Brochure Conservatorium van Amsterdam

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Conservatorium van Amsterdam

Amsterdam University of the Arts

Classical Music



Music in Education

Dutch National Opera Academy

Early Music

Composing for Film

National Academy for Young Top Talent

Amsterdam Electronic Music Academy

CvA Online

About us Amsterdam World-Class Podium Bachelor Programs Master Programs International Partnerships Health - Artists in Residence –Research – Outreach Entrepeneurism and the Professional Landscape Classical Music • Classical Music • Early Music • The Dutch National Opera Academy (DNOA) • The National Master Orchestral Conducting (NMO) Jazz Pop Music • Pop Music • Amsterdam Electronic Music Academy Composing for Film Music in Education National Academy for Young Top Talent
Sweelinck Academy
Junior Jazz College
Young Pop Talent CvA Online Vertical Campus • CvA Concert Halls • Rehearsal Studios • Recording Studios Scholarships & Grants Student Housing Support CvA CvA History 6 8 10 12 14 16 19 20 22 26 28 30 32 38 40 42 44 48 52 54 54 54 56 58 60 61 61 62 62 63 65 Index

About us

The Conservatorium van Amsterdam (CvA) is one of the world’s leading music institutes. As a preeminent school for gifted musicians, we inspire our students to explore the boundaries of their talent and maximize their potential. CvA students are trained to become distinguished and innovative performers, composers and engaged educators. Through a state-of-the-art curriculum, we inspire today’s best musical talent to become tomorrow’s most passionate contributors to the arts and society.

Founded in 1884, the CvA offers 1,200 students from over 70 countries a dynamic and culturally diverse environment in which to explore the widest range of musical styles – Classical Music, Early Music, Contemporary Music, Jazz, Pop, Opera, Orchestral Conducting and Film Music, and Electronic Dance Music.

As part of the Amsterdam University of the Arts, we regularly collaborate with our sister universities for Film, Theater and Dance, Museology and Architecture. Studying at the CvA not only means benefiting from Amsterdam’s international creative community, but also performing at the city’s internationally renowned venues and festivals.

Our commitment is to excellence in education and performance. But most of all, our commitment is to our students. We want to provide an atmosphere where they can fully develop and thrive as people and musicians.


CvA Alumni

We have had the honor of educating some of the leading musicians and innovators in our profession. Amongst the many CvA alumni to have elevated us to the front line of the international music scene are:

• Herman Krebbers

• Gustav Leonhardt

• Bernard Haitink

• Frans Brüggen

• Reinbert de Leeuw

• Ed Spanjaard

• Ronald Brautigam

• Jaap van Zweden

• Pieter Wispelwey

• Ruud Breuls

• Isabelle van Keulen

• Benjamin Herman

• Jesse van Ruller

• Quirine Viersen

• Jörgen van Rijen

• Henk Neven

• Gustavo Gimeno

• Ralph van Raat

• Tineke Postma

• Liza Ferschtman

• Caro Emerald

• Joris Roelofs

• Reinier Baas

• Ben van Gelder

• Marnix Dorrestein

• Kensington

• My Baby

• DeWolff

• Sofie Andersen

• Lucie Horsch

• Noa Wildschut

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Amsterdam World-Class Podium

Cultural Amsterdam punches far above its size and weight. The Dutch capital combines the intimacy of a village with one of the world’s greatest music scenes – from Classical and Jazz to Opera, Early Music, Contemporary Music, Electronic Dance Music and Pop. Home to the internationally renowned Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and a hotbed of Jazz since American and European expats made it their second home in the 1960s, Amsterdam remains an important destination for every major global musician. The city’s incredible appreciation for a wide range of musical genres is one of the unique qualities that makes Amsterdam, well, Amsterdam.

The GII (Global Innovation Index) published by Cornell University, business school INSEAD and the WIPO, ranks Amsterdam as the fourth most innovative city in the world.

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A selection of

CvA Partners

• Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

• Dutch National Opera & Ballet (DNO)

• Holland Festival

• Festival Oude Muziek

• Cello Biennale

• Grachtenfestival

• North Sea Jazz Festival



• Lowlands

• Eurosonic Noorderslag

• Keep an Eye Foundation

• Shanghai Jazz Festival

• Panama Jazz Festival

• Newport Jazz Festival

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Bachelor Programs

The CvA offers numerous Bachelor programs built around musical craftsmanship, artistic excellence and individual authenticity. Our comprehensive and inspiring curriculum covers a wide range of musical disciplines across Classical, Jazz and Pop. Reflecting our reputation for craftsmanship and innovation, we are constantly adapting and refining our curriculum to remain topical, vibrant and relevant.

