Orchestral Conducting

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

The Master's program in Orchestral Conducting is aimed at students with a correspondingly qualified previous education who wish to deepen and develop their skills and aspire to work in a professional context. The course refines inner and outer listening, provides methods and strategies for rehearsal planning and execution, and detailed knowledge of working with orchestras, ensembles and choirs.


Study & Occupational Fields

The aim of the Master's programme is to deepen and complement the scientific and artistic professional training on the basis of the Bachelor's degree programmes in the relevant subject. The Master's programme in Orchestral Conducting qualifies students for the following professional fields:

  • Conductor
  • Opera conductor
  • Ensemble director
  • Correpetitor
  • teaching in the field of orchestra and ensemble conducting

Furthermore, the degree programme serves to qualify students for professional activities that require the application of artistic and scientific knowledge and methods, for example in the field of recording management, cultural management, publishing, source evaluation, musicology, etc. The degree programme is also intended to contribute to the development of personal and social skills. Furthermore, the study programme should contribute to the development of the students' personality and social competences. The students should be enabled to perceive and help shape artistic and overall social developments.

General study information

The curriculum is competence-oriented. Upon completion of the programme, students should:

  • master the technique of conducting at the highest level and be able to present themselves professionally
  • conduct an orchestra or ensemble with confidence and artistic expression
  • 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 historicising 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 this in practice
  • be free and independent in their artistic work
  • be able to deal critically with artistic and scientific questions
  • have mastered the basics of scientific work and are able to analyse and interpret artistic content in a well-founded manner and to elaborate on 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 four-semester master's program in Orchestral Drumming has a modular 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 Master 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 on each other. 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

Admission to the master's program in Orchestral Conducting requires the completion of a relevant bachelor's degree (BA) or another equivalent degree at a recognized Austrian or foreign post-secondary educational institution (e.g. university, college) (§ 64 para. 3 UG 2002).

For this, an online application is first required, during which the necessary documents are checked. Only after examination of the completely submitted documents and positive evaluation of the application video an invitation to the admission examination takes place.


  • The examination of the documents of the preliminary studies can take up to 4 weeks! Early application is therefore recommended.
  • You can only apply for studies for which you have not yet obtained a degree!

Necessary documents for online registration

  • BA certificate or diploma of a relevant degree programme, if the degree programme has already been completed.
  • Current confirmation of enrolment, if the degree programme has not yet been completed (the certificate must be submitted by the time of enrolment!)
  • overview of subjects and grades (Transcript of Records) of the BA degree programme
  • Official confirmation of the main subject/instrument, if this is not evident from the other documents (e.g. "Bachelor of Music" is not sufficient!)
  • If further previous studies are available, a complete overview of subjects and grades (Transcript of Records) of all artistic and pedagogical Master's and diploma studies must also be uploaded.
  • Application video

Form of the documents

  • The documents can be uploaded as PDF in the application form, the video will be entered as a link.
  • If the documents mentioned are not available in German or English, an official translation must be submitted.

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 examination programme MA Orchestra Conducting 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 captured 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. 8-10 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, an interview date and a link to a video conferencing tool will be sent in advance. Please make sure that a good internet connection is available at the time indicated (probably mid-April); a PC/laptop with camera/microphone is also necessary. 
The interview will take place via ZOOM and will last approximately 10 minutes. 
After passing part examination A, admission to part examinations B and C will be granted.

B - Examination Orchestra Conducting

Conducting (10-20 minutes):

Conducting two prepared works of different stylistic periods:

  • Brahms: Symphony No. 1, op. 68, first, second and fourth movements.
  • Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro, no. 27 (26) recitative and aria Figaro; no. 18 (17) recitative and aria Count; no. 20 (19) recitative and aria Countess
  • First round with ensemble, second round with piano.
  • The choice of pieces or movements is at the discretion of the examination committee.

Conducting with piano:

  • Conducting an Accompagnato Recitative (e.g. W. A. Mozart: Magic Flute, No. 8, Finale, Recitativo "Die Weisheitslehre dieser Knaben..." up to m. 159, so-called Speaker Scene) or a movement from a Piano Concerto or Violin Concerto (e.g. Beethoven: Violin Concerto D major op.61, R. Schumann: Piano Concerto A minor op.54).

Playing a piano reduction from opera or oratorio literature (10-20 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).
  • sight-reading an extract from an opera or oratorio from the piano score
  • Playing the score (prepared and from the sheet)

C - 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 Master's programme are recommended to complete a semester abroad. Semesters 2 and 3 of the degree programme are particularly suitable for this. In addition to the subject-specific competences, 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 at International Affairs.

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