Classical MusicThe study
Bachelor of Music
Mode of study
Utrechts Conservatorium
Bachelor of Music
4 years

Classical Music in brief

  • Study music from Bach fugues to Ligeti’s atmospheres
  • Become an expert on your instrument and get to know different styles
  • Study with well-known musicians committed to helping you grow
  • Work with other hKU schools, like the HKU Theatre and HKU Fine Art
  • Top-rated programme according to the Dutch 'Keuzegids' 2024

Want to know more? Watch this talkshow recorded during the Open Day in November 2020, in which host and teacher Anne-Maartje Lemerijs talk with course leaders Joop van Deuren and Cecile Rongen, and tutor Marijke Arnold about the courses Classical Music and Historical Performance Practice.

Watch talkshow

How do you know if Classical Music is something for you?

First of all, you’re passionate about classical music. And you want to share that enthusiasm with your audience, fellow musicians and students. You can get other people excited about the different styles and ways to play classical music. If you identify with this, then we’d like to get to know you.

Why study Classical Music at HKU?

At HKU, you’ll study new ways to use classical music in the 21st century. You’ll learn to tell your own story, working with other students from different schools, such as HKU Theatre, HKU Fine Art and HKU Music and Technology. You’ll all form ensembles and exchange experiences. And if you’d like to get a master’s degree in a historical instrument after getting your bachelor’s, you can. While you’re still an undergraduate in Classical Music, choose a minor within the Historical Performance department.

You’ll always get personal guidance while you’re in the programme. Our lecturers are well-known musicians who get involved with your work. What makes this programme special is that the department works closely with orchestras such as PHION. This means that even as a third- or fourth-year undergraduate or master’s student, you may get an internship in this orchestra.

Excited? Apply now!

Course in figures

Want to know how this Bachelor of Music scores compared to other courses?

Go to the course in figures (in Dutch)

Classical MusicWhat will you learn
Classical Music

What will you learn

You’ll grow as an expert on your instrument, get to know different styles and explore your own talents. You’ll develop an eye for spotting new professional opportunities and ways to reach your audience. When you graduate, you’ll be a genuine professional musician.

Project weeks

Several times a year you’ll take part in a project. During these projects, you’ll explore one subject, like an opera or orchestral work, in greater depth for a full week. You’ll work intensively with a group towards a final presentation, often a concert. This will help you get to know the professional world better.

Coaching and profiling

You’ll get coaching during the entire course, from both your main subject teacher and other teachers.

Course structure

Exploring and getting your bearings

You’ll have lessons in your main subject and spend time doing research. You’ll develop a wide range of skills, and learn particular techniques for particular styles.

Connection with the audience
You’ll also learn how to connect with your audience during performances. You’ll talk about the historical context of a piece, such as what tuning was used for it and why.

Theory class
In addition to your main subject classes, you’ll take classes on theoretical subjects like music theory, sight-singing, harmony and analysis. You’ll explore subjects like tonality, modality, rhythm and instrumentation, and you’ll even write short compositions.

Going into more depth

In the second year, too, you take a variety of subjects. You’ll also choose a choir to sing with, like the Baroque-Renaissance Choir. You’ll also develop as a teacher. You’ll take methodology classes for your instrument or instrumental family. You’ll also have general pedagogy classes, studying things like how to structure a lesson.

You’ll do an internship with instructors who are professionals working in the field. You’ll be both observing and teaching.

Carving out a path

Starting in the third year, you and your study coach will take a look at your future. You’ll talk with your coach about your strengths, and the courses and other activities that are the best fit with them. You fill your year with extracurricular activities and electives. Think of an internship at a music school, stage or a (learning or playing) orchestra such as Phion, Orchestra of Gelderland and Overijssel.


In your last year, you’ll also have lots of room for extracurricular activities, projects and electives. Think of an internship at a music school, stage or a (learning or playing) orchestra such as Phion, Orchestra of Gelderland and Overijssel. And of course, getting ready to graduate.

Final research project
You’ll finish the bachelor’s programme by doing a research project with a topic of your choice based on sources like books, interviews and methods.