During their first two years on campus students follow a comprehensive general program, and are given a solid foundation of musical skills indispensable to their later careers. Third and fourth year students combine more specialized studies and tailored training with the opportunity to participate in international exchange programs.

The CvA Bachelor program prepares students for the highest level of the musical profession by tailoring to their specific talents, personality and ambitions. Excellent instrumental and ensemble playing skills, theory, arranging, composing, ear training, artistic innovation, entrepreneurialism, and research skills are complemented by special projects with national and international musical institutions, such as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, De Nationale Opera, North Sea Jazz Festival, New Port Summer Jazz Festival and Noorderslag.


Bachelor of Music

• Classical

• Jazz

• Pop

• Early Music

• Contemporary Music

• Orchestral Conducting

• Choir Conducting

• Wind Band Conducting

• Theory of Music

• Music in Education


Master Programs

The CvA Master program is designed to empower our students to develop their own identity and maximize their full potential not only as musicians, but also as creative thinkers and global artists. The program puts great emphasis on providing the perspectives students need to transcend typical categorizations and stereotypes.

As with our Bachelor programs, the Master degree combines musical craftsmanship, artistic excellence and individual authenticity with comprehensive research and the development of entrepreneurial skills. It also offers programs with an intense interinstitutional and cross-disciplinary focus. The CvA’s National Master of Orchestral Conducting and Dutch National Opera Academy, for example, are joint programs with The Royal Conservatoire in The Hague.

All CvA Master students are encouraged and empowered to cooperate with our network of internationally renowned conservatories and perform in world-class ensembles and symphony orchestras. Master students can tailor their curriculum to their own specific interests, talents and ambitions. This artistic freedom is coupled with a passionate mentor program, resulting in high course completion rates and strong international networks.


Master of Music

• Classical

• Jazz

• Pop

• Early Music

• Contemporary Music

• Composition

• Live Electronics

• Music Theory

• National Master Orchestral Conducting

• Composing for Film

• Dutch National Opera Academy

• Master Musical Leadership

International Partnerships

We provide our students with the global context, experiences and personal contacts they need to thrive on an international stage. Amongst the institutes we work with in exchange programs, thematic collaborations and interactive partnerships are:

• The Juilliard School of Music (New York)

• Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris (CNSMDP)

• The Manhattan School of Music (New York)

• The Central Conservatory of Music (Beijing)

• The USC Thornton School of Music (Los Angeles)

• School of Jazz at The New School (New York)

• The Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler (Berlin)

• Universität der Künste Berlin (UDK)

• Escola de Música do Estado de São Paulo (EMESP)

• Global Jazz Institute at the Berklee College of Music (Boston)

• Sibelius Academy (Helsinki)

• Royal College of Music London

• Guildhall School of Music and Drama (London)

• The New England Conservatory (Boston)

• Temple University’s Boyer College of Music (Philidelphia)

• FROST School of Music – University of Miami


On-Campus Orchestras, Bands and Ensembles

The conservatory has 80+ on-campus Chamber Music ensembles, 90+ Jazz bands and ensembles and 30+ Pop bands, including:

• CvA Symphony Orchestra

• CvA Philharmonic Fridays Orchestra

• CvA Sweelinck Baroque Orchestra

• CvA Score Collective

• CvA Strings

• CvA Brass

• CvA Wind Orchestra

• CvA Trombone Ensemble

• CvA Student Choir

• CvA Monday Big Band

• CvA Tuesday Big Band

• CvA Concert Jazz Band

Artists in Residence


Complementing our permanent faculty is a comprehensive Artist in Residence (A.I.R.) and (guest) lecturer program that brings students into close contact with inspiring musical talent from around the world. Recent guest lecturers and Artists in Residence include Jaap van Zweden, Bernard Haitink, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Tan Dun, Claron McFadden, John Clayton, Terell Stafford, Peter Bernstein, Dianne Reeves, John Scofield and Brad Mehldau.

