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Symphonic Orchestra Performance, master's programme

Master of Fine Arts in Music with Specialisation in Symphonic Orchestra Performance

Master’s programme
2 years
120 credits (ECTS)
Study pace
Study form
Application open
Application code
Full education cost: 488 000 SEK
First payment: 122 000 SEK

No fees are charged for EU and EEA citizens, Swedish residence permit holders and exchange students.

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The programme is dedicated to the artistic, personal, and professional development of outstanding instrumentalists focusing on becoming professional orchestra musicians. We also offer a unique opportunity for pianists and integrate the pianist’s role as musical partner, accompanist, and coach into the programme. As an instrumentalist or pianist, you will have opportunities to work practically with each other and with classical musicians and singers from opera, musical theatre, and other programmes.


Students of the programme form the foundation for the University of Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, which performs nine concerts per year at the Academy of Music and Drama and other concert halls. Orchestral concert productions cover periods from the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods through the late 20th century and opera repertoire. We have students and instructors from around the world, and you will work with guest conductors and soloists at high artistic and educational levels. Anja Bihlmaier, Karen Kamensek, Isabelle van Keulen, Truls Mørk, Patrik Ringborg, Henrik Schaefer, Amalie Stalheim, Antje Weithaas, and Christian Zacharias are some examples from recent years. Associate professor Henrik Schaefer is artistic director for the programme.

Preparing you for a successful career

The majority of our teachers come from the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and the Göteborg Opera, creating opportunities to collaborate and establish contacts in the region’s cultural life. Prominent guest conductors and musicians increase your exposure to professionals and allow you to build an international network. We have mutually beneficial collaborations with professional institutions including the Gothenburg Wind Orchestra, the Swedish Ballet School, Jönköping Symphony, and Malmö University. We also personally coach you in anticipation of orchestral job auditions. Audition master classes, workshops in performance psychology, and mock auditions enable you to hone your skills and techniques to successfully negotiate the competitive audition process. 

Deep and well-rounded practice

To deepen your understanding of your instrument, we teach period styles, music and orchestra history, theory, analysis, and ergonomics. By taking a long-term approach in various forms of ensemble, you will develop not only as an instrumentalist but also as a team player. An independent degree project allows you to delve deeper into a creative and artistic topic. You will have several individual lessons with a teacher of your choice, and repertoire-classes either in section or tutti, throughout the programme. Teachers from the Gothenburg Symphony and the Gothenburg Opera hold preparation rehearsals, and you will participate in at least one chamber music ensemble of your choice each semester. There are also several opportunities for international student exchanges. 

The collaborative pianist  

With the piano as your main instrument you get unique opportunities to deepen your artistry by participating in orchestra productions, playing chamber music as well as focusing on your solo playing. During the education, a wealth of opportunities exists for working practically with classical musicians and singers from opera, musical theatre, and other programmes.

Single subject course as a preparation

You can apply for a single subject course (Interpretation for Orchestra Instrument/Piano 1–2) if you need additional preparation for the master’s programme. The course is provided in collaboration with the master’s programme and admits new students twice a year.

Programme structure and content

The master’s programme in Music specializing in symphonic orchestra performance offers you the unique combination of highly focused orchestral training, music coaching, and a wealth of opportunities to perform in concert. There are four main focus areas:

  • orchestral concert productions
  • repertoire training
  • interpretation
  • individual coaching

You will complete an independent degree project where you explore questions using musical performance, with supervision throughout. The completed project consists of musical performance documented through sound or video recording integrated with text.

Who should apply?

Do you want an international career as an orchestra instrumentalist or pianist?

Then apply for the master’s programme in Music with a specialization in symphonic orchestra performance.

Prerequisites and selection


Bachelor degree of arts in music or equivalent, and musical knowledge and skills that are assessed at the admission test and are the basis for selection.

Special instructions for application

Find detailed information about the admission tests for our Master of Fine Arts in Music with Specialization in Symphonic Orchestra Performance.

More information about Special instructions for application


Selection of eligible applicants is based upon entrance tests.

After graduation

Graduates of the programme receive the degree Master of Fine Arts with a major in Music and a specialization in symphonic orchestra performance.

The programme prepares you for a career in a professional orchestra.


The Academy of Music and Drama operates from four locations in Gothenburg: Eklandagatan 86, Åvägen 24 (Brewhouse), Vasagatan 50 (HDK-Valand) and Triörgatan 1 (Andra stället).

More information about facilities