Profile New Music

The master's degree programme at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam prepares you for a varied professional practice in which you can function as a musician at the highest level. Against the background of this versatile professional practice, CvA's personal master profile or PMP gives you plenty of opportunity to give your studies a personal direction, and to create a tailor-made package of courses.

If you are accepted for your principal subject and admitted to a master profile, when you set out on your master’s study programme you will meet with a study advisor with whom you can discuss your personal profile; on this basis, working agreements are made for the courses you will follow and further facilities for your study.

A Personal Master Profile (PMP) can be given shape in many ways. In consultation with the head of your department, a wide range of well-reasoned choices can be made and set down in the plan of study, such as choosing to work with a historic  version of your instrument, improvisation, the romantic lieder repertoire, or a teaching profile, for example. If you choose, you may also focus your studies exclusively on your principal subject and instrument, without any further delineation.
The Conservatory has worked out several examples of specific content for your Personal Master Profile that you can choose to follow in your principal subject. These profiles are composed of a number of elective subjects and modules. Admission requirements apply for some of them. They can be followed separately, as part of your own individual PMP, but when taken in a particular combination and relationship, they lead to a specialisation in a specific field of study. The CvA offers the following specific profiles for this: Principal Instruments in Historical PerspectiveChamber Music, New Music, Orchestral Performance, Creative Performance Lab and Applications of Karnatic Rhythm to Contemporary Music. A limited number of places are available for such profiles and specific admission requirements may apply. In such cases, a supplementary audition or selection is part of the procedure. A supplementary audition or selection is sometimes held after you have been accepted and admitted, often before the summer (May/June) or in the first month of the new academic year (September). On this point, see the admission requirements for each profile.

If you have chosen a specific profile, this is shown by an addendum to your master’s degree stating all subjects and modules you have completed and the associated credits. If desired, on the basis of your approved plan of study and the study track you have completed, the CvA can append an additional statement about your personal master profile to your diploma (Master of Music) and to your diploma addendum. If you have any questions about this, please contact the student secretariat ( If necessary, they will refer you to the coordinator of the master profile, the study advisor or to one of the heads of programmes.

Profile New Music
In the profile New Music, students learn their way to national and international concert stages as well as organisations in the field of new music. They develop into enterprising Musicians of Tomorrow, with in-depth knowledge and skills and a broad perspective. The starting point is a student’s principal subject, which is further developed during the course of study. The study programme offers everything students need to become familiar with music composed after ca. 1950 and to perform it confidently, with eloquence and passion. Admission requirements include a bachelor’s degree in the principal instrumental subject or orchestra conducting and a great affinity and experience with performing new music to a high standard.

Lessons in the principal subject focus on the music written from 1950 to the present, including solo repertoire, chamber music and works for large ensembles and orchestra. All styles relevant to the principal subject will be discussed. Other aspects that will come up include contemporary notation, extended techniques, multiphonics, complex rhythms, non-western music practices and microtonality. Working on ensemble and chamber music projects as well as solo pieces, and cooperating closely with the composition department, students become familiar with the ever-growing repertoire. Score study, master classes, lectures and a wide range of electives offer plenty of opportunity for further creative development.

A research project in the field of new music is an important part of this profile.

* In order to enrol, you must have been admitted to the master’s degree programme for your principal subject (instrumental, vocal  or conducting).
* A selection of contemporary solo repertoire for the candidate's instrument.
*CvA candidates wishing to specialise in this profile must devote a significant portion of the bachelor’s final exam to new music.
* Candidates must have demonstrable affinity with music of the past fifty years, which will allow them to develop expertise in this multifaceted and complex subject matter within two years’ time.
* Candidates must exhibit a strong artistic vision of contemporary repertoire, the field of study and the professional field.
* The entrance exam will include a discussion with candidates of their interests in relation to the choice of a research topic.

Principal subject: 50
Score study: 10
Projects and internships: 20
Research: 10
* mandatory: Beyond Notation: 5
* mandatory: Tuning & Temperament: 10
* other electives: 5 (recommended: Advanced Rhythm)
Individual credits: 10