Subjects you can choose

You’ll choose your main subject from the list below. In the 3rd year you can take one or more electives. Piano lessons are a standard subject in the first two years of the programme. Take a look at the main subjects and a selection of the elective courses.
    • String instruments: violin, viola, cello, contrabass
    • Wind/brass instruments: flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet
    • Other instruments: piano, harp, organ, carillon
    • Vocals
    • Choral conducting
    • Composition
    • Church Music
    • Applied analysis
    • Music and meaning
    • Counterpoint
    • Basso continuo
    • Stage skills
    • Creative music making
    • Project realisation
    Church Music study programme
    Would you like to study church music while studying organ or choir conducting at another conservatoire? That is possible! You can join the church music courses given at HKU Utrechts Conservatorium free of charge. Here you will be prepared for the church music exams in Hymnology, Liturgy, Cantorate and Church Organ. The lessons take place during the regular class weeks on every Wednesday. The lessons are open to students with a propaedeutic degree in organ or choral conducting. Please enquire about the possibilities via


  • Course leader
    Cécile Rongen

    Jeroen den Herder
    Timora Rosler

    Chamber music
    Annemarie Konijnenburg (coordinator)
    Ernest Rombout
    Timora Rosler (teacher)

    Choir direction and choir practicum
    Rob Vermeulen

    Church music
    Mark Lippe (main subject teacher)

    Celeste Zewald

    Caroline Ansink
    Jeroen d'Hoe
    Anne-Maartje Lemereis

    Leon Bak
    Marian Bolt
    Carl van Reenen
    Mariken Zandvliet

    Luca Avanzi (Italian)
    Anna Kramer (German)
    José Lieshout - van de Sande (French)

    Double bass
    James Oesi

    Gusta Gerritsen Teengs

    Educational subjects
    Heleen Gerretsen (main subject teacher)

    Aldo Baerten

    Historical documentation
    Antoinette Lohmann

    Ernest Rombout

    Music theory
    Duco Burgers
    Arnoud Heerings
    Daan van den Hurk (main subject teacher)
    Anne-Maartje Lemereis
    Mark Lippe

    Musical history
    Arnoud Heerings

    Musician's Health
    Criss Taylor

    Willem van Merwijk

    Vivianne Cheng
    Henry Kelder (main subject teacher)
    Matthijs Solinger
    Evelina Vorontsova
    Klara Wurtz

    Production subjects
    Aart de Jong
    Eelco Topper

    Johan van der Linden (main subject teacher)

    Stage training
    Wilfred van de Peppel

    Arto Hoornweg

    Annemarie Konijnenburg (main subject teacher)
    Mikhail Zamtsov

    Chris Duindam (main subject teacher)
    Lis Huibers - Perry (main subject teacher)
    Eeva Koskinen
    Carla Leurs
    Hebe Mensinga

    Selma Harkink
    Karin van der Poel (main subject teacher)
    Dobrinka Voolstra - Yankova

    Discover all lecturers of HKU Utrechts Conservatorium
  • Caroline Ansink studied flute with Abbie de Quant (DM and UM) and composition with Joep Straesser (Prize for Composition) at the Utrechts Conservatorium, and then studied with Isang Yun.
    Performances of her compositions by Emmy Verhey, Jard van Nes, Abbie de Quant, Gonny van der Maten, Marion van den Akker, Osiris Trio, Brisk and Syrinx Saxophone Quartet, among others, have since taken place in venues as diverse as Carnegie Hall, the IJsbreker and the Concertgebouw, as well as in halls, churches and small churches in cities and rural areas all over Europe. Besides operas, she wrote a lot of chamber music and symphonic work, expressive and complex, as well as bright atmospheric pieces for (advanced) amateurs and youth orchestra.
    She won prizes for her string quartets Shades of Silence and Brezze, her organ work Pyrrhus, her piano trio Skopós, orchestral work Night and Day and choral piece Zeitenschrunde. The emphasis in her compositions has increasingly been on vocal music, with the titles, subjects and choice of lyrics often reflecting her views on society, history and music through the ages.
    From the very beginning, she encourages composition students to find their own compositional language.
    From years of experience with students of all ages and levels, she helps flute students develop their own teaching style in the methodology lessons.

  • Aldo Baerten plays as flute soloist with the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra and teaches at the conservatories of Antwerp, Utrecht and Cologne/Aachen. He has a great passion for chamber music and enjoys passing on his passion and knowledge to a younger generation. Aldo has his own summer course International Flute Seminar Bruges. Most former students of Aldo Baerten play in orchestras, modern music or teach, and this on 4 continents. Aldo himself studied with Peter-Lukas Graf, Gaby Pas van Riet and Philippe Boucly.

  • Vivianne Cheng is a Steinway Artist who has performed in prestigious venues including Carnegie Hall, Het Concertgebouw, Musikverein, Salle Cortot, Lincoln Center, and Verbier Festival. Recent highlights included a solo recital tour through Europe and USA, a radio broadcast on NPO Klassiek, and a television performance of Beethoven Piano Concerto Nr. 4 with members of Concertgebouworkest on Podium Klassiek. In addition to her concerts, Vivianne teaches at the Mozarteum Salzburg in Austria and Utrechts Conservatorium in The Netherlands. Vivianne is a prizewinner of international piano competitions such as the Tureck International Bach Competition, New York International Piano Competition, Concurso Internacional de Piano CLaMo, Bartók-Kabalevsky-Prokofiev International Piano Competition, and the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Concerto Competition. In 2020, she was awarded a 'Heldenspeld' from the Gemeente Amsterdam for creating live piano concerts on a boat sailing through Amsterdam's canals during the pandemic. Her studies were completed at Conservatorium van Amsterdam (Naum Grubert), Mozarteum Salzburg (Andreas Groethuysen; Pavel Gililov), Curtis Institute of Music (Gary Graffman; Leon Fleisher), and The Juilliard School where she was accepted at the age of ten.

    For more information:

  • Composer, pianist and musicologist Jeroen D'hoe (b. 1968) earned a doctorate in composition from The Juilliard School (New York), as well as masters in musicology (KU Leuven) and in composition and piano (LUCA School of Arts). He won the Nationale Koningin Elisabeth Composition Competition (2003), the SABAM Prize for Composition (2003) and the Gouden Klaproos (SABAM) for his oeuvre (2008). Jeroen D'hoe is a versatile composer who uses contemporary classical music to enter into various dialogues with other musical styles (jazz, pop) and other art forms (video, painting, animation), often commissioned by orchestras, festivals and museums.

    Jeroen D'hoe is a professor of pop music at KU Leuven (Musicology) and teaches composition at LUCA School of Arts (Campus Lemmens) and at the Utrecht Conservatoire. Jeroen D'hoe received the BAEF (Belgian American Educational Foundation) fellowship (1998).

  • Dutch soprano Selma Harkink is a versatile singer. After studying in Utrecht and Amsterdam, she soon made her debut in Germany at the Theater Dortmund. After that she had the opportunity to sing in many opera houses including Theater Bonn, Theater Gelsenkirchen, De Nationale Opera and De Nederlandse Reisopera. She has worked with conductors such as Ed Spanjaard, Jan Stulen, Mark Shanahan, Dirk Kaftan, Arthur Fagan and many others.

    Together with pianists Jan-Paul Grijpink and David Bollen, Selma forms a song duo with whom she performs regularly. Oratorio is also an important part of her professional practice. Early in her career, she discovered a love for teaching. Since 2016 she has been a principal study teacher in voice at the Conservatory of Utrecht, and since 2022 she has been a principal study teacher at the Conservatory of Amsterdam.

  • Jeroen den Herder (b. 1971) is a cellist and teacher. Looking back on a career that began during his 15th year at the Utrecht Conservatory, the breadth of the musical spectrum is particularly striking. His repertoire includes works from all style periods, from Gabrielli on gut strings, through Schubert on five-string cello and the experimental compositions of the 1960s to the newest music of today, including music from the Middle East and Asia. For long periods he played as a cellist in the cello octet Conjunto Ibérico (now Cello8tet Amsterdam), the Nieuw Ensemble, Rembrandt Trio and Ruysdael Quartet. He has worked with major composers such as Gubaidulina, Kagel, Pärt and Glass. Jeroen is associated as solo cellist with the chamber orchestra Sinfonia Rotterdam.

