Orchestral Conducting

Absolvent Oscar Jockel in Westbam meets Wager / Osterfestspiele 2023 | © Osterfestspiele Salzburg / Erika Mayer

The bachelor's degree programme in orchestral conducting will develop students' personality and social skills as they learn to master one of the most complex activities in today's art world.  Students are enabled to perceive and help shape developments in the arts and in society as a whole and, alongside learning to analyse, rehearse and perform repertoire, they will acquire organisational competencies for use in areas such as recording management, cultural management, publishing and source evaluation.

General information

The study program is oriented both to the current state of the development and development of the
arts and to the state of research in the sciences involved. The goal of the Bachelor's Program in Orchestral Conducting is the practice-oriented and scientifically based professional preparation for the following fields offered to students:

  • Conductor
  • Opera Conductor
  • Ensemble director
  • Correpetitor

Furthermore, the study program should contribute to the students' personality development and unfolding of social skills. Students should be enabled to perceive and help shape artistic and social developments.

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.

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

  • MA Orchestral Conducting
  • MA Wind Band Conducting
  • MA Repetiteur Training
  • MA Historical Performance Practice

Please note that a regular admission 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.


  • 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 Orchestral Conducting audition programme must be uploaded to a video platform of the applicant's choice:

  • Conducting an ensemble of at least 5 members in a work of the applicant's choice

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

The duration of the video should be approx. 15min.

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 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 a camera and microphone.

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

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

Conducting with ensemble:

  • Two symphonic works (e.g. L.v. Beethoven: Symphony No. 1, W.A. Mozart: Symphony KV 201).
  • The two works will be announced to applicants when they register for the audition.
    Works for the entrance exam 2024/2025:
    Beethoven: 1. Sinfonie op. 21, 1st and 4th movement
    Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro, No. 28 (27): Recitative and Aria - Susanna
  • Duration of the examination: approx. 10-20 minutes

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


  • 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

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!)
  • 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.

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