In past history many renowned teachers have taught at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. Today’s teachers have also turned out an impressive number of musicians who regularly appear onstage in the Netherlands and beyond.
Head of Voice, Don Marrazzo
The focus of the Bachelor degree programme, especially during the first years, is the technical vocal development and artistic growth of the student. Each student is entitled to a 60-minute singing lesson (preparatory year: 45 minutes) and 45 minutes with a répétiteur (preparatory year: 30 minutes) per week, plus five group sessions per year from one’s own principal teacher. In addition, students take courses in theatrical training (physical), drama, breathing and voice (on a project basis), plus Feldenkrais, Alexander Technique, German (years 1, 2 and 3), French (years 1, 2 and 3), and Italian (years 2, 3 and 4). During four project weeks per year, specific aspects of the profession and the repertory are highlighted and explored in depth, and collaborations with other sections at the conservatory are realized.
The Lied course is required of vocal students in their second and third year and of pianists in their first year. Twelve units are given each year, with each unit comprised of two coaching sessions for duos, an evening workshop and masterclasses. Under the guidance of Pierre Mak and Frans van Ruth, students work on interpretation, critical reading of texts, expression, and making music together. Each unit concentrates on a single composer or a number of related composers. This course is rounded off with a concert in April.
The oratorio class last 90 minutes per week and is required of second and third-year students. This class, given by Pierre Mak, addresses the interpretation and specific stylistic features of the oratorio repertoire.
Each academic year Floris Visser gives four two-week opera workshops to undergraduate students in their third and fourth year and to students enrolled in the master programme.
Our programme also includes ensemble singing. During the project weeks and the required choral project in the third year, extensive attention is given to ensemble singing. Conservatory students can also do an internship with the Netherlands Radio Choir.
Established visiting teachers Margreet Honig, Ira Siff, Claron McFadden and Alexander Oliver regularly give masterclasses. In addition, the vocal section invites other vocalists with well-reputed records of service to the CvA as visiting teachers.
Six student recitals per year are organized so that students may present themselves to audiences. Students may also give lunch concerts at one of the conservatory halls.
Application, preselection and live auditions
The classical voice department of the Conservatorium van Amsterdam works with a preselection. If you wish to apply for the preparatory course, bachelor or master programme, please fill out the application form.
After application, audition candidates will be selected on the basis of a submitted recording of two pieces in different styles and languages (recorded on CD or through a YouTube link). Recordings must be submitted digitally via the application form before 15 February.
The live auditions will be held in Amsterdam, click here for an overview of the dates. Through the years it appeared that the jury is not always able to decide on only one round if a candidate is admissible or not. For this reason a second round 'workshop session' will be organized: candidates as mentioned above will work with several jury members. After this session the jury will take a final decision. All candidates who wish to apply have to be available for the second round.
For the live auditions you are requested to carefully consider the specific entrance requirements and make sure to be well-prepared. The entrance requirements are:
* two songs and two arias (oratorio, opera), to be sung from memory, in different styles (Baroque, Classical, Romantic, contemporary), in three different languages, one of which must be Italian
* a short poem, to be recited from memory
* several years of singing lessons
* a discussion regarding your motivation for the study
After the two-year course, students will be ready to enter the professional music world at the highest level.
Audition candidates will be selected on the basis of a submitted recording of two pieces in different styles and languages (digital file or link). Recordings must be received by 15 February at the latest.
1. A programme consisting of (at least) 30 minutes of music. The programme should contain at least two categories (Lieder, Oratorio, Opera), as many different styles as possible – according to the study plan – and it must be sung in at least three foreign languages, native tongue not included. At the audition the committee will select pieces from the programme.
2. The candidate must submit a repertoire list with a proposed programme for the entrance examination to the CvA student registrar office before 15 February.
3. The candidate has completed a bachelor's degree.
Claron McFadden coaching modern repertoire & artist in residence
Alexander Oliver opera literature
Flavio Aulino Italian
Valentina di Taranto Italian
Sára Gutvill German
Nathalie Doucet French
Saskia Mees Christeller drama
Fajo Jansen movement
Virag Deszö physical acting
Jean-Baptiste Milon Lied class
Michael Tweed-Kent Feldenkrais