Music Performance – Classical

Our MA in Music Performance is designed to help you mature as an artist and musician. You will train to become a professional musician.

Due to the current pandemic situation, the entry exams will be taking place online and will also require a video application. Details about the process of the exams as well as the video upload requirements can be found under Eligibility + Entry. The deadline for submitting the video is 15 March 2021, the same as the application deadline.

This degree programme:

  • is aimed at students who have a BA in Classical Music and advanced artistic abilities,
  • offers one-to-one teaching in a core subject (instrument, voice, wind/brass conducting) plus support from our internationally renowned teaching staff in the fields of chamber music, contemporary music and historically informed performance practice;
  • helps expand your knowledge with recording sessions, orchestral projects, transdisciplinary formats and career training (music in context, self-management, career planning);
  • offers a wide choice of options from related musical and artistic disciplines;
  • numerous collaborations and relationships with partner institutions enable you to take part in festivals and HKB concert series.
  • helps you to develop your own musical personality at one of Europe’s leading arts universities.


  • Title/Degree Master of Arts (MA)
  • Specialisations Instrument, voice, wind/brass conducting
  • Mode of study Full-time (4 semesters)
  • Start date 20.9.2021
  • Application deadline 15.3.2021
  • ECTS credits 120 ECTS credits
  • Study language German, French, English
  • Location Bern
  • Department Bern University of the Arts
  • Programme Handbook

Studiengangsbroschüre Master Specialized Performance Klassik

Structure + Content

The programme focuses on providing one-to-one support as you mature as an artist. You will build up a broad, challenging repertoire and be able to contextualise the works. In the process, you will learn to understand, follow and transcend traditions. Numerous concerts, ensembles, projects and differing formats will help you experience the wide variety of artistic practice.


The MA involves one-to-one tuition in your core subject (instrument, voice, wind/brass conducting). You will study with numerous fellow musicians from a range of different countries and will be open to challenging music projects: from baroque to contemporary, from chamber music to orchestral, from traditional to experimental.
The range of options available (see list of minors) allows you to follow your interests and explore new areas. You will be individually mentored every step of the way. You will gain practical experience through contact with our partners worldwide (concert houses, events organisers, research institutions, etc.). Here at HKB, you can also expand your artistic horizons by exploring other fields, such as fine arts, literature, theatre or opera.

Learning outcomes

The objective of our master’s degree programme is to help you mature as an artist and to hone your individual profile. The programme will also examine how to communicate concepts, how to deliver a compelling musical performance in every context and how to establish professional networks.


Alongside your core subject (instrument, voice, wind/brass conducting), you can choose from a list of top-quality minor subjects, each of which generally earns you 20 ECTS credits. Examples include:

Expanded Music Practice // Music Outreach – Music in Context // Second or Parallel Instrument – Classical // Second or Parallel Instrument – Jazz // Duet – Piano/Voice // Duet – Piano/Plus // Wind/Brass Conducting // Orchestra // Chamber Music // Historical Performance Practice // Free Improvisation // Opera // Interpreting Contemporary Music // Composition // Jazz Composition & Arrangement // Pop Music // Sound Arts // Dance and Movement // Musical Theatre // Basic Musicology // Research // Open Space

Mode of study + Duration

Our master's degree programme is offered on a full-time basis only and comprises 120 ECTS credits. It is typically completed in four semesters.

Curriculum + Modules

The 120 ECTS credits you need in order to be awarded an MA diploma come from two separate areas.

  • 90 ECTS credits are awarded for your core subject (artistic practice, theory and research).
  • 30–40 ECTS credits come from your chosen minors and options.

At the end of your studies, you will give a public recital, for which you will create a printed programme.


  • Core subject and artistic projects: 70%
  • Theory and research: 10%
  • Individual specialisation: 20%

Student mobility

Are you a Swiss student interested in living, working or studying in another country? Or do you want to spend a semester at another Swiss university? Or maybe you’re an overseas student who’d like to spend a semester at Bern University of Applied Sciences? Mobility opportunities offer unique and valuable experience. During your studies, you will have the opportunity to spend exchange semesters and experience work placements elsewhere in Switzerland or abroad.