Healthy Musicianship and Mental Coaching

Becoming a top musician requires more than just the right sound and skills. It also takes an incredible toll on the musician’s mind and body. Musicians must develop both a unique approach and a professional athlete´s mindset. For this reason, the CvA curriculum focuses on Healthy Musicianship. Our coursework calls attention to the physical and mental impact of musicianship, and offers students the tools and techniques that will support them in their future careers on and off the stage.

To prepare our students mentally for a life in the public eye, the CvA also works with leading cognitive research institutes like the Amsterdam Medical Center (AMC), the Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam and the Leiden University Medical Center, as well as with Amsterdam’s professional football club Ajax.

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Research bridges the gap between professional training, academic discourse and profession in practice. It is our responsibility to give our students the critical skills needed to reflect on their profession. By promoting and facilitating research across all our departments and disciplines, students gain the knowledge and skills needed to be able to contribute to cultural and academic debates, publish in leading journals and act as ambassadors in all musical genres and styles. Research is an integral part of the CvA curriculum. In addition, we also offer a Lectureship in Music, fund a chair in Jazz and Improvised Music at the University of Amsterdam and participate in DocARTES. To continuously bring our students into contact with new ideas and movements, the conservatory regularly hosts international conferences and symposia.


The CvA participates in a wide range of international outreach projects – initiatives we actively encourage our students to contribute to and take part in. These projects range from ambitious local initiatives like Leerorkest in Amsterdam to international collaborations with the favelas of Sâo Paulo and the monitoring and structuring online workshops for talented young musicians in Mumbai.

We are also involved in ambitious national projects like Méér Muziek in de Klas (More Music in the Classroom), an important initiative aimed at providing structural music education for 1.6 million grammar school students in The Netherlands.

With projects like the Dutch National Opera’s Opera Forward Festival, we provide 400 students with the opportunity to explore new forms of music, collaboration and performance in opera. In addition to the Opera Forward Festival, the CvA supports numerous city and neighborhood initiatives in daycares, prisons and refugee communities. By kick-starting new projects and contributing to existing ones, we are able to use music to positively change lives in Amsterdam, across The Netherlands and Europe and in the global communities that need it most.

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Entrepeneurship and the Professional Landscape

Our Music Business & Career program is an important part of our curriculum and includes weekly classes taught by leading experts, musicians and entrepreneurs who provide the tools and inspiration necessary for a career in music. Hands-on projects, weekly feedback sessions, reviewing and improving the acquisition, organizational, promotional, finance, leadership and communication skills required to successfully shape, present and promote their music. It is an organic and comprehensive program that gives students the skills and motivation they need to successfully launch their careers on the international music scene.

CvA students also enjoy access to ACE, the Amsterdam Centre for Entrepreneurship, a collaborative venture between the city’s leading universities, including the Amsterdam University of the Arts (AHK), the University of Amsterdam (UvA), the Vrije Universiteit (VU) Amsterdam and the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (HvA).

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Classical Music


Classical Music

The CvA houses one of the world’s foremost Classical departments. Our faculty, facilities and areas of expertise allow us to challenge the most ambitious music students and present them with a broad spectrum of Classical styles, periods and genres. From Early Music to Contemporary styles, our students are meticulously prepared for careers as soloists, orchestral musicians, ensemble players, conductors and composers.

The focus from day one is on group playing skills, with instrumentalists participating in our first-year string orchestra, wind and brass ensembles. During the second semester these orchestras form into Chamber Music ensembles where, under the careful guidance of leading experts and faculty in our Chamber Music program, students are encouraged to explore all stylistic periods After their first year, students are invited to join one of many on-campus orchestra opportunities, including the Score Collective, Philharmonic Fridays and our large-scale orchestral project that performs in Holland’s most important concert halls.

Team teaching is a defining feature of the conservatory’s curriculum. In the Percussion department, this idea manifests itself in the wide array of teachers, classes, instruments and styles on offer.

Our Voice department has trained and nurtured an impressive roster of singers that have gone on to enjoy successful international performance careers. In addition to voice lessons and coaching, students follow courses in opera, song and oratorio; drama; movement and physical theater training; foreign languages; Feldenkrais and Alexander Technique; entrepreneurship; and performance practices.

