Historical Performance PracticeThe study
Bachelor of Music
Mode of study
Utrechts Conservatorium
Bachelor of Music
4 years

Historical Performance Practice in brief

  • Study music from a historical perspective
  • From the Renaissance to the Romantic
  • Choose your own main subject
  • Study with a close-knit, international team of specialists
  • Move from your bachelor’s to a master’s at HKU University of the Arts Utrecht
  • This is a 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 Historical Performance Practice is right for you?

Of course you’re passionate about music. You’re also interested in it from a historical perspective. And you want to let your enthusiasm shine through to your audience, fellow musicians and students. If this sounds tempting, then we’d like to get to know you.

Why study Historical Performance Practice at HKU?

At HKU, you can get both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Historical Performance Practice. If you’ve finished your bachelor’s and are in the master’s programme, you can even switch to a historical instrument! Does this make you happy? Then apply now.

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

Historical Performance PracticeWhat will you learn
Historical Performance Practice

What will you learn

You’ll become a musician with a broad knowledge of instruments. Every performance starts with research. You’ll ask questions like what instruments a composer had available, and what playing techniques were used in that country at that time. You’ll find the answers using historical sources like instruments, methods, letters and newspaper articles. With the critical attitude of a musicologist and with help from the sources, you’ll try to find out what a source really has to say.

While studying, you’ll develop a critical mindset that will enable you to draw conclusions from source research. You’ll learn lots and get new insights in the Historical Documentation and Historical Lab classes. These classes, taught by visiting lecturers, will teach you a lot about particular themes and subjects. You’ll also work on projects and play in ensembles with other historical-performance students.


You’re not in this alone. You’ll have support and guidance during the entire programme, from your main subject teacher and from other teachers.

Course Structure

Exploring and getting your bearings

You’ll have lessons in your main subject and do research. You’ll develop a broad set of skills, and learn specific techniques for specific styles.

Connecting with your audience
You’ll also learn how to connect with your audience while performing. 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, you’ll have theoretically oriented classes in subjects like music theory, sight-reading, harmony and analysis. You’ll explore subjects like tonality, modality, rhythm and instrumentation, and compose your own short passages.

Going into more depth

In the second year, too, you take a variety of subjects. You’ll also choose a choir to sing in, like the Baroque-Renaissance Choir.

Lessons in education
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 study 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 choose one of the main subjects. If you’d like to find out more, contact the course leader, Cecile Rongen.
  • Historical violin
    Historical viola
    Historical cello
    Historical basson/dulciaan
    Historical trombone/sackbut
    Historical oboe
    Viola da gamba/violone
    Traverso/Historical flutes


  • Course leader
    Cécile Rongen

    Baroque cello and classical cello
    Victor Garcia Garcia

    Baroque oboe
    Daniël Lanthier (guest teacher)

    Baroque trombone
    Bram Peeters (guest teacher)

    Baroque violin and baroque viola
    Antoinette Lohmann (main subject teacher)

    Basso continuo
    Mary Sayre

    Tommy van Doorn
    Christiaan Winter

    Chamber music
    Joshua Cheatham
    Siebe Henstra
    Heiko ter Schegget

    Choir direction and choir practicum
    Rob Vermeulen

    Artem Belogurov
    Jörn Boysen

    Arlem Belogurov

    Siebe Henstra

    Historical documentation
    Antoinette Lohmann (main subject teacher)

    Historical flutes/traverso
    Doretthe Janssens

    Musician's health
    Criss Taylor

    Musical history
    Arnoud Heerings

    Musical theory
    Duco Burgers
    Arnoud Heerings
    Daan van den Hurk (kerndocent)
    Anne-Maartje Lemereis
    Mark Lippe

    Daniel Lanthier (guest teacher)

    Orchestra practicum
    Antoinette Lohmann

    Willem van Merwijk

    Laurens de Man
    Reitze Smits

    Vertical flute
    Heiko ter Schegget

    Viola da gamba/violone
    Joshua Cheatham

    Take a look at the complete list of lecturers at HKU Utrechts Conservatorium
  • Artem Belogurov is equally at home at the modern piano, harpsichord, clavichord and the many varieties of historical pianos. His repertoire ranges through four centuries of solo, concerto and chamber repertoire. Artem’s recent performances include concerto appearances with Concerto Köln in Lincoln Center, New York and at the Library of Congress, Washington as well as with Camerata RCO in Sofia, Bulgaria. As a soloist and chamber musician, duo partner with cellist Octavie Dostaler-Lalonde and founding member of ensemble Postscript, Artem has performed at a number of international festivals, among them Festival Montréal Baroque, Festival Royaumont, Festival Oude Muziek Utrecht, Musica Antiqua Brugge, and in such venues as Wigmore Hall, Jordan Hall, Concertgebouw and Muziekgebouw Amsterdam, and Tivoli Vredenburg. He is actively interested in research, particularly relating to Romantic performance practice, and enjoys experimenting with and reviving forgotten expressive devices. He has recorded for BIS, Piano Classics, Berlin Classics, Challenge Classics and TRPTK. To learn more about him and his projects, please visit artembelogurovmusic.com, postscriptensemble.com en romanticlab.com.

