Choral Conducting

Bachelor
BA
Dirigieren, Chor- & Blasorchesterleitung | © Christian Schneider

The bachelor's degree programme in Choral Conducting aims to develop students' artistic maturity and independence in all areas of choral conducting. Right from the outset, the course teaches a solid, technical foundation so that students can convey their own musical ideas across a broad range of repertoire, from early to new music and covering everything from a cappella to symphonic and operatic works.

General information

The study programme is oriented to current standards of performance practice as well as the state of research in the academic disciplines involved. The aim of the Bachelor's programme in Choral Conducting is to provide students with a practice-oriented and academically grounded education as preparation for work in the following fields:

  • Chorus master of professional choirs (opera, theatre, radio)
  • Director of oratorio choirs
  • Director of specialised a cappella choirs (sacred and secular)
  • Director of semi-professional choirs and amateur choirs
  • Church musician
  • Ensemble director
  • Répétiteur
  • Advisor and counsellor of singers
  • Teaching in the field of choir/ensemble

Furthermore, the course qualifies students for professional activities that require the application of artistic and academic knowledge and methods, for example in the field of recording management, cultural management, publishing, source evaluation, musicology, etc. oreover, the degree course should contribute to students' personality formation and the development of social competences. Students should be enabled to perceive and help shape developments in the arts and in society as a whole.

The goals of the BA in Performance at the Mozarteum University are artistic maturity and independence, critical self-reflection and evaluation, and the artistic and scientific ability to interpret musical works from all periods. The BA in Performance will equip students to pursue their chosen profession and to fulfil artistic, pedagogical and organisational tasks within cultural life.

The curriculum is competence-oriented. After completing the Bachelor's programme, students should:

  • be able to master their instrument and present themselves professionally
  • be free and independent in their artistic work
  • be able to deal critically with artistic and academic issues
  • be able to play professionally in an orchestra/ensemble
  • be able to work as a team-player in an artistically constructive way as a member of a chamber music formation or ensemble
  • have acquired comprehensive knowledge of various playing techniques
  • have acquired comprehensive knowledge of the orchestral literature and mastery of the relevant orchestral parts and the solo and chamber music literature of various periods
  • have basic knowledge of stylistics and repertoire
  • have gained insight into the literature and performance practice of both early and contemporary music
  • have acquired comprehensive knowledge of music theory and musicology and be able to apply this in practice
  • have mastered the basics of academic work and be able to analyse, interpret and write about artistic content in a grounded manner
  • be able to use audiovisual media for self-presentations (such as competition submissions, demo recordings, internet presentations etc.)
  • have gained insights into the areas of physical and mental health maintenance, self-management and performance optimisation
  • have further developed their individual interests beyond their own subject area through targeted selction of elective subjects in the spirit of lifelong learning

The eight-semester bachelor's degree programme is modular in structure. Each module comprises teaching and learning content that has been combined to form thematically and didactically meaningful units of study. The names and content descriptions (study objectives) of the individual modules, the number of ECTS credits to be achieved for each module, and the type of performance assessment are specified in the curriculum. The module descriptions refer to the corresponding learning outcomes and competencies. The Bachelor's program is a face-to-face program and cannot be offered - not even in part - as a distance learning program. The courses from the Principal Study, as well as in other One-to-One Tuition, are designed to build upon each other. Prerequisite for enrolment in courses from the Principal Study or One-to-One Tutition is a positive evaluation of the previous semester (from the second semester onwards).

The curriculum provides an overview of the courses to be completed, which are grouped into modules.

The courses are visible online in Curriculum Support:

Link to the curriculum

A prerequisite for beginning a bachelor's degree (BA) is passing an audition. Auditions take place once a year and consist of various partial exams. All information about the audition can be found under “Information about the admissions procedure” further down the page.

A high school diploma is not necessary.

PLEASE NOTE: You can only apply for study programmes for which you have not yet obtained a degree!

Students of the Bachelor's programme are encouraged to complete a semester abroad. Semesters 5 and 6 of the degree programme are particularly suitable for this. In addition to subject-specific competences, a study period abroad can also lead to the acquisition and deepening of:

  • Subject-specific foreign language skills
  • General foreign-language skills (language comprehension, conversation, etc.)
  • Organisational skills, through independent planning of everyday student life in international administrative and university structures
  • Knowledge about international study systems, as well as broadening one's own subject perspective
  • Intercultural competences

Examinations and assessments taken during studies abroad can be approved by the Director of Studies as equivalents to compulsory subjects, elective sujects or free elective subjects required by the Mozarteum University for your degree course. The documents required for the approval procedure are to be submitted by the applicant immediately after their exchange semester.

Details at International Affairs.

In addition to weekly lessons in small groups and work with the practice choir and the Mozarteum UniChor, students of choral conducting at the Mozarteum University have numerous other internal and external opportunities to apply the course content in practice. The range of activities is broad, including holding soloist and choir rehearsals, participating in workshops with international speakers and different stylistic focuses, independently rehearsing and conducting concerts in university and public spaces.

Where possible, networking with regional choirs will be encouraged and facilitated, enabling the aspiring choral directors to gain valuable experience in leadership, voice training, project management and musical work.

  • Nov. 19.: Opera chorus workshop / Chorus of the Gärtnerplatztheater Munich
  • Dez. 19: A cappella workshop / Chor der Klangverwaltung
  • Okt. 20: Conducting project - Haydn: Creation / Mozarteum University Symphony Orchestra
  • Okt. 20: Workshop and conducting project - Brahms Requiem / Chor der Klangverwaltung
  • Apr. 21: Workshop - St Matthew Passion / Festspiele Erl / Chor der Klangverwaltung
  • Juni 21: Conducting (examination) Orff: Carmina Burana / Mozarteum vocalEnsemble
  • Okt. 21: Conducting project - Mozart Requiem / Mozarteum vocalEnsemble / Mozarteum University Chamber Orchestra
  • Jan. 22: Opera  chorus workshop / Chorus of the  Semperoper Dresden
  • Mär. 22: Conducting project - Schütz Exequien and Brahms Requiem / Mozarteum vocalEnsemble / Mozarteum University Symphony Orchestra
  • Jun. 22: Opera chorus workshop / Chorus of the Gärtnerplatztheater Munich
  • Okt. 22: Conduction (examination) Schütz:  Psalms of David / Mozarteum vocalEnsemble
  • Nov. 22: Opera chorus workshop / Chorus of the Stadttheater Klagenfurt
  • Dez. 22: Conducting project "School choir meeting" / Mozarteum UniChor
  • Jan. 23: a cappella conducting project - Poulenc and Fauré requieums / Mozarteum vocalEnsemble
  • Mär. 23: Workshop - St John Passion / Soloists from the oratorio class
  • Apr. 23: A cappella workshop / Christiane Büttig / Dresden University Choir
  • Mai 23: Workshop on Gregorian Chant / Dr. Stefan Engels / Virgilchoralschola

After completing the Bachelor's programme in Choral Conducting, the following Master's programmes are possible at the Mozarteum University:

  • MA Choral Conducting
  • MA Wind Orchestra Conducting
  • MA Repetiteur Training
  • MA Historical Performance Practice

Please note that a regular admissions procedure (incl. audition) must be completed again for admission to the Master's programmes!

Information on the admissions process

prerequisite for admission to the Bachelor's degree programme (BA) is passing an audition. Application for an audtion takes place online, with applicants being required to submit an application video.

PLEASE NOTE:

  • Evaluation of the application videos takes place after the application deadline and can take 4-6 weeks!
  • You can only apply for study programmes for which you have not yet obtained a degree!

A pre-selection of applicants will be made by the audition panel based on the videos submitted. The selected applicants will be invited to an on-site audition, which consists of several parts.

Registration takes place via the application portal [Link], where you must first create an application account. Please note that the automatic email to activate the account can often be found in the spam folder, so please be sure to check there if you think you have not received it. If you still have problems activating your account, please contact studieninfo@moz.ac.at.

Please ensure that you can be reached at the email address entered in your profile throughout the entire application process. If there are any changes, please update your profile yourself.

A pre-selection of applicants will be made by the audition panel based on the videos submitted.

The following excerpt from the BA Choral Conducting audition programme must be uploaded to a video platform of the applicant's choice:

  • Conducting a choir or (vocal) ensemble (consisting of at least 5 ensemble members) in a work of the applicant's choice, briefly showing the ensemble but mainly the face and body of the applicant.

Applicants are requested to ensure in advance that the singers captured on video and audio have given their consent for the recordings to be submitted as part of the audition. The Mozarteum University Salzburg accepts no responsibility in cases of dispute.

The duration of the video should be approx. 8-10 minutes.

Important information about the video upload can be found HERE, as well as the data protection information. Applicants are kindly requested to observe the guidelines given here!

The online interview with the audition panel will cover motivation, background, previous studies and expectations, and the candidate's video submission. Candidates will receive an appointment and a link to a video conference tool in advance, and are advised that a stable internet connection is required at the specified time (probably mid-April), as well as a PC/laptop with camera and microphone.

The interview will take place via ZOOM and will last approximately 10 minutes.

After passing part A, candidates will be admitted to parts B-F.