With its extraordinary collection of modern and original instruments, our Department of Keyboard Studies attracts students from around the world. Organ students have the opportunity to play Europe’s most prestigious organs in Amsterdam, Haarlem and Alkmaar, setting the stage for successful global careers. Similarly, our Recorder and Saxophone departments have long enjoyed reputations for producing some of the world’s most illustrious performers. Our BLOK system is unique and ensures students are fully immersed in group playing skills and repertoire under the guidance of regular visiting instructors.


The CvA is one of the few conservatories in the Netherlands that offers a complete Bachelor program in Conducting. As a world-class laboratory for emerging performing artists, our Composition department introduces students to an enormous range of compositional styles and expertise. Equally prestigious is our Early Music department with its emphasis on educating students in the newest insights in historical performance practices and repertoires. The Sweelinck Baroque Orchestra participates in remarkable projects with internationally renowned Early Music specialists, while the department’s Chamber Music ensembles enjoy incredible opportunities in Amsterdam and beyond.

The Conservatorium van Amsterdam lives up to the highest possible standards across all categories. Our instructors and specialists take real pleasure in what they do, and our curriculum prepares students in all aspects of musicianship. Whether your career ambition is to be a soloist, a member of a world-class orchestra or an independent artist, our tailored approach prepares every student for a future in excellence. I am extremely proud of how much passion our team invests in helping each individual maximize their talent and potential.

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• Strings

• Woodwinds

• Brass

• Keyboard instruments

• Voice

• Harp

• Percussion

Principal Subjects

• Accordion

• Composition

• Conducting

• Guitar

• Music Theory

• Live Electronics

• Recorder

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• Bernard Haitink, conductor

• Jaap van Zweden, conductor

• Ralph van Raat, pianist

• Gustav Leonhardt, keyboard

• Reinbert de Leeuw, conductor

• Ronald Brautigam, pianist

• Isabelle van Keulen, violinist

• Quirine Viersen, cellist

• Hannes Minnaar, pianist

• Christianne Stotijn, mezzo soprano

• Pieter Wispelwey, cellist

• Liza Ferschtman, violinist

And many others.

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Early Music

The Early Music department of the Conservatorium van Amsterdam is building on the legacy of four world famous Amsterdam musicians; organist and harpsichordist Gustav Leonhardt (Leonhardt Consort); recorder player and conductor Frans Brüggen (Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century), violinist Jaap Schröder (Concerto Amsterdam) and cellist Anner Bijlsma (L ‘Archibudelli) These eminent early music specialists from Amsterdam, all alumni and professors at the CvA, were the founders of the Early Music movement and fostered significant global developments relating to historical performance practice. Collectively, they form a major source of inspiration for the work of the Early Music department at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam: our current professors are former students of these four pioneers or reflect their traditions.

Ongoing collaboration with the Classical Music department allows our Early Music students to combine profound historical research with excellent music-making. The department is a CvA centre of knowledge focussing on the 4 great style periods of Early Music - Renaissance, Baroque, Classical and Romantic - under the guidance of a select group of specialists.

“The Early Music department offers courses in musical skills to the very highest level, based on profound historical and theoretical research. Research is of vital importance to us, but our greatest focus is always on making music at the cutting edge.

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Principal Subjects

• Woodwinds

• Brass

• Lute

• Strings

• Keyboard instruments

• Voice


• Ton Koopman

• Andreas Staier

• Erik Bosgraaf

• Richard Egarr

• Octavie Dostaler-Lalonde

• Pierre Hantaï

And many others.

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The Dutch National Opera Academy (DNOA)

The Dutch National Opera Academy is an elite two-year’s master’s programme offering a wide-ranging curriculum encompassing all aspects in the training of an aspiring opera artist. In addition to a focus on refining technical skills, students are supported in developing a very clear sense of vocal and artistic identity, and how these attributes can best be united to meet market demands and expectations. The programme is tailored to enable young artists to enhance chances of success in a competitive field as they transition from full-time education to the workplace. DNOA graduates can be found in many of the world’s leading opera houses. The DNOA is a partnership of the Conservatorium van Amsterdam and the Royal Conservatoire The Hague.

“The DNOA is the Champions League in Arts education. It provides a unique and supportive environment for ambitious singers wanting to cross the gap between education and the international stage.


