Orchestral Conducting

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

The bachelor's degree program in orchestral conducting serves to develop the students' personality and social skills for one of the most complex activities in today's art world.  The students are enabled to perceive artistic and societal developments, to participate in shaping them and to qualify for organizational competencies such as recording management, cultural management, publishing, source evaluation in addition to repertoire development, mediation and presentation.

Study & Occupational Fields

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.

General study information

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

  • have mastered the technique of conducting and be able to present themselves professionally
  • conduct an orchestra or ensemble with confidence
  • have a comprehensive repertoire from the 18th century to the present day
  • have historically sound knowledge of performance practice and stylistics
  • be familiar with the technical possibilities of playing orchestral instruments, especially with regard to historical performance practice and new and recent music since 1945
  • be able to create bowings for string ensembles
  • have acquired comprehensive knowledge of music theory and musicology and be able to apply it practically
  • have a basic knowledge of the languages relevant to the subject, Italian and French
  • be free and independent in their artistic work
  • be able to deal critically with artistic and scientific questions
  • master the basics of scientific work and be able to analyse and interpret artistic content in a well-founded way and to elaborate it in writing
  • develop their individual interests beyond their own subject area through targeted in-depth study within the framework of the (free) electives, in the spirit of lifelong learning.

The six-semester Bachelor's degree program in Orchestral Conducting is modular in structure. A module is the combination of teaching and learning content into thematically and didactically meaningful units of study. The names and content descriptions (study objectives) of the individual modules, as well as 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 in Orchestral Conducting is a face-to-face program and cannot be offered - not even in parts - as a distance learning program. The courses from the Central Artistic Subject (ZKF) as well as the other Individual Artistic Instruction (KE) or Artistic Instruction (KU) are designed to build up. A prerequisite for enrollment in courses from the ZKF or KE/KU is a positive evaluation of the previous semester in every semester except the first. The same applies to piano reduction opera and oratorio literature (KE). Piano reduction of opera and oratorio literature can only be taken in combination with ZKF.

Link to the semester schedule

The prerequisite for admission to the bachelor's degree program in Orchestral Conducting is the passing of the entrance examination . For this, an online application is first required, for which an application video must also be submitted. If the application documents are assessed positively, an invitation to the online interview (Partial Examination A) will follow.


  • The assessment of the application videos takes place after the application deadline and can take 2-4 weeks!
  • You can only apply for studies for which you have not yet obtained a degree!

Application video

On the basis of the videos sent in, a pre-selection will be made by the examination committee. The following excerpt from the BA Choral Conducting examination programme is to be uploaded on a video platform of choice:

  • Conducting with ensemble (consisting of at least 5 ensemble members) of a work of choice.

Please ensure in advance that the persons recorded on video and audio have given their consent to the audio and video recordings and submission as part of the admission examination. In this respect, the University Mozarteum Salzburg is to be fully indemnified and held harmless.

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

Important information on video uploads can be found HERE, as well as the data protection information. The guidelines mentioned there are to be observed urgently!

The entrance examination

If you have received an invitation to the entrance examination on the basis of your application video, you will have to take the following partial examinations:

A - Online interview to determine artistic aptitude

In the online interview with the examination board on motivation, background, previous studies and expectations, the submitted video will also be discussed. For this purpose, you will receive an appointment and a link to a video conference tool in advance. Please ensure that you are available with a good internet connection at the specified time (probably mid-April); a PC/laptop with camera/microphone is also required.
The interview will take place via ZOOM and will last approximately 10 minutes.

After passing part A, admission to part B-F will be granted.

B - Choral Conducting Examination

Conducting two prepared works of different stylistic periods (10-20 minutes):

  • Beethoven: 1st Symphony op. 21, 1st and 4th movements;
  • Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro, No. 28 (27) Recitative and aria Susanna.
  • First round with ensemble, second round with piano.
  • The choice of pieces or movements is at the discretion of the examination committee.

