Profile Orchestral Performance

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 Orchestral Performance
The master profile Orchestral Performance prepares students to work as orchestral musicians. In addition to the principal subject, the study programme focuses on the repertoire and competencies needed to win an audition as well as the repertoire and competencies needed to function successfully in an orchestra. For the first objective, the musician must be able to play a limited solo repertoire to a high standard, as well as selected, individually performed orchestra parts; for the second objective, the musician must be able to independently rehearse and perform a very broad orchestral repertoire in a team. This seeming paradox is the challenge of this master’s degree programme.

On the basis of courses such as audition training (instrumental as well as physical and mental) and a wide range of internships with the NedPhO Orchestra Academy or the orchestra academy of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, students acquire competencies leading to significantly greater chance of success in auditions.

The Conservatorium van Amsterdam closely collaborates with the CvA-NedPho Orchestra Academy of the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra/Netherlands Chamber Orchestra. Students of this master profile are offered the opportunity to train their orchestral performance skills by participating in orchestra projects with the NedPho. In addition to these orchestra projects, the NedPho offers coaching and opportunities to play chamber music with NedPho members, to attend rehearsals and concerts and, if possible, to participate in projects with NedPho Go, the NedPho's outreach programme.

The orchestral performance profile includes compulsory participation in CvA orchestral projects, while participation in EUYO, Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra, Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchester and other large national and international project orchestras is greatly encouraged and if possible, included in planning courses. This allows students to meet important new contacts in their professional field and to start building up an international network during their studies. Students also work individually to develop their instrumental and artistic skills.

A research project in the field of orchestral performance is an important part of this profile.

* In order to enrol, you must have been accepted in a master’s degree programme in your principal subject (orchestral instrument).
* The entrance programme must include relevant solo parts of the orchestral audition repertoire.
* CvA bachelor’s degree students who wish to focus on this master profile must include solo parts from the orchestral audition repertoire in their bachelor’s final exam programme.
* In addition, candidates must successfully audition for a training orchestra.

Principal subject: 50
Score study: 10
Projects and internships (including NedPhO Academy): 20
Research: 10
* mandatory: Orchestral Practice & Audition Training: 5
* mandatory: History of the Orchestra: 5
* other electives: 10
Individual credits: 10

Kees Koelmans
Information on CvA-NedPhO Orchestra Academy: Saskia Aly