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
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. You’ll also do an internship working with a group such as a student orchestra.

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.


In your last year, you’ll also have lots of room for extracurricular activities, projects and electives. And of course, getting ready to graduate.

Final research project
You’ll finish the bachelor’s programme by doing a research project that clearly shows your view of education, 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


Here you can find more information about the lecturers of Classical Music:
  • Altviool
    Annemarie Konijnenburg
    Mikhail Zemtsov

    Willem van Merwijk

    Jeroen den Herder
    Timora Rosler

    Caroline Ansink
    Jeroen d'Hoe

    Quirijn van Regteren Altena

    Leon Bak
    Carl van Reenen
    Mariken Zandvliet

    Luca Avanzi (Italiaans)
    Anna Kramer (Duits)
    José Lieshout - van de Sande (Frans)

    Gusta Gerritsen Teengs

    Aldo Baerten

    Heleen Gerretsen (kerndocent)
    Huub Sprang (kerndocent)

    Ernest Rombout

    Ernest Rombout
    Sebastian Koloski

    Mark Lippe (kerndocent)

    Harrie Troquet
    Celeste Zewald

    Koordirectie en koorpracticum
    Rob Vermeulen

    Musician's health
    Criss Taylor

    Arnoud Heerings

    Daan van den Hurk
    Eeuwe de Jong (kerndocent)
    Mark Lippe
    Kees van Unen

    Sebastian Colombo Garcia
    Henry Kelder (kerndocent)
    Klara Wurtz

    Wilfred van de Peppel

    Aart de Jong
    Eelco Topper

    Johan van der Linden (kerndocent)

    Arto Hoornweg

    Chris Duindam (kerndocent)
    Lis Huibers - Perry (kerndocent)
    Eeva Koskinen
    Carla Leurs
    Hebe Mensinga

    Selma Harkink
    Karin van der Poel (kerndocent)
    Dobrinka Voolstra - Yankova

    Discover all lecturers of HKU Utrechts Conservatorium
  • 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.
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

Dates for the practical entrance examinations for Classical Music 2022:

Instrument Admission dates
carillon to be determined; date in June
cello 1 and 2 April
choir conduction 6 and 8 April
church music 12 April
composition 4 April
double bass 5 April
flute 5, 6 and 12 April
harp to be determined
clarinet 8 and 13 April
oboe 4 and 5 April
organ 12 April
piano 4, 5 and 11 April
saxophone 4 and 5 April
voice 6, 12 and 13 April
viola 5 and 7 April
violin 4, 6, 7, 8 and 11 April

ATTENTION: All dates are subject to change.

Can you still apply?

You can apply for the academic year 2022-2023 until 1 February 2022.

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.

Admission requirements, sample examns and online test

More information about the theory admission of a bachelor's degree program at HKU Utrecht Conservatory, including admission requirements, sample exams and an online test with which you can test your level, can be found on this page.

Selection Procedure

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 4 and 16 April 2022. Make sure you're available during this period.

Theoretical exam

The theoretical exam will be taken online by one of the theory teachers. The theory exam will take approximately 30 minutes. It consists of a component general music theory and a listening comprehension test.

Admission requirements

Below you will find the admission assignments per main instrument.

Carillon (pdf)
Cello (pdf)
Choral conducting (pdf)
Clarinet (pdf)
Classical vocal studies (pdf)
Composition (pdf)
Double bass (pdf)
Flute (pdf)
Harp (pdf)
Oboe (pdf)
Organ (pdf)
Piano (pdf)
Saxophone (pdf)
Trumpet (pdf)
Viola (pdf)
Violin (pdf)


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 2022.

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.