For more information please visit


The National Master Orchestral Conducting (NMO)

The National Master in Orchestral Conducting (NMO) is a prestigious two-year Master program offered jointly by the CvA and the Royal Conservatoire The Hague and in cooperation with leading Dutch orchestras, such as the Residentie Orkest, the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra and the North Netherlands Symphony Orchestra. This highly selective program focuses on orchestral conducting at both the technical and artistic levels. Our collaborations with large professional orchestras makes the NMO an outstanding bridge between education and practice, at the same time enabling talented conductors to develop and expand their professional networks.

The students work regularly as assistant conductor with orchestras in the Netherlands and abroad.

Next to lessons with the principal subject teachers Kenneth Montgomery, Ed Spanjaard and Jac van Steen, the young conductors have masterclasses with various guest professors like Martyn Brabbins, Antony Hermus, Lorenzo Viotti and Bas Wiegers. Only two students are admitted to the NMO each year.

The NMO is supported by Het Kersjesfonds.



The CvA Jazz department is the largest in Europe with a most inspiring music program and a select group of 400 students from more than 50 countries. We offer a contemporary didactic approach to Jazz music, embracing all the principal musical movements of our time. Our international faculty includes some of the leading figures in the contemporary Jazz music scene, guaranteeing a global, up-to-date and inspirational approach to Jazz education.

Our students learn to develop excellent musical skills and forward their individual talent, strength and quality. Through selfreflection, awareness and empowerment we motivate them to develop their own identity, explore their talent and exploit their full potential as musicians, educators, entrepreneurs and artists.

We continuously evolve our curriculum and adopt new technologies that reflect the multiple shades of today’s music world. We facilitate our students to engage in cross-border exchange at the highest level, through our connections with festivals and leading Jazz departments worldwide.

“Original, engaging and inventive: jazz music is more alive than ever! Jazz has the ability to deeply touch and move audiences around the globe.

The future of jazz demands open-minded artists, accomplished performers and creative communicators. The Jazz Department offers multifaceted study programmes for young musicians to develop their talents in all these areas and realise their full potential.

With an outstanding faculty, internationally renowned guest teachers, state-of-the-art facilities, in the heart of culturally vibrant Amsterdam, we offer you an environment which empowers you to excel.

Welcome to the Jazz Department of the Conservatorium van Amsterdam!


Principal Subjects

• Saxophone

• Clarinet/bass clarinet

• Trumpet

• Trombone

• Guitar

• Piano

• Double bass

• Bass guitar

• Drums

• Percussion

• Voice

• Composition/Arranging

• Theory of music


• Jesse van Ruller, guitarist

• Benjamin Herman, saxophonist

• Tineke Postma, saxophonist

• Reinier Baas, guitarist

• Ruud Breuls, trumpetist

• Joris Roelofs, saxophonist

• Ben van Gelder, saxophonist

• Caro Emerald, singer

And many others.



Newport Jazz Festival and Global Jazz Institute at Berklee

Every year students from the Junior Jazz College of the CvA receive full scholarships to attend the legendary Newport Jazz Festival and Jazz Workshop organized by the Global Jazz Institute (GJI) at Berklee. For two weeks our students are coached by leading musicians and GJI instructors like Joe Lovano, Danilo Perez and Terry Line Carringhton. Upon completing the workshop students are given the unique opportunity to perform their music on the festival’s main stage.



Joint Master Degree

EUJAM is a joint Master degree offered by the conservatories of Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen, Paris and Trondheim. This program is specifically designed for talented contemporary Jazz performers who want to remain on the forefront of the newest developments in music, culture and business. EUJAM students investigate European Jazz in its broad artistic, cultural and entrepreneurial scope, and design and perform artistic projects in collaboration with professional performers, organizations and business enterprises. This premier program admits just two students per institute per year.

Global Association for the Inter-Connective Arts (GAIA)

The Global Association for the InterConnective Arts (GAIA) is a joint program offered by five of the world’s leading Jazz institutes: The Global Jazz Institute at Berklee Boston, the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, The New School (New York), Siena Jazz University and the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. The program offers students from all five institutions the inspiration, insights and knowledge they need to become restless practitioners, innovative musicians and engaged human beings. By actively promoting communication between art forms, GAIA fosters critical thinking and analysis as well as individual ethics and values, precisely the skills our students will need to become passionate and meaningful ambassadors of music. In a world of categorization and specialization, GAIA purposely challenges students to transcend stereotypes and shape their own personality by fully exploring the many artistic and social sides of music.

