Music Performance – Classical

Our Master of Arts in Music Performance is designed to help you mature as an artist and musician. You will be trained to become a professional musician.

This degree programme:

  • is aimed at you if you have successfully completed a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree programme, have distinguished yourself through artistic excellence and have delved deeply into the chosen specialisation;

  • offers you individual tuition in the core subjects (instrument, voice, conducting wind music) and additional support in the areas of chamber music, contemporary music and historically informed performance practice by internationally renowned lecturers;

  • expands your knowledge through recording sessions, orchestral projects, transdisciplinary formats and practical professional preparation (Music in Context, Self-Management, Career Planning);

  • allows you to develop your own musical personality at one of Europe’s leading arts universities, also thanks to a wide choice of options from related musical and artistic disciplines;

  • enables you to participate in festivals and HKB concert series due to numerous collaborations with partner institutions.


  • Title/Degree Master of Arts (MA)
  • Specialisations Instrument, voice, wind/brass conducting
  • Mode of study Full-time (4 semesters)
  • Start date Mon, 16.9.2024
  • Application deadline Fri, 15.3.2024
  • ECTS credits 120 ECTS credits
  • Teaching language German, French, English
  • Location Bern
  • School Bern Academy of the Arts

Structure + Content


The programme focuses on providing the one-on-one support as you journey on your path to artistic maturity. You will build up a broad, challenging repertoire and will be able to contextualise various works. In the process, you will learn to understand, continue and transcend traditions. You will experience the diversity of artistic practice in numerous concerts, ensembles, projects and various formats.     

As part of the Master’s programme you will receive one-to-one tuition in your core subject (instrument, voice, conducting wind music). You will study with numerous fellow musicians from many countries and are open to challenging musical projects: from baroque to contemporary, from chamber music to orchestra, from traditional to experimental.  

Due to a wide range of options available (see list of minors), you will be able to follow your interests and explore new areas. You will receive individual support every step of the way. You will gain practical experience through contact with our worldwide partners (concert houses, event organisers, research institutions, etc.). At the HKB, you are able to broaden your artistic perspective in literature, theatre, the opera studio, or the visual arts. 

The 120 ECTS credits required to obtain a Master’s degree are made up of the major as well as the minors and elective modules:

  • Major (90 ECTS credits): core subject, artistic practice, theory and research.
  • Minors and electives (30–40 ECTS credits): numerous options for individual specialisations


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

You complete you studies by giving a public concert and writing an accompanying programme booklet. 


In addition to your core subject (instrument, voice, conducting wind music), you can choose from a sophisticated list of minors, which is usually calculated with 20 ECTS credits each. Examples are: 

Advanced Music Practice // Artistic Music Education – Music in Context // Second or Parallel Instrument - Classical // Second or Parallel Instrument Jazz // Duo Piano-Voice // Duo Piano-plus // Conducting Wind Music // Orchestra // Chamber Music // Historical Performance Practice // Free Improvisation // Opera // Contemporary Music Performance // Composition // Jazz Composition & Arrangement // Pop Music // Sound Arts // Dance and Movement // Musical Theatre // Musicology Basic // Research // Open Space 

The goals of your Master’s programme are to achieve a high level of artistic maturity and to sharpen your individual profile. Thanks to the course content, you will also know how to convey concepts competently, how to confidently perform in every setting and how to build professional networks.

HKB maintains close ties to a number of partner universities, both in Switzerland and abroad, and collaborates with international partners on numerous projects. HKB is also a member of several international networks.

HBK students have the opportunity to complete part of their studies or an internship abroad. Interested persons from abroad can also apply to study at the HKB or complete part of their studies here. 

Degree + Prospects


Master of Arts in «Music Performance (plus specialization)»


After successfully completing a Master in Music Performance – Classical, you are ready to hit the stage. You know the demands of musical life and are ready to follow your own artistic path. The professional environment for musicians has changed greatly in recent years. The new challenges include a globalised style and the project character of public musical life. With your Master’s degree, you are ready to face these challenges and to work within a wide variety of contexts and situations. You will find your own personal path – be it as a soloist, in the field of orchestral music, in music education or music performance or beyond. 




Violin: Corina Belcea, Philip DraganovJonian Ilias KadeshaBartek Niziol, Monika Urbaniak, Tianwa Yang
Second instrument baroque violin: Meret Lüthi
Viola: Patrick Jüdt, Gertrud Weinmeister
Cello: Conradin Brotbek, David Eggert, Job ter HaarAntonio MenesesChiara Samatanga, Denis Severin (Bachelor only)
Double bass: Ruslan Lutsyk, David Sinclair


Flute: Martin FahlenbockAdam Walker
Oboe: Matthias Arter, Jaime Gonzàlez
Clarinet: Olivier Vivares
Saxophone: Christian Roellinger
Bassoon: Valeria Curti
Recorder: Michael Form (no new admissions)


French horn: Christian LampertChristian Holenstein (Natural horn)
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
Fortepiano: Edoardo Torbianelli
Cembalo: Takashi Watanabe
Organ: Pascale van Coppenolle, Christian Barthen
Guitar: Elena Casoli
Lute: Peter Croton (no new admissions)
Accordion: Teodoro Anzellotti


Brian Archinal, Christian Hartmann, Jochen Schorer


Tanja Ariane Baumgartner, Malin Hartelius, Christian HilzMarcus NiedermeyrClaude Eichenberger

Voice contemporary music / Creative Practice

Daniel Gloger, Franziska Baumann


Xavier Dayer, Simon Steen-Andersen

Wind/brass conducting 

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


Rie Aikawa, Igor Andreev, Tamara Chitadze, Dzianis LinnikMonika 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 RobertsRajiv SatapatiMartin Skamletz, Stephan Zirwes

Theory in Church Music

Luigi Collarile, Marc Fitze, Emanuele Jannibelli, Christine Oefele, Kurt Meier


Thomas Gartmann, Kai Köpp, Manuel Bärtsch, Martin Skamletz

Music in Context

Barbara Balba Weber, Irena Müller-Brozovic


Franziska Baumann, Christian Kobi, Marc Unternährer

Prerequisites + Admission

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.

The entry exam includes a practical and a theoretical part. The aptitude tests 2024 will be held on site. 

The closing date for registration is 15 March 2024.

The programme entry form and a schedule by instrument can be found here:

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

Practicalities + Application

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

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.


If you have any questions regarding scholarships and loans please contact Claire Brawand.

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 Sarah Gross. There is no legal entitlement to a nursery place.

Swiss students have to complete compulsory service while studying too. Make sure you start planning and coordinating your studies and compulsory service early.

We strongly encourage you to complete basic military training and your first block of civilian service before starting your studies. If you complete these activities during your studies, you may miss classes. As a result, the duration of your programme may increase.


You can get help with coordinating your studies and your compulsory service from our team of advisers.

Start date: Mon, 16.9.2024
Application deadline: Fri, 15.3.2024
Aptitude tests: Mon–Thu, 15.4.–25.4.2024

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)

* Documents that are not available in German, French or English must be submitted as official translations.

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. 

Consulting + Location

An open mind and a family atmosphere await you at the HKB. Come and visit us!

The following people will gladly answer any of your questions about the study programme:

Camille Sublet (Assistance)
Lennart Dohms (Head of Degree Programme)

Individual visits/consultations can be arranged via the secretary’s office. 

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.