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