    As a teacher, Jeroen shows a deep interest in learning processes stemming from a holistic worldview. Besides his long-term teaching positions at the conservatories of Utrecht, Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Minsk, he is the initiator of the Cello Festival Zutphen and the Cello Academy Zutphen, now merged into CelloWercken Zutphen. The aim of his teaching lies in making music sing by setting people free.

  • Doretthe Janssens studied modern flute and traverso at the Utrecht Conservatory, where she is currently principal study teacher in historical flutes. She also has a thriving teaching practice at home, with amateur flutists of all ages and from all over the country. Doretthe has written a method for the traverso, which has been published in Dutch, English and German. Doretthe plays regularly in various European orchestras and ensembles, and she is a regular member of the baroque orchestra of the Netherlands Bach Society. She has also recently started working part-time as a coordinator in a hospice.

  • Johan van der Linden studied classical saxophone at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam. Did masterclasess wth Frederick Hemke, André Beun, Jean Marie Londiex, Iwan Roth, Daniel Deffayet and François Daneels. He was primarius of the world famous Aurelia Saxophone Quartet from 1982 till 2013. For the Aurelia he wrote many arrangements and recieved many prices. In 1988, the Aurelia's won the ‘Edison Klassiek’, a prestigious price for the best CD recording of that year. Johan is a core member of the NBE and plays in a duo with Henry Kelder.
  • Anne-Maartje Lemereis studied composition at HKU Utrechts Conservatorium and never left; since graduating in 2016 she has been working as a teacher and mentor. Besides teaching, she is active as a composer and writes commissioned works for various ensembles, festivals and concert halls such as the Ragazze Quartet, November Music, Holland Opera and Podium Witteman. Anne-Maartje has a great love for newly-written music and dedicates herself in every possible way to putting this music in the spotlight.

  • As an organist and pianist, Laurens de Man feels at home in a broad repertoire. He studied organ, piano and minor harpsichord at the Conservatory of Amsterdam with David Kuyken, Jacques van Oortmerssen and Johan Hofmann; at the Berlin University of the Arts he obtained his Konzertexamen with Leo van Doeselaar. During concerts on the most diverse organs, as church musician in the Utrecht Janskerk, as player of chamber music or pianist of the Chimaera Trio: he is always on the hunt for the beauty of music. At the HKU he teaches organ; at the jazz department of the Conservatory of Amsterdam he teaches the minor classical piano for jazz pianists.

    For more information:

  • Israeli/Dutch cellist Timora Rosler won the first prize at the Stuttgart International Cello Competition in 1996. In 1997 she was awarded the Vriendenkrans of the Royal Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. She was praised by the jury as follows: "Timora Rosler possesses an engaging talent, intimate expression, virtuosity and a natural feel for the composition. Her interpretation is exceptionally fascinating." A year later, she won a special prize for her interpretation at the XI. International Bach Competition in Leipzig.

    She has performed at numerous music festivals, including Ravinia, Aspen, Banff Centre for the Arts, Cello Biënnale Amsterdam, Manchester Cello Festival, International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove, Francigena International Arts Festival, Holland Music Sessions, Pro Festival in Rolandseck, Cello Festival Zutphen and Gaia Chamber Music Festival in Thun. Rosler has been heard in concerts in Europe, the United States, Canada, Argentina and Israel.

    As a soloist, she has performed with several orchestras, including Flemish Radio Orchestra (led by Martyn Brabbins), Philharmonia of the Nations (led by Justus Frants), Janácek Philharmonic, Grazioso Chamber Orchestra of the Hungarian National Philharmonic, Slovak Sinfonietta, Donetsk Philharmonic, National Symphony of Ukraine, Israel Sinfonietta Beer-Sheva, Haifa Symphony Orchestra, Camerata Antonio Lucio and Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra. With the Orquesta de Cámara Mayo from Buenos Aires she made an extensive tour in the Netherlands (including the Grote Zaal of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw) and Argentina, with works by Piazzolla. A TV and CD recording was also made of this tour.

    Rosler has several CD recordings to her credit, most recent: Beethoven- all works for cello & piano together with pianist Klara Würtz, released by Brilliant Classics. She is also active as a chamber musician, being part of the Serafino String Trio. Rosler is a main subject teacher at the Conservatory of Utrecht and plays a Thomas Dodd cello from 1800.

  • Matthijs Solinger studied piano at the Utrechts Conservatorium with Alexander Warenberg, Paolo Giacometti and Alan Weiss. Previously, he made a series of interviews with piano principal study teachers from various conservatoires for Pianowereld magazine. He is very interested in the mental aspects of making music. He is currently completing his studies in psychology. Besides his work at the conservatoire, he is initiator and project leader of the Music For Every Child Foundation. This organisation aims to offer music lessons in the city of Utrecht to children for whom it is not self-evident.

  • Saxophonist / composer / arranger Willem van Merwijk (Bemmel, The Netherlands, 1960) is a musical jack-of-all-trades. He is co-founder of the Aurelia Saxophone Quartet and played the baritone saxophone in this group from 1982 till 2014. He is also a member of the Netherlands Wind Ensemble since 1990 and regularly performing, composing and arranging for this group. Guillermo Lago (1960) is van Merwijk's composing alter ego. His work is being performed and recorded world-wide. ‘Ciudades’ by his hand for saxophone quartet has become a repertoire piece for the ensemble. He is teaching at both the 'Conservatorium van Utrecht' and the 'Conservatorium van Amsterdam’.

  • Crissman Taylor has been teaching at the Utrecht Conservatory since 1996 where she runs the Music Mind and Body Program. Previous to her studies at the HKU in voice (bachelors/masters) she studied violin in New York. In between conservatory studies, she gained a bachelor’s in sociology from Harvard University and qualified to teach the Alexander Technique in 1989. She has had a long performance career as classical mezzo-soprano and violinist.

    Her educational development and research focuses interdisciplinary collaborations to enhance the curriculum. This includes work with medical and psychology professionals, the narrative medicine department of Utrecht Medical Center (UMC), and dance and movement research with Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. She conducted extensive research into the challenges of violin and viola playing, developing the Violinist in Balance method, which combines Alexander re-education with custom made chin rest and shoulder rests, using 3-D printing technology. She is a founding member of Artist in Balance, an interdisciplinary performance educational institute.

  • Evelina Vorontsova is a highly versatile pianist and teacher with a large repertoire and an enormous knowledge of musical development. Trained at the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, she builds on the rich traditions of this piano school in her lessons and enriches it with her own experiences as a concert pianist and chamber musician.

    Evelina graduated cum laude from the Moscow Central Music School and the Tchaikovsky Conservatory (gold medal), and also graduated from the Sweelinck Conservatory. Her teachers were Rudolf Kehrer, Mikhail Voskresensky and Jan Wijn. Evelina is prize winner of several competitions including the Liszt Competition Utrecht (2nd), the Rachmaninov Competition Moscow (4th and special prize best performance), the Concorso Internazionale per Pianoforte e Orchestra Cantù (2nd), and the International Piano Competition of Padova (Premio Virtuosité and 2e). As a soloist, Evelina has performed with various conductors including Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Lev Markiz, Jan Stulen, Stewart Robertson and Alexander Wakulsky.

    In addition to her activities as a pianist and as a teacher at the Utrecht Conservatory, Evelina teaches students worldwide through her online piano school.

  • Mikhail Zemtsov is an internationally acclaimed and versatile musician, being a prominent soloist, teacher, educator, chamber musician and conductor. Mikhail has performed as a soloist with the Moscow Conservatory Chamber Orchestra, Luxembourg Philharmonic, Wiener Volksoper, Hamburger Symphoniker, The Hague Philharmonic with Neeme Jarvi, Jaap van Zweden. Mikhail is member of the Utrecht String Quartet, Duo Macondo and Zemtsov Viola Quartet. He is appointed viola teacher at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague and Utrecht Conservatory. Many of his students became prize winners at International Competitions and orchestra auditions. Mikhail has studied viola, composition and orchestral conducting at the conservatories of Moscow, London, Hamburg. Vilnius and Maastricht with amongst others M. Kugel. Mikhail is a prize winner of the First International Viola Competion (Vienna, 1998).
Classical MusicWhat will you make
Classical Music

What will you make on the course

Off to work!

On completion of your studies, you’ll be an expert in classical music. You’ll have a Bachelor of Music degree, and can put the letters BMus after your name. With this degree you can get started in all sorts of places. Whether in an ensemble or orchestra, or as a soloist, instructor, organiser or musical director: you’re in charge. As a specialist you’ll feel at home in various roles in the field.


This course gives you access to state-of-the-art studios and equipment. Discover which facilities you can use.
Classical MusicApplication and admission
Classical Music

Application and admission

The course is really right for you if:
  • You’re passionate about classical music
  • You want to be a broadly trained classical musician, who can also work in education and production
  • You want to start up and run your own business as a classical musician later on
  • You’re interested in playing chamber music
  • You’re curious about applications like community music, and you want to be able to teach individual and group lessons in your instrument and/or voice.
During the selection procedure, we decide whether the course suits you.

Important Dates

All the practical entrance exmination will be scheduled from 2 to 12 April 2024 (with the exception of carillon) and will take place live at the conservatory. Below the dates of the entrance exams per instrument.
Instrument Admission dates
carillon 18 June
cello 8 April
choir conduction 10 April
church music 9 April
clarinet 9 April
composition 3 April
double bass 9 April
flute 2 April
oboe 9 April
organ 9 April
piano 2, 3 and 4 April
saxophone 9 April
theory and education 3 April
trumpet 8 April
voice 3 and 10 April
viola 2 April
violin 2, 3 and 8 April
ATTENTION: All dates are subject to change.

Can you still apply?

You can apply for the academic year 2024-2025 until 1 February 2024.

Prior Education

You can take the course if you have one of the following diplomas: pre-university (vwo), senior general secondary education (havo), or senior secondary vocational education level 4 (mbo) or equivalent.

Entrance Examination

The entrance exam consists of three parts:
  • After you apply via Studielink, you will receive the questionnaire within a few working days. The deadline for uploading the questionnaire is 1 February 2024.
  • The theoretical exam will be taken online by one of the theory teachers and will take place in February and March. The exam will take approximately 30 minutes. It consists of a general music theory test and a listening comprehension test.

    Entrance Requirements (pdf)

    Below you will find examples of the theory exam:
    Example theory test (pdf)
    Answers theory test (pdf)
    Example listening test (pdf)

  • The practice admissions will take place between 2 and 12 April 2024 and will take place live at the conservatory.

    Exception Carillon
    The practical entrance exam for the Carillon will take place in June 2024. The candidates who have apply for this instrument will receive a separate invitation for the practical entrance exam.

    Admission assignment practical entrance examination
    For the practical entrance exam, you need to prepare an assignment in advance.

    Below the different assignments per instrument.

    Choral Conducting
    Double Bass

Apply via Studielink for the Bachelor of Music. During the application process you can choose your main subject for Classical Music.


The admission consists of uploading a questionnaire, a theoretical and practical exam. The theory exam will be online in February and March. The practical entrance exam will be live at the conservatory, between 3 and 14 April 2023. Make sure you're available during this period.


After the practical admission you will receive a result/advice from the admission committee. You will receive the official, final result of your entrance exam by e-mail no later than 1 May.

Please note: there can be a difference between the advice and the final result. This is because sometimes more candidates are admissible than can be admitted.

There are three options:

  • You have been admitted to the bachelor's program
  • You have been admitted to the preparatory course
  • You have failed the exam

Study Costs

HKU has different rates for tuition fees. Depending on your situation, you pay either statutory or institutional tuition fees.

Calculate your tuition fee
  • The Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science anually sets the statutory tuition fees. The statutory rate applies only to students from the Netherlands, another country in the European Economic Area (EEA*), Switzerland or Suriname, and students who meet the nationality criteria of the Dutch Student Finance Act (WSF 2000).

    (* EEA countries comprise the European Union, Iceland, Norway and Lichtenstein).
  • HKU sets the institutional tuition fees on the basis of the statutory rate. Students who have already completed a course in higher education and students from outside the EEA usually pay a higher rate.

    Partly as a result of legal changes, the rate for institutional tuition fees for non-EEA students may rise considerably in the coming years.

  • Read the information on the study costs page.

Find out more?

First, read the frequently asked questions. Haven't found your answer yet? Get in contact with the Student Affairs Service Desk. They will help you with questions about (almost) everything that has to do with studying at HKU.