The wind faculty offers students a programme that strikes a balance between tradition and innovation, craftsmanship and artistry. Students are trained to function in a wide variety of professional situations: from musical orchestras and big bands to jazz, latin, pop and fusion ensembles, both on stage and in the studio. The programme focuses on personal (artistic) development, improvisation and ensemble playing. For saxophonists, doubling on clarinet and flute is encouraged.
We stimulate students to find their own voice, both as an improviser and as a composer. A steady stream of world-renowned artists like Branford Marsalis, Mark Turner Ben Wendel and Seamus Blake visit our school. We are also proud to have an ongoing collaboration of 25 years with Dick Oatts (Temple University Philadelphia) as regular guest teacher and Artists in Residence at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. Furthermore, saxophonist Benjamin Herman joined the saxophone section as a regular guest teacher in September 2020.
Co-ordinator, Jasper Blom
There is a preselection by means of a recording of four pieces - three jazz standards, in different character, tempo and key; the fourth one is the candidate's choice - to be uploaded to the application form by the candidate. If the candidate's playing on the recording does not match the required level, they will not be invited to the entrance examination.
Please note: candidates will not be admitted solely on the basis of the recording; being invited to the entrance exam does not mean candidates are admitted to the school.
During the entrance examination, the candidate is tested on:
1. Playing skill
a. The committee will choose from three pieces of a different character, tempo and key prepared by the candidate, in which he/she shows the committee both command of the instrument and affinity with jazz. In playing these pieces improvisation should be an important part. For candidates who give priority to playing in an orchestra, there are also possibilities. In this case improvisatorial skills are less important.
b. The candidate must also play written material, e.g. jazz solos, jazz etudes, and/or classical etudes (bring 4 copies of sheet music for the committee).
c. Being able to play all major and minor scales and triads at a reasonable tempo.
The committee reserves the right to interrupt the candidate's playing as according to the committee, he/she has supplied enough information (because of the limited time of 30 minutes). Therefore it is important for the candidate to show his/her skills as quickly as possible: not too many and/or too long solos of fellow players, no unnecessary repetitions.
2. Hearing, tempo/timing and reading skills
This may consist of:
* playing by ear on harmonic progressions which are given by the committee members
* repeating of played fragments
* being able to play a prima vista a piece in jazz idiom (for instance a section from an orchestral part or a simple etude)
The committee supplements the examination with some exercises which must show the candidate's skills which have not been sufficiently disclosed up till then.
The possibilities to follow a principal subject study will be discussed by the committee. Important issues for the assessment are:
* musicality and hearing
* feeling for rhythm and tempo
* disposition for the instrument
* sight reading, technique, tone quality
The candidate must submit via the application form three links (YouTube, Soundlink etc). to audio or video recordings of their performances.
On the basis of these materials, the committee will assess the candidate's level. If the candidate's level meets the requirements for the master's degree programme, the candidate may be invited to do a practical audition. In this audition, the candidate will play three pieces, including one jazz standard (originality and a high level of improvising are required).
Candidates may bring their own accompaniment. It is also possible to make use of a conservatory trio; if you wish to do so, please state this on the application form.
Jasper Blom coordinator
Ben van Gelder
Dick Oatts regular guest teacher (Artist in Residence)
Benjamin Herman regular guest teacher
Leo Janssen technique
David Kweksilber technique
Marc Scholten coordinator of technique, clarinet as a subsidiary subject
Jasper van Damme methodology
Raymond Honing flute as a subsidiary subject