Playing a piano score from opera or oratorio literature (10-15 minutes):

  • Performance (playing and singing) of a short opera scene from a German, Italian or French opera from the piano (e.g. an accompagnato recitative, an aria or an ensemble from an opera).
  • Playing an excerpt from an opera or oratorio from the piano score

C - Music Theory & Aural Training

Composition: (120 minutes, written):

  • Setting a basso continuo
  • Harmonising a chorale melody in baroque style
  • 2-part counterpoint (Renaissance: Cantus firmus movement, Baroque: Invention)
  • Analysis in relation to form, harmony, compositional technique

Ear training: (60 minutes, written):

  • 1-part freitonal
  • 2-part classical (e.g. minuet by Mozart or Haydn)
  • Sound progression
  • 3-part polyphonic (exposition of a baroque fugue)
  • 4-part homophonic

Oral examination aural training (approx. 10 minutes):

  • Singing from the sheet
  • Sound error listening
  • Tapping 2-part rhythm (by ear and notation)

An example of the exam as well as further help for preparation (only basics!) can be found HERE.

D - Examination compulsory subject piano:

  • Performance of two prepared piano pieces of medium difficulty, one of them from the 20th century.
    (e.g.: J.S. Bach: two or three-part Invention or Prelude and Fugue from the Well-Tempered Clavier, Mozart, Haydn or Beethoven: one movement of a classical sonata, Bartok: Mikrokosmos, Kurtág: Játékok).
  • Playing a piece from the sheet
    (difficulty level lower intermediate, e.g. Bach: Klavierbüchlein Anna Magdalena Bach, Schumann: Album für die Jugend, Bartok Mikrokosmos Bd. II)

E - Examination Compulsory Subject Instrument

Verification of knowledge or aptitude in a wind/percussion/string instrument.

  • If applicable, performance of one or two works of the candidate's own choice.
  • Note: Only one classical wind/percussion/string instrument can be chosen as a compulsory subject (subject to availability and after passing the entrance examination): Artistic individual lessons in the compulsory subject flute/ oboe/ clarinet/ bassoon/ horn/ trumpet/ trombone/ bass tuba/ percussion instruments/ violin/ viola/ violoncello/ double bass.
    Not possible are: Recorder and bass clarinet as well as transverse flute/ baroque oboe/ baroque violin/ baroque viola/ baroque cello/ viola da gamba or violone etc. (Institute for Early Music).
  • The instrument is to be announced when registering for the entrance examination.

F- German language skills

  • Required language level: at least A2 (Common European Framework of Reference CEFR 2001)
  • Information on the German examination and the recognised certificates can be found HERE

Dates & timetable

The dates of the entrance examination as well as important deadlines can be found in the current schedule
Time schedule:

  • Examination registration during the application period online via the registration portal for university applicants
    (ATTENTION: Registration only possible if documents are complete, including video!)
  • If the application video is positive: Invitation to the on-site entrance examination
  • Participation in the on-site admission test in May/June
  • if you pass the admission test: invitation to enrol for the degree programme
  • Enrolment during the general admission period

Different examination method

Please note that the University Mozarteum Salzburg offers various support options for the admission examination 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 or +43 676 88122 337.

Students of the Bachelor's program are recommended to complete a semester abroad. Semesters 4 and 5 of the degree program are particularly suitable for this. In addition to the subject-specific competencies, the following qualifications can be acquired through a study period abroad:

  • Acquisition and deepening of subject-specific foreign language skills
  • Acquisition and deepening of general language skills (language comprehension, conversation, etc.)
  • Acquisition and deepening of organisational skills through independent planning of everyday study life in international administrative and university structures
  • Getting to know and studying in international study systems as well as broadening one's own subject perspective
  • Acquisition and deepening of intercultural competences

The recognition of examinations taken during studies abroad as compulsory subjects, elective subjects or free elective subjects is carried out by the Director of Studies. The documents required for the assessment are to be submitted by the applicant immediately after the stay abroad.

Details under International Affairs.

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