Master's degree in orchestral studies (strings)

Programme details

Orchestra musicians have to meet both particular and complex demands regarding genre (sinfonia, opera, operetta, musical etc.), cast and style of the works which will be performed (knowledge of interpretational characteristics ranging from Early Music to vanguard playing techniques of the newest compositions is expected). Therefore, it is necessary for the musician to possess a high artistic potential as well as the ability to work as part of an ensemble and to take up a subordinate role in a group (following a concertmaster, principal, conductor).

Instrumental excellence regarding playing techniques and interpretational skills is the fundamental prerequisite for a successful orchestra musician. Therefore, the Major Specialism module (“Künstlerisches Kernmodul”, semesters 1–4) is the essential part of each semester. Ensemble playing from chamber music to orchestra playing in different contexts (university orchestra, practical period with a professional orchestra) is the pillar of the Key Module (“Schwerpunktmodul”, semesters 1–4). The core segment is supported by study fields such as audition training and performance skills.

The module Applied Music Theory and Musicology (“Angewandte Musiktheorie und Musikwissenschaft”, semesters 1–2) has been aligned with the core area of the course.

The Master’s course is characterised by its highly practical component which leads directly to the practical period in the second half of the study.

During the 3rd and the 4th semesters, students choose one module out of a module catalogue to either refine their artistic skills or to specialise.

Course Profile

  • Official Length of the programme: two years, 120 ECTS-credits
  • Start of the course: winter semester as well as summer semester
  • Application period: 1 October to 1 December for the summer semester. | 1 March to 1 May for the winter semester.
  • University Degree: Master of Music
  • Teaching stuff
Career perspectives

The Master’s course aims towards educating artists who are able to work as orchestra musicians and meet the various expectations of the professional market. The programme has been designed in such a way as to include all essential fields of study while providing sufficient space for the qualification in the main instrument.

Language requirements

Foreign students whose native language is not German must provide evidence that their knowledge of German is sufficient for their chosen course. 
For the Master’s degree (Orchestra), students are required to have reached level B2 as defined by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. 
Applicants’ linguistic competence will be established during the aptitude test. 

You will find further information in the Aptitude Test Regulations and Matriculation Regulations (only in German) of Rostock University of Music and Drama.

Aptitude test equirements for the winter semester 2021/22 - new regulation for the period of the Corona pandemic

We have altered our conditions for the aptitude test due to the current COVID-19 crisis. 

Please submit one single video recording (one take, uncut, no post-editing) comprising the works given below. Due to the given maximum length of the video, you will only be able to play the works in part. You are free to choose which part of each work you present in your video.

Violin: (approximately 10 min, concert: exposition only)

  • two contrasting movements from a Bach Sonata or Partita
  • a first movement from a violin concerto by W. A. Mozart (with cadenza)
  • a movement of a great violin concerto of Romanticism or classical modernism
  • a Caprice/Etude with a virtuoso level of difficulty

Viola: (max. 20 min)

  • two contrasting movements from a Bach suite (Org. for violoncello solo) or from a Bach Sonata or Partita (Org. for violin solo) or from a Reger - Suite op. 131 d for Viola Solo, or from a Hindemith - Sonata for Viola Solo, or from the  Busch Suite for Viola Solo
  • one movement from a violin concerto from F. A. Hoffmeister or C. Stamitz (with cadence)
  • one movement from a Sonata for viola or piano

Violoncello: (approximately 10 min)

  • two contrasting pieces

Double bass: (approximately 10 min)

  • a scale through two octaves with different lines
  • a slow movement from a work of your choice (style epoch: baroque)
  • a fast movement from a work of your choice (style epoch: classical or romantic)
  • a work composed after 1950

The works can be performed with or without a répétiteur.

Each video has to start with a short introduction (your name, your application number, the title of the piece you are about to present). The video has to be filmed in one take and live, which means the material must not be cut or post-edited. There is no need for professional video production. Videos taken with your mobile phone are absolutely fine. However, you should be clearly visible and audible whilst playing your instrument. The video should be framed to show the whole person.

You will receive further information how and where to upload the videos till 17.05.2021. All videos have to be uploaded till 27.05.2021! So please prepare your video material already now!
If the board of examiners decides that your application should advance to the next round, you will be invited till 15.06.2021. 

You will also have to take tests in your respective compulsory subjects (music theory and ear training, piano). Additionally, foreign students have to pass a German proficiency test.

We look forward to your application.


Click here for the ONLINE APPLICATION and the dates of the APTITUDE TEST.

A fee of 50 Euro is charged for processing your application for admission. Please transfer this amount when you submit your application.

We will gladly advise you personally!

Mrs Hanka Paschedag
Study Office for Music
fon +49 381 5108 222
fax +49 381 5108 201

Prof. Stefan Hempel, Head of Strings

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