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Pop Music

The Pop department prepares artists, writers, coaches, and producers to operate on the highest level of the music scene. The department acts as a breeding ground for students harboring international ambitions. At both the Bachelor and Master level, our curriculum strongly emphasizes qualitative creation in songwriting, performing, producing, and the entrepreneurial side of the business. The department educates and encourages pop talents to develop into independent and professional musicians with their authentic sound, style and vision.

Our teachers, alumni, and students perform intensively on relevant stages and festivals in and outside the Netherlands. Their original music has led to numerous awards and nominations at Zilveren Notenkraker, Gouden Notenkraker, Grote Prijs, Amsterdam Pop award, 3FM awards and Edisons.

• Eurosonic Noorderslag (NL)

• Lowlands (NL)

• Pinkpop (NL)

• Sziget (HU)

• Reeperbahn (D)


Festivals & Showcases

• MaMA (FRA)



• C / O POP (D)


• South by South West (USA)




• Into The Great Wide Open (NL)

• Dour (BE)

• Bevrijdingsfestival


Stages in Amsterdam

• Paradiso

• Melkweg

• Royal Theater Carré

• Ziggo Dome

• AFAS Live

• Cinetol

• Tolhuistuin


Principal Subjects

• My Baby

• DeWolff

• Indian Askin

• Jungle by Night

• Kensington

• Lucas Hamming

• Jet Rebel

• Sue the Night

• Nicole Bus

• Bombay

• Someone

• Yori Swart

• Guitar

• Bass

• Drums

• Keyboards & Production

• Vocals

• The Mauskovic

Dance Band

• Feiertag

• Midas

• Eva Simons

• Navarone

• Cut_

• Wies

• Sofie Winterson


Amsterdam Electronic Music Academy (AEMA)

In the last few decades, electronic music has gone through a massive evolution. New styles evolve while the popularity of the genre continues to grow. The Netherlands is leading in this regard. To further reinforce this position and support young talent, the Conservatorium van Amsterdam offers a two-year international Associate Degree for the electronic musician: the Amsterdam Electronic Music Academy (AEMA).

AEMA is a full-time program with great attention for the individual student. The curriculum focuses on developing a solid profile as an artist and a unique sound. As a student, you will learn about the intricacies of mixing and mastering sound design and working with hardware, such as analog synthesizers. To prepare for a successful professional life after school, you will learn about entrepreneurship and marketing and find your way in the music industry. In addition, there are courses on music technology, composition, music theory, culture, and history. Furthermore, you will learn how to produce music for advertising, film, or games and perform live on stage as a DJ or with hardware and musicians.


Amsterdam is one of the most important cities in the world for dance. There are so many amazing artists and organizations here. The AEMA makes it possible to share this treasure chest of knowledge and experiences with new talent.

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Composing for Film


Composing for Film

The CvA is the first conservatory in Europe to offer a Master degree program in Composing for Film, created in close cooperation with the Netherlands Film Academy.

The two-year Master program uses a multidisciplinary framework to prepare students for the scoring demands of contemporary film and audiovisual industries. Through lessons, lectures, excursions and special guest teachers (leading composers and film directors), students have the opportunity to work closely with professionals to learn the artistic, creative, technical and business sides of the film scoring industry.

Composing for Film offers a practice platform that is unique in Europe: During the two years, the Master students of the CvA Composing for Film program develop the creative and collaborative skills needed to score for ambitious NFA film projects. They have the possibility to use the recording studios and top-of-the-line technical facilities of the CvA for their music productions while being guided along the way by our skilled teachers. Each film crew to which they are assigned receives weekly feedback from a coaching team of CvA and NFA experts during all stages of post-production.


Music in Education


Music in Education

The CvA Music in Education department prepares students to teach music at every instructional level – from elementary and secondary schools to higher education. The program therefore focuses on didactics, pedagogical subjects and theory of education and the artistic development of each student. From participatory social projects in prisons and public events to multi-disciplinary performances in local schools, our students develop the skills to design projects that strengthen community cohesion, integration and self-awareness. The department encourages social engagement initiatives, cultural participation, diversity and inclusion.

Next to their weekly internship music lessons at schools, students also create workshops, develop educational projects for music schools, conduct choirs and ensembles and organize music events for amateurs and professionals. All students enjoy handson guidance from our faculty and guest teachers who have the expertise and experience to educate and inspire the next generation of teachers.


Key Areas of Study

• Pedagogical subjects: methodology/didactics, pedagogy/psychology

• Internships

• Voice, piano, guitar, pop bands, world music ensembles, choral conducting, ensemble conducting and band coaching

• Music theory: (intensive) aural skills training, analysis, arranging for heterogeneous ensembles/real-time projects

• Collaborations with professional institutions, partners and with students across all art disciplines

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National Academy for Young Top Talent

Sweelinck Academy | Junior Jazz College | Young Pop Academy

Sweelinck Academy Junior Jazz College Young Pop Academy

National Academy for Young Top Talent

We believe that musical talent should have access to the highest level of education at the earliest possible age. The CvA’s Young Talent department, which comprises the Sweelinck Academy, Young Pop Academy and Junior Jazz College, has the knowledge and faculty to guide gifted young musicians from age 6 upwards. We work closely with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (RCO), giving pupils the opportunity to perform chamber music with RCO members.


Sweelinck Academy

The Sweelinck Academy develops talented young musicians through a comprehensive program that includes instrumental and vocal instruction, ensemble performance, music theory, cultural history and choral singing. Sweelinck Academy pupils perform at various venues around Amsterdam and regularly win prizes at youth competitions both in the Netherlands and abroad.

Young Pop Academy

For young pop talents who aspire to master their instrument, write original music, and create their own signature sound, style, and vision, the CvA offers the Young Pop Academy (YPA). The YPA takes place every Saturday to combine it with classes at secondary school.

Junior Jazz College

Students between the ages of 12 and 18 and eager to play Jazz and related styles are eligible for admittance to the Junior Jazz College. Taught by CvA faculty, Junior Jazz College pupils are schooled in ear training, theory and ensemble performance. Special guest teachers also regularly organize themed days. Pupils are encouraged to participate in workshops and clinics often under the direction of top international jazz artists.


CvA Online

CvA Online is the online extension of our conservatory. It offers students and educators around the world the opportunity to access our world-class curriculum and benefit from our highly structured courses and personalized feedback. Established in 2015, CvA Online has since grown into Europe’s largest platform for online video tutoring and is an essential tool for the entire CvA student community.

CvA Online provides a structured learning path on which students can set their own pace as they follow a wide range of courses, many of which are tailored to specific grade levels, age groups and curriculum requirements.

Beyond our Amsterdam campus, CvA Online enables us to share our specialized knowledge and network with aspiring professional students and educators in China, America and India, markets both established and emerging.

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The CvA has a state-of-the-art video conferencing system that seamlessly connects our students and educators with our partner institutes worldwide.

Distance Learning

This giant leap in real-time, online education, reinforces our commitment to cross-border collaborations, giving our students and educators even greater access to personalized instruction, live master classes and curriculum exchanges with other leading institutes such as the Manhattan School of Music, The Sibelius Academy and the Danish Royal Academy of Music.


A Unique Campus

Just a five-minute walk from Amsterdam’s historic Central Station, the CvA is located on the waterfront between Renzo Piano’s NEMO museum and Jo Coenen’s bustling Amsterdam Public Library (OBA). The Classical Music and Jazz temples, the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ and BIMHUIS, are located literally around the corner.

The campus sits in the heart of Amsterdam, walking – or cycling, this is Amsterdam, after all – distance from the historic Canal and Museum districts and the city’s main social centers: the Rembrandtplein and Leidseplein. Being situated close to Central Station gives students easy access via metro, tram or train to all the city’s major concert venues, including the Royal Concertgebouw, Ziggo Dome, the BIMHUIS, AFAS Live and the Amsterdam Arena. Holland’s wind-swept North Sea beaches are just 25 minutes away by train.

The CvA is housed in a contemporary twelve-story structure purpose-built for uncompromised musical education and instruction. Celebrated Dutch architect Frits van Dongen designed our campus according to the ‘engawa’ principle, with all passageways placed along the perimeter of the building and function as sound and thermal buffers to the outside world.

The campus is a school of music and concert hall in one. The classrooms, rehearsal studios and recital halls are all customized with Polycom live video conferencing systems and equipment for recording and mixing professional grade audio and video. Also housed inside our vertical campus are state-of-the-art recording studios, a library, a cafe and four concert halls ranging in size from 100 to 450 seats. The library contains its own extensive collection of sheet music, textbooks, DVDs, videotapes and vinyl.


CvA Concert Halls


• Bernard Haitink Hall: 400 seats

• Amsterdam Blue Note: 220 seats

• Sweelinck Hall: 120 seats


Rehearsal Studios

• 168 classrooms and practice rooms

• Polycom audio and visual equipment

• Purpose-built practice rooms per genre and acoustic needs

• Customized musical equipment per genre

• All practice rooms enjoy natural light

• Online booking system shows real-time availability

Recording Studios

• Studio 2: A fully-equipped professional studio with Yamaha C7 concert grand piano, separate recording spaces, drum kits, guitar amplifiers, 32-track recordings and digital mixing

• Studio 3: Live recording studio with a control room connected to all conservatory concert halls

• Studio 538: Computers, synthesizers, samplers and mixers for producing music and film music

• Studio 539: Electronic music composition studio

• 2 Mobile multitrack recording studios

• 4 light multitrack recording studios

• Live streaming video recording studio

61 C

Scholarships & Grants

Each year the conservatory provides a number of scholarship opportunities to current and prospective students. Based on both financial need and artistic merit, these scholarships are designed to help talented students fulfill their dreams of becoming successful performing artists and creative global citizens.

Student Housing

Depending on where you are coming from, Amsterdam is either a small city or a large village. No matter where you reside, everything is always close by. That said, we realize that performing artists require a special type of living environment – well-insulated work/living spaces that offer the acoustics and space to hone their talents. For this reason, the CvA works closely with the Jan Pieterszoon Huis (JPH), a foundation specialized in affordable housing exclusively for CvA students. The JPH has some 370 well-insulated and/or soundproof apartments and homes situated throughout Amsterdam.


Support CvA

CvA is fully dedicated to offering our students a tailor-made education that helps them reach the highest levels of international performing arts. Donations, gifts and legacies play an important role in paving the way to future success. All gifts to our Musicians of Tomorrow Foundation (Stichting Musici van Morgen) are used for student scholarships, special projects and concerts as well as for the purchase and upkeep of our many historical and cutting-edge instruments. By donating to our foundation you are contributing to the musicians of tomorrow. All donations are deductible from both personal and corporate taxes.








Our history in 60 seconds

The CvA is a key pillar of Amsterdam’s cultural and social community. Founded in 1884 alongside the Royal Concertgebouw and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (RCO), the relationship between the conservatory and these prestigious institutes remains intimate.

In 1976, the CvA expanded its footprint by merging with a number of renowned music institutes in and around Amsterdam: the Amsterdamsch Conservatorium, the Conservatorium van de Vereniging Muzieklyceum and the Haarlem Muzieklyceum formed what was then called the Sweelinck Conservatorium Amsterdam. In 1994, the institute further reinforced its reputation in the field of Jazz by merging with the Hilversum Conservatory, resulting in our current name the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. These mergers transformed the CvA from the country’s top classical institute into the largest and most prestigious conservatory in the Netherlands. Building on our strong Classical tradition, we now offer a world-class education across all major musical genres: Early Music, Classical Music, Orchestral Conducting, Opera, Jazz, Music in Education and, since 2003, Pop. In 2018 the CvA started the Amsterdam Electronic Music Academy (AEMA).

To house all these musical disciplines, in 2008 we moved to a campus purpose-built for music in Amsterdam’s vibrant center. Over the last 130 years our size and location may have changed, but our mission has remained resolutely the same: to educate and train outstanding musicians to contribute to and shape the international music community.


Text and Translation

John Weich


Jonathan Andrew

Lisa van Bennekom

Reinout Bos

Stijn Brakkee

Fotostudio EdoLand

Jan Hordijk

Nine IJff

Kyra Kataigides

Lisa de Kraal

Jaap Kroon

Thomas Lenden

Daria Scagliola

Fred van ’t Slot

Froukje Wilming

Concept and Design

Duncan Baumbach/Wit Communicatie

Print Tuijtel

68 Conservatorium van Amsterdam Conservatorium van Amsterdam Oosterdokskade 151, 1011 DL Amsterdam, The Netherlands Pop & AEMA are temporary located at: Q-Factory Atlantisplein 1, 1093 NE Amsterdam, The Netherlands +31-20-5277550 ©2022 All rights reserved. ConsVAmsterdam ConservatoriumVanAmsterdam ConservatoriumVanAmsterdam ConsVanAmsterdam V1.3
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