  • Victor Garcia Garcia is a Spanish cellist specialized in historical performance. He enjoys a varied and international musical career as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player. Alongside his activities as a performer, his interest towards research led him to persue a doctoral degree at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, focusing on the performance practice of cellist that lived around Beethoven. Victor won the Second Prize at the Witold Lutoslawski Cello Competition in Warsaw. As a member of the Duo Auxesis and the ensemble Ayres Extemporae where he plays the violoncello piccolo, he is a prizewinner at the Händel Competition in Göttingen, the Biagio Marini competition and the SMADE. Victor was also Artist in Residence in Schloss Weissenbrunn in 2022. He regularly performs with European ensembles in the early music scene, such as the Balthasar Neumann Orchestra, Baroque Orchestra of Sevilla, Orchestre des Champs-Élysées, Dunedin Consort, Millenium Orchestra or Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique. He is the artistic director of the Festival Impulso in La Palma (Spain).

  • 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.

  • Antoinette Lohmann has been active in a variety of musical areas. As a freelance player, Antoinette has performed and recorded with many orchestras and ensembles all over the world. Currently her repertoire extends from the early 17th to the 21st century, always performed from a historically informed perspective. She has a special interest in unusual instruments such as the viola d'amore, the violino piccolo and their repertoire. She also has a particular fascination with folk elements found in classical music. In recent years Antoinette has focussed primarily on chamber music, with special emphasis on Dutch repertoire. She has recorded the complete sonatas for piano and violin by Joseph Martin Kraus and Margarethe Danzi, bassoon quartets by Franz Danzi and Krommer, chamber music works by Belle van Zuylen and 17th-century repertoire from the Netherlands. Antoinette teaches principal study baroque violin and viola at the Utrechts Conservatorium and the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. She regularly teaches as a guest lecturer at conservatories throughout the world.

  • 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.

  • Christiaan Winter (*1967) studied church music, organ, choral conducting and carillon at the various professional music colleges of the HKU. He was a programmer for NCRV radio and church musician of the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam. Currently he is city carillonneur of Alkmaar, village carillonist of De Rijp, lecturer at the HKU/Netherlands Carillon School, president of Carillon Center of the Netherlands and the Royal Dutch Carillon Society, editor of the Yearbook of Carillon and Bell Culture in the Low Countries and conductor of vocal ensemble Duodektet in Amsterdam. In May 2023, he will receive his doctorate from VU University Amsterdam for a study on the work of church musician and composer Willem Vogel. Christiaan Winter is also a freelance organist, singer and composer.

Historical Performance PracticeWhat will you make
Historical Performance Practice

What will you make on the course

Off to work

On completion of your studies, you are awarded a Bachelor of Music degree and can put the letters BMus after your name. You are then a specialist in the field of historical performance practice. And you feel completely at home in the different roles in the field. In an ensemble or baroque orchestra, or as a soloist, teacher, organizer or musical director: you are ready to get to work. With a keen eye for social developments, you continuously see opportunities for new places in the field.


This course gives you access to state-of-the-art studios and equipment. Discover which facilities you can use.
Historical Performance PracticeApplication and admission
Historical Performance Practice

Application and admission

The course is right for you if you seek to inspire others musically.

Important Dates

All the practical entrance exmination will be scheduled on Monday 8 April 2024 and will take place live at the conservatory.

Can you still apply?

You can still apply for the Bachelor of Music Historical Performance Practice course for the academic year 2024-2025. Please keep in mind that applications received after 15 January can only be processed based on availability. It is therefore possible that the course is suddenly full.

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 within 2 weeks after you have received the questionnaire.

  • The theoretical exam will be taken online by one of the theory teachers and will take place in February or 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 admission will be on Monday 8 April 2024 and will take place live at the conservatory. For the practical entrance exam, you need to prepare an assignment in advance.

    Below the different assignments per instrument.


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


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 2 and 12 April 2024. 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 admit.

There are three possible outcomes:

  • You can enrol for the course
  • You can enrol for 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.