Head of Degree Programme

Deputy Head of Degree Programme




Violin: Corina Belcea, Bartek Niziol, Monika Urbaniak, Tianwa Yang
Viola: Patrick Jüdt, Gertrud Weinmeister
Cello: Conradin Brotbek, David Eggert, Antonio Meneses, Denis Severin
Double bass: Ruslan Lutsyk, David Sinclair


Flute: Martin Fahlenbock, Christian Studler
Oboe: Matthias Arter, Jaime Gonzàlez
Clarinet: Ernesto Molinari
Bassoon: Daniele Galaverna
Saxophone: Christian Roellinger
Recorder: Michael Form


French horn: Johannes Otter, Bruno Schneider, Olivier Picon
Trumpet: Giuliano Sommerhalder
Trombone: Ian Bousfield
Euphonium: Thomas Rüedi
Tuba: Rex Martin

Harmony instruments

Piano: Antoine Françoise, Tomasz Herbut, Wilhem Latchoumia, Patricia Pagny
Piano as second instrument: André Lottaz, Pawel Mazurkiewicz, Barbara SandmeierAlbert Sidler, Katharina Weber
Fortepiano: Edoardo Torbianelli
Cembalo: Takashi Watanabe
Organ: Daniel Glaus, Pascale van Coppenolle
Guitar: Elena Casoli
Lute: Peter Croton
Accordion: Teodoro Anzellotti


Brian Archinal, Christian Hartmann, Jochen Schorer


Tanja Ariane Baumgartner, Daniel Gloger, Malin Hartelius, Christian Hilz


Xavier Dayer, Simon Steen-Andersen

Wind/brass conducting 

Rolf Schumacher, Corsin Tuor, Florian Ziemen, Philippe Bach, Oliver Waespi, Stephan Hodel


Rie Aikawa, Igor Andreev, Anna de Capitani, Tamara Chitadze, François KillianTatiana Korsunskaya, Monika Nagy, Maria-Barbara Nytsch, Alissia Rafaelian Lüthi, Eriko Wakita, Eva Mira Wollmann, Kyrylo Zvyegintsov

Vocal coaching and Collaborative piano

James Alexander, Manuel Bärtsch, Tatiana Korsunskaya


Wanja Aloe, Xavier Dayer, Christian Henking, Marc Kennel, Peter Kraut, Michael Lehner, Dennis Mayer, Nathalie Meidhof, Claire Roberts, Martin Skamletz, Stephan Zirwes


Thomas Gartmann, Kai Köpp, Manuel Bärtsch, Martin Skamletz

Music in Context

Barbara Balba Weber, Irena Müller-Brozovic


Franziska Baumann, Christian Kobi, Marc Unternährer


Eligibility + Entry

Candidates for the MA must have completed a BA in Classical Music and be able to demonstrate advanced artistic abilities. You may take the MA in Music Performance – Classical as a second master’s degree.

Entry requirements

The number of places available on our programme is limited (‘numerus clausus’). We administer an entrance examination to review your aptitude for our programme. We look for motivation, stamina, resilience and independence in our students as well as a readiness to participate actively in university-level projects.

Academic requirements

A bachelor’s degree in music is required. Candidates with exceptional artistic talent may be eligible for ‘special admission’.

Knowledge + Abilities

We are looking for exceptional technique, a high degree of interpretative ability and an open artistic approach. It is important that you are interested in lively practical and theoretical discussions of the musical material. We also expect you to be able to participate in a transdisciplinary artistic environment and work on interdisciplinary projects.

Language skills

We are active on the international stage and communicate in German, French, English and other languages, depending on the instructor.

Applying from abroad

Foreign nationals require valid travel documents recognised by the Swiss government. A visa is often required. Exchange students must also apply for a residency permit and purchase health insurance before their studies begin. Please research your specific entry requirements carefully.

Due to the current pandemic situation, the entry exams will be taking place online and will also require a video application.

Deadline for submission of the video as well as application deadline is 15th of March.

Details about the process of the exams as well as the video upload requirements can be found in the following documents:

You can find out more about the entry exam in your chosen field of study on the following information sheets:

Qualification + Career prospects

Title + Degree

Master of Arts in «Music Performance (plus core subject)»

Career prospects

The professional world of the trained musician has changed markedly in recent years. New challenges include the project-based nature of the public music scene in today’s increasingly globalised (music) world.

Our MA diploma equips you to master these challenges and work in a range of different contexts and situations. It is designed to help carve out a niche for yourself – whether as a soloist, part of an orchestra, or in music outreach, music events or other fields.  

Practicalities + Application

Please note the dates and deadlines below, plus the documentation and information required.

Start date: 20.9.2021
Application deadline: 15.3.2021
Aptitude assessments: 16.4.2021–24.4.2021

Application (per application) and aptitude assessment*  

CHF 250


CHF 100

Tuition fees (per semester) 

CHF 750

Tuition fees for international students*** (per semester)

CHF 950

Examination fee (per semester)  

CHF 80

Fee for social, cultural and sport offerings (per semester)  

CHF 24

Membership fee for the Bern University of Applied Sciences Student Association (VSBFH) (per semester)

CHF 15

Leave of absence fee (per semester) 

CHF 100

* The application fee can be paid by credit card or by deposit slip / paper invoice (+ CHF 10.– processing fee). There are no waivers or refunds for withdrawn or abandoned applications. The application is processed after payment has been received.
** If the application leads to matriculation, the matriculation fee is covered by the application fee.
*** International students are defined as persons of foreign citizenship who at the time of obtaining their university entrance qualification were domiciled under civil law neither in Switzerland nor the Principality of Liechtenstein.

