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
    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


  • Cello
    Jeroen den Herder
    Timora Rosler

    Chamber music
    Ernest Rombout
    Sebastian Koloski

    Choir direction and choir practicum
    Rob Vermeulen

    Church music
    Mark Lippe (main subject teacher)

    Harrie Troquet
    Celeste Zewald

    Caroline Ansink
    Jeroen d'Hoe

    Leon Bak
    Marian Bolt
    Carl van Reenen
    Mariken Zandvliet

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

    Double bass
    Quirijn van Regteren Altena
    James Oesi (guest lecturer)

    Gusta Gerritsen Teengs

    Educational subjects
    Heleen Gerretsen (main subject teacher)

    Aldo Baerten
    Doretthe Janssens - historical flutes

    Ernest Rombout

    Music theory
    Duco Burgers
    Daan van den Hurk
    Eeuwe de Jong (main subject teacher)
    Anne-Maartje Lemereis
    Mark Lippe

    Musical history
    Arnoud Heerings

    Musician's Health
    Criss Taylor

    Willem van Merwijk

    Vivianne Cheng (guest teacher)
    Henry Kelder (main subject teacher)
    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
    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
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 3 to 14 April 2023 and will take place live at the conservatory. Below the dates of the entrance exams per instrument.

Bachelor of Music – Classical Music
Instrument Admission dates
carillon to be determined; date in June
cello 3 and 5 April
choir conduction 19 April
church music to be determined
composition 4 April
double bass to be determined
flute 5 April
harp to be determined
clarinet 4 April
oboe to be determined
organ 5 April
piano 3 and 4 April
saxophone 4 April
trumpet to be determined
voice 4 and 12 April
viola 6 April
violin 3 and 5 April
ATTENTION: All dates are subject to change.

Can you still apply?

You can apply for the academic year 2023-2024 until 1 February 2023.

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 2023.
  • The theoretical exam will be taken online by one of the theory teachers. 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 3 and 14 April 2023 and will take place live at the conservatory.

    Exception Carillon
    The practical entrance exam for the Carillon will take place in June 2023. 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

Selection procedure

Below is a short summary of the 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 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 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.