From 7 to 15 July 2017 HKU Utrecht Conservatory will organise the 51st edition of the Kurt Thomas Cursus for choral conducting.

What will you learn?

The Kurt Thomas Cursus of the HKU Utrecht Conservatory is an intensive course for (choral)conductors of all levels and genres. The course will be focussing on:

• Conducting technique

• Rehearsal technique

• Voice training
• Repertoire from Gregorian chant through classical to light music

The teachers will share their knowledge and expertise during nine days with the participants in a variety of classes and workshops. The participants will form choirs their selves, but the Kurt Thomas Course also collaborates with the professional Kurt Thomas Chamber Choir, Utrecht Conservatory Strings and several chamber musicians and soloists.

The course concludes with a festive concert on Saturday July 15 2017 in the Nicolaïkerk in Utrecht.

Take part at your own level

The unique concept of the course enables all participants to take part at their own level. This intensive summer course is open to amateur and (semi-) professional choral conductors.
The Kurt Thomas Cursus offers (choral)conductors an intensive programme in many genres. The Kurt Thomas Cursus distinguishes five levels, from novice (A) to advanced (E). Each group forms its own choir within the given level. There is also the Gregorian chant group focusing exclusively on Gregorian repertoire. In the evenings everybody can participate in the Evening Choir conducted by members of group E. The Gregorian chant group has a daily programme till 13:30 hours.
Groups C, D and E are also open to foreign participants, so the instruction language may include English.

More about the course programme and the levels.


Groups A to E
You are a choral conductor or hope to become one. You have experience in conducting a chamber choir, church choir, pop choir or something similar, or you have little experience. Or you play an instrument and wish to conduct an ensemble. Whatever your experience, during the Kurt Thomas Cursus you learn the tricks of the trade at your own level. The groups comprise a maximum of 15 persons. In view of the large number of applications groups A, B and C are usually split into several groups at each level.

Gregorian chant group
Participants focus exclusively on Gregorian chant. The group is intended for singers and conductors who wish to enrich their basic knowledge with theoretical insight and practical experience by singing and/or conducting a range of Gregorian repertoire. A maximum of 12 persons may take part. Participants follow a morning programme until 13.30 hours. An extra option is to take part in the daily Evening Choir with the other groups.

You can also attend groups A to E as an auditor, joining in the singing and observing all the lessons in the group. Only active participants take turns conducting.


On the basis of information submitted on the application form the course directors determine who takes part in which group. Their decision is irrevocable.


Teachers on the Kurt Thomas Cursus have often been involved for years, but every year there are new ones as well. Without exception they are all experts who have made their name.
Have a look at ‘more about the course programme and the levels’ to see what teachers will be present during this year’s course and what repertoire they will work with.

Practical information

7 July - 15 July 2017

Study day Group A, B, C:
Saturday June 17, 10.00 – 13.00 hrs.

HKU Utrechts Conservatorium
Mariaplaats 27/28
3511 LL Utrecht
The Netherlands

Costs (excluding scores)
Group A to E: €890
Reduced price for students group A to E: €690
Auditor group A to E: €710
Group Gregorian Chant: €710


As a participant you will receive a personalised certificate stating that you have successfully completed the Kurt Thomas Cursus of HKU Utrecht Conservatorium.

More information and contact

Should you have any questions, please send an email:

Participants on the Kurt Thomas Cursus:

• "What a lot of energy you get from this week – I learn more here than elsewhere in a whole year."

• "I’ve not only learnt a lot as a conductor but also as a choir member and singer."

• "A very nice atmosphere, well organised and a super final concert."

• "I’ve learnt so much in a short time, words escape me, it’s so wonderful!

• "The teaching team is fantastic and they work very well together."

• "In a word: grandiose. What a wonderful week. I’ll certainly come back."

• "Every conductor should attend this course at least once."