There is also a fixed fee for materials whose amount depends on the degree programme as well as additional costs for teaching materials, specialist literature, supplies, etc.

Financial aid is available through grants and loans. Grants are one-off or ongoing payments that don’t usually have to be paid back provided you complete your course. Loans are one-off or ongoing payments that must be paid back after you finish your course. There are also numerous private foundations and funds that offer financial support to students. The electronic foundation directory administered by the Federal Department of Home Affairs offers a comprehensive summary of these organisations and can be searched by keywords (e.g. student, research, financial aid, etc.).

HKB scholarship fund

Many HKB students live in precarious financial circumstances. The opportunities to earn money while undertaking demanding and time-consuming studies are limited. And the cost of living in Switzerland is one of the highest in all of Europe. A doctor’s bill, a healthy diet, and paying the rent or semester and examination fees can become pressing problems. To help in such cases, the HKB scholarship fund provides targeted support by covering the tuition fees from CHF 750 up to CHF 950. To apply for support, you need to take the following steps:

  1. Fill out the online application form in full and print it out
  2. Send the application online
  3. Submit the printed form to the secretariat for your degree programme

The deadline for applications for a semester fee waiver is 15 May to 15 June (for the following autumn semester), or 15 November to 15 December (for the following spring semester).

Applications for a waiver of the semester fees will only be considered and included in the selection process once the course offer has been accepted. 

Other grants

Cantonal grants

Grants and loans for Swiss students and overseas students are generally paid out by the canton where the students’ parents are tax residents. Students who have been tax residents in the Canton of Bern for at least two years are able to apply for cantonal grants and loans. Applications should be submitted to the Financial Aid Office at the Department of Education.

Other grants

Further information (incl. financial aid calculator)

The websites ausbildungsbeiträ, and European Funding Guide cover all the key information about grants in Switzerland and overseas.

Your contact persons for questions about scholarships and loans


If you have any questions regarding scholarships and loans please contact Ramona Picenoni.

At Bern University of Applied Sciences BFH, we promote balance between study, work and family.

A limited number of nursery places are available to BFH staff and students. If you’d like to take advantage of this offer, the relevant documents can be found on the BFH Intranet. The fees are income-based and in line with the cantonal rates described in the Verordnung über die Angebote der sozialen Integration (Decree on Social Integration Offer ASIV) issued by the Canton of Bern. You can apply for a nursery place using the online form on the BFH Intranet. If you’re a new student or member of staff and don’t have access to the Intranet, please contact Corinne Badertscher (Tel. +41 (0)31 848 33 01, There is no legal entitlement to a nursery place.

For more information on how to co-ordinate your studies and your compulsory service, please phone HKB Student Administration on +41 31 848 49 49.


Online Application

You should have the following documents available in electronic form
(passport photo: JPG / remaining documents: PDF). No document should exceed 1 MB. 

  • ID card or passport
  • Passport photo
  • Bachelor`s diploma or equivalent university degree
  • Transcript of records of current and/or terminated studies
  • A diploma qualifying you for university studies (such as A-Levels, Matura from a Gymnasium, "Berufsmaturität", "Fachmaturität", Abitur)
  • A CV in tabular form
  • A personal statement about your motivation for these studies and for your professional aspirations
  • A confirmation of your exmatriculation (If you were already matriculated at another university)

For foreigners, in addition:

  • Residence permit (if available)

If you do not yet have one or more of the required documents, please state why in the Comments section. 

Bern University of the Arts
Music Division
Papiermühlestrasse 13a
CH-3000 Bern 22


At HKB, you can expect an open mindset and a friendly, informal atmosphere. Come and see us.

Student advisory service

If you have any questions about the degree programme, please contact:
Irène Noguchi  (Deputy Head of Degree Programme)
Lennart Dohms  (Head of Degree Programme)

Contact the administration team to arrange a visit:
Carmen Siegenthaler
T +41 31 848 39 91

Location(s) + Facilities

The Music Division at HKB has cutting-edge facilities at its disposal at various locations, including 60 practice rooms, 80 teaching rooms, auditoria of various sizes, an outstanding music library, a recording studio, research facilities and instrument hire. Students can reserve many of the rooms online. We operate an open door policy.