Conducting with choir or (vocal) ensemble:

  • Two vocal works, one of which must be a capella (e.g. Goffredo Petrassi: Nonsense (1952), a chorus from Haydn: Creation).
  • Duration of the examination: approx. 10-20 minutes
  • The two works will be announced to the applicants when they register for the audition.
    Works for the audition 2024/2025:
    A cappella: Eric Whitacre: A Boy and a Girl / Sheet music (PDF)
    with piano: Mozart: final chorus from the Zauberflöte, “Heil sei euch Geweihten" (with Rezitativ „Die Strahlen der Sonne“), Edition Bärenreiter or Peters

Playing a piano excerpt from opera or oratorio literature as well as sight-reading, duration approx. 10-15 minutes

Programme:

  • Performance (i.e. playing and singing from the piano) of a short opera scene from a German, Italian or French opera chosen and prepared by the applicant (in the original language, e.g. an accompagnato recitative or an aria from an opera).
  • Sight-reading of an excerpt from an opera or oratorio.

There is no obligation that vocal scores, which are already reductions of full opera scores, are played literally. Instead, they should be further reduced as necessary to make them fit the given pianistic abilities.

The examination consists of a written and an oral part. In order to pass, both parts of the examination must be passed.

Written examination (180 min)

Composition: (120 min)

  • Harmonising a chorale melody in baroque style;
  • Preparation of a stylistic work of your choice: two-part counterpoint (cantus-firmus movement in Renaissance style or invention in Baroque style) OR free-tonal or dodecaphonic style exercise;
  • Analysis of your choice: analysis of a short tonal piano piece in terms of form, harmony, compositional technique OR analysis of a small-scale work/piano piece in terms of form, harmony, compositional technique (20th century).

Ear training: (60 min)

  • one-part free tonal,
  • two-part classical (e.g. minuet by Mozart or Haydn),
  • free-tonal three-part tonal progression with recumbent notes or chromaticism,
  • four-part homophonic tonal including mishearing

Oral examination (10 min):

  • Singing from the reed,
  • Listening to mistakes in a polyphony,
  • tapping a two-part rhythm (according to notation)

You can find an exam example and further preparation help (only the basics!) HERE.

 

Advanced piano playing, audition lasting approx. 10 minutes:

  • Performance of two prepared piano pieces of medium difficulty, one of them from the 20th century, e.g.:
    Bach: two- or three-part invention;
    a piano piece in the classical style (e.g. a bagatelle by Beethoven, a sonata movement by Clementi),
    Bartók: Mikrokosmos Vol. III, Kurtág: Játékok Vol. III.
  • Sight-reading of a piece (lower level of difficulty, e.g. Bach: Klavierbüchlein Anna Magdalena Bach, Schumann: Album für die Jugend, Bartók Mikrokosmos Vol. II) OR improvisation on a given theme/motif

Performance of two art songs or arias of medium difficulty from different stylistic periods, including one piece from the Romantic or Modern periods. With the exception of the modern piece, the programme must be performed from memory. The candidate must bring copies of their sheet music with them.

Examples of suitable repertoire: Heinrich Schütz: from Kleine Geistliche Konzert: Bringt her dem Herren; John Dowland: Fine Knacks for Ladies; Alessandro Scarlatti: Giàilsoledal Gange / Se Florindo è fedele; Ludwig van Beethoven: Mailied; Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Zufriedenheit (Was frag ich viel) / Zauberer; Franz Schubert: Liebhaber in allen Gestalten / An Silvia; Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy: Bei der Wiege / Winterlied; Robert Schumann: Frühlingsgruß; Clara Schumann: Sie liebten sich beide; Johannes Brahms: Sonntag / Deutsche Volkslieder / Vergebliches Ständchen; Hugo Wolf: Der Musikant; Samuel Barber: The Daisies; Wolfgang Fortner: Lied vom Weidenbaum; Hanns Eisler: from Hollywood Elegies: The City / In the Hills; Benjamin Britten: Morning, Night

All applicants whose first language is not German must prove their German skills by the time of enrolment at the latest.

  • Required language level: at least A2 (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages GER 2001)
  • Information on the approved language certificates can be found HERE

The dates for 2024 can be found here.

A complete overview of all current audition dates can be found here.

  • Online registration for an audition during the application period via the registration portal for applicants
    (PLEASE NOTE: Registration is only possible after submission of all required documents, including video!)
  • Once documents have been approved: invitation to online interview
  • In case of a successful online interview, invitation to on-site audition
  • Participation in the on-site audition in May/June
  • In case of a successful audition: invitation to enrol in the degree programme
  • Enrolment during the general admission period

Please note that the Mozarteum University Salzburg offers various support options at the time of your audition and during your studies if you have a disability or a chronic illness.

If this applies to you and you would like to take advantage of counselling, please contact Claudia Haitzmann: claudia.haitzmann@moz.ac.at oder +43 676 88122 337.

People
Skip slider
Jump to slider start