ECMAster – European Chamber Music Master

New launch of an international joint programme in chamber music

The ECMAster is a two year joint programme on the master level for pre-existing chamber music ensembles. It is operated by seven leading higher music education institutions in Europe in close collaboration with ECMA (European Chamber Music Academy), an association of European music universities, conservatoires and festivals.

By tailor-made curricula the ECMAster enables the students to develop their specific artistic, technical, reflective and social skills and to act as strong, independent and innovative ensemble musicians who can meet the high professional demands in tomorrow’s music scene. The admitted chamber music groups will take advantage of the expertise, culture and tradition of three separate music institutions.

During the two years of advanced study, two obligatory exchange semesters at two different host institutions will be supported by Erasmus+ mobility funds. In addition the ensembles will also participate in at least six ECMA sessions and get access to an European network in the profession of chamber music.

Participating Institutions

Next to the mdw, the following institutions are involved:

Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris (CNSMDP)

Founded in 1795, the Paris Conservatoire is historically the first institution of its kind, and remains to this day one of the leading music schools in the world. Spanning over two centuries, its history reflects the work of great directors, professors and students such as Cherubini, Berlioz, Fauré, Debussy, Messiaen and their continuators. Each year, new alumni reach the front of the international music scene as prominent creators and performers, testifying to a long-standing tradition of excellence paired with a constant thrive for innovation.

A founding partner of ECMA, the Paris Conservatoire takes the ECMAster program at heart both as a home and a host institution, where students can enjoy state-of-the-art facilities. In addition to world-renowned teaching by chamber music specialists, the school offers a variety of complementary courses ranging from medieval chant to Indian modal improvisation, as well as recording and concert opportunities within the curriculum. With its welcoming atmosphere and its key location in the Parisian cultural hub of La Villette, the Conservatoire also provides a unique access to the city's vibrant art life.

Fondazione Scuola di Musica di Fiesole Onlus (SMF)

The Scuola di Musica di Fiesole was founded in 1974 by Piero Farulli, legendary violist of the "Quartetto Italiano". Profoundly convinced that great music is a privileged means of communication among human beings, Farulli felt a need to develop a new educational project, available to everyone. The School rapidly began to expand and take shape as an important driving force in the field of music education thanks to its unique and efficient format, especially in Chamber Music, and to the presence of renowned figures of the musical world.

Extraordinary musicians have shared their musical excellence in teaching and performance with our institution, including: R. Muti, S. Accardo, L. Berio, C. Abbado, C. M. Giulini, M.Tipo, Trio di Trieste, N. Gutman, G. Kurtág, G. Ferro, K. Penderecki, D. Gatti, P. Vernikov, G. Noseda and G. Sinopoli.

The School has received the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education (CEIS) under the Erasmus+ Program, after being accepted by the European Commission's Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). The School – accredited to award the AFAM Diploma of the 1st level – founded the ECMA (European Chamber Music Academy) together with some of the most prestigious European musical academies.

Koninklijk Conservatorium, The Hague (KC)

Studying at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague means studying at a music institute which stands for the highest quality of education: one in which leading international musicians are associated as teachers, and where tradition and craftsmanship are inextricably entwined with experiment and innovation. The primary objective of the Royal Conservatoire is to train young talent to the highest levels of artistry, craftsmanship and versatility within the powerful triangle of elements that forms the DNA of our institute: education, research and production.

The link between tradition and innovation is an important basis for the participation of the Royal Conservatoire in the ECMAster. As an ECMAster ensemble studying at the conservatoire, you will have access to classes on some of the conservatoire's areas of excellence, such as Historically Informed Performance, improvisation and the cooperation with composition students. In terms of professional integration, you will benefit of activities with the Art of Sound Department (sound recording) and various performance opportunities.

Lietuvos Muzikos ir Teatro Akademija, Vilnius (LMTA)

The Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre (LMTA) is a higher education institution which trains artists for a professional career in music, theatre, dance and film, and as well offers related theoretical studies. Located in the centre of Vilnius, a compact and increasingly popular capital of Lithuania, the Academy is also known as a cultural hub where free concerts in various settings and genres ranging from classical to contemporary and improvised music are performed.

The increased international perspective and extended partnerships with leading European music schools under the umbrella of the European Chamber Music Academy – ECMA (since 2011) and bilateral agreements have played a significant role in the development of the Chamber Music curriculum. Master degree programmes that have recently become available at the LMTA include Chamber Music, Contemporary Performance & Improvisation, and ECMAster, a joint study programme.

Founded in 1933, the Academy currently hosts about 1000 students at three – bachelor, master and doctoral – study cycles in its two Vilnius-based and one Klaipeda-based faculties.

Norges musikkhøgskole, Oslo (NMH)

to be followed

Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester (RNCM)

to be followed

In cooperation with the European Chamber Music Academy (ECMA).

How does it work?

ECMAster students spend semesters 1 and 4 at their home institution and semesters 2 and 3 at two different host institutions. Exchange semesters at partner institutions and intensive programmes are both obligatory in this master programme.

Each ensemble is appointed a principal artistic supervisor from the home institution and artistic supervisors form each host institution. The responsibility of the principal artistic supervisor is to have regular contact with the students, to have a full overview of the ensemble's progression and to act as a contact person for the other institutions' artistic supervisors.

  • Semester 1: Home institution
  • Semester 2: Potential host institutions: Fiesole, Manchester, Oslo or Vienna
  • Semester 3: Potential host institutions: Paris, The Hague or Vilnius
  • Semester 4: Home institution

Intensive modules

The ensembles are committed to attend a minimum of 6 ECMA sessions within the two years, normally one session in semesters 1 and 4, and two sessions in semesters 2 and 3. In semesters 2 and 3, one of the sessions will be at the host institution.

Who is eligible?

The programme is open to established ensembles with a standard instrument combination:

  • String quartets
  • Piano trios
  • String trios
  • Piano quartets
  • Wind quintets
  • Brass quintets
  • Saxophone quartets
  • Other ensembles (see the General programme description for more information)

Requirements and admission

General admission: 9 December 2019 – 17 February 2020
Admission examination: 13 March 2020

Eligibility requirements

  • Bachelor's degree in Music or equivalent qualifications
  • Member of an established ensemble
  • IMPORTANT: All Ensemble Members must apply at the same institution

Joint admission criteria

All applicants must possess the skills and experience listed below at a level sufficient for them to meet the requirements of this programme of study both individually and as an ensemble.

Applicants must:

  • demonstrate advanced instrumental and musical abilities,
  • possess the relevant skills and experience in chamber music,
  • and prove their ability to independently make and reflect upon their own artistic decisions.

Application procedure

  • submit application to the institution the ensemble wishes
  • CV; Description of the ensemble activities; Degree; Master project proposal


  • A prepared ensemble program of 60 minutes of at least three contrasting works or movements in different styles relevant for the ensemble type.
  • An interview

ECMAster degree programme

Please find further details about our ECMAster degree programme here: