal teachers. Masterclasses are also organized by the partner orchestras, such as a two-day masterclass by Marc Albrecht with the NedPhO, or a masterclass by Kenneth Montgomery and the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century. The master’s research project consists of research into orchestral repertoire or programming.

Requirements for admission to the NMO are high. Only two students are annually selected to participate in the National Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting.

Participating orchestras

1. Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam
2. Nederlands Philharmonisch Orkest and Nederlands Kamerorkest, Amsterdam 
3. Residentie Orkest, Den Haag
4. philharmonie zuidnederland, Brabant, Limburg and Zeeland   
5. Noord Nederlands Orkest, Groningen
6. Radio Filharmonisch Orkest, Hilversum
7. Het Gelders Orkest, Arnhem
8. Het Balletorkest, Amsterdam
9. Het Symfonieorkest, Enschede
10. Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest, Rotterdam

The National Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting is supported by Het Kersjes Fonds.

Curriculum overview 2019-2020

Code   Year 1Year 2
KC-M-Principal study    
DI-IOD Principal subject 25 25
  Placements with professional orchestras and masterclasses 10 10
DI-RP Repertoire and programming 3 3
  Working with an opera director 2 2
KC-M-IProfessional integration    
CDO CDO / Free space 5 5
TRIP Introductory course 'Research in the Arts' 1  
EL Master electives 10 5
  * Advanced Rhythm    
  * Analysis and Performance    
  * Historically Informed Performance Practice    
  * Score Playing    
RD Musician's research and development (coaching, circle, individual research and presentation) 4 10


The admission procedure for the National Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting differs from the other master's degree programmes at the CvA.

• bachelor’s degree in music
• a well-developed musical ear
• knowledge of the basic repertoire for symphony orchestra from 1750 to the present
• ability to master scores, also by score-playing
• ability to rehearse with a symphony orchestra, with the use of the proper conducting techniques
• ability to conduct and inspire a symphony orchestra during concerts
• a pronounced personal and artistic vision
• ability to express personal views regarding the composition concert programmes
• to show potential for development

Auditions for the 2020-2021 academic year 
After selection, a number of candidates will be invited to audition with an ensemble. No more than four candidates will be admitted to the orchestra audition.

Monday 14 October 2019
Closing date for application
Please apply via the online application form

Friday 1 November 2019
Announcement of the cadidates

Sunday 24 November 2019
afternoon: theory test
location: Conservatorium van Amsterdam

Monday 25 November 2019
morning and afternoon: first round
repertoire: I. Stravinsky - Dumbarton Oaks
ensemble: musicians of the Conservatorium van Amsterdam
location: Conservatorium van Amsterdam

Tuesday 26 November 2019
morning: second round
repertoire: A. Dvorák - The Wood Dove
orchestra: North Netherlands Symphony Orchestra
location: De Oosterpoort, Groningen 

If you have any questions, please contact Jaike Bakker.

Candidates who have passed the entrance exam, either enroll with the Royal Conservatoire or the Conservatorium van Amsterdam.