Classical Music


Ati Gottschal
Head of the Classical Music dept.


A new vision of the classical musician!

The world of classical music has a tradition of innovation. As a classical musician you can capitalize on this: looking to the future, encouraging, innovating, making the most of opportunities and collaborating. You’ll be right at the heart of society as a link between society and your music.
In order to play your part as a musician, you will have to develop your own taste, opinions and vision and you will need a skill set. We have ample capacity to give students the right guidance on these things. Our teaching staff and students feel interconnected and there will be plenty of opportunities for cooperation. As a student at the ArtEZ Academy of Music in Zwolle you’ll be given ample opportunity to develop yourself into the musician you want to be in the role you want to play.
We want the course to be accessible to all and have wide-ranging appeal. Which is why the Classical Music programme here is bilingual: Dutch and English.

Development of vision

During your studies here you will be given space to find, develop and make the most of your artistic signature and your desired role as a musician in society. Nowadays musicians must show initiative and have the nerve to -tread untrodden paths. We believe in the importance of a passionate, visionary and realistic outlook on society. Part of this is about creating ties with new target groups. We’ll give you the opportunity to discover this for yourself on all possible stages.
We’ll train you to be a musician capable of reinterpreting (transforming) as well as of writing (creating) and of using instruments and knowledge for the purposes of improvisation. You will be a master of your profession and up to the job.

Professional arena

We not only bring the professional arena to ArtEZ, but create it ourselves. After all, our students are the professionals of the future (and sometimes also of the present too!). We cannot stress enough that all our efforts are geared towards ensuring that when you leave the Academy of Music you will be a fully fledged musician.
During your studies you will be able to benefit hugely from our connections with practising professionals. Our lecturers are people currently or formerly from the professional arena. We attract guest lecturers of international calibre and involve successful alumni (in all kinds of role) in the curriculum and your course. An external coach will be assigned to you in the final year and will support you in your chosen direction. Meaning you will finish your studies with a relevant network.

Autonomous student

At ArtEZ we love self-willed students. Our curriculum encourages an independent, autonomous mindset. We are keen for you to find out for yourself where your most significant talents lie, and for you to decide for yourself what direction you’d like to head in subsequent to your studies and to have a clear idea as to your future role in society. It goes without saying that we’ll support you in a variety of ways in this respect.
We’ll provide you with the relevant contacts and guide you throughout your studies in a way that suits you at any given moment. We expect the research you carry out in your third and fourth years to substantially reflect the musical direction you intend to pursue.


Ambitious musicians want to play until they drop, but we’d rather take that as a metaphor. This is why we strongly emphasise mental and physical wellbeing in our curriculum. You will want to play your instrument in a healthy way and continue doing this into old age. Knowing the function of body and mind allows you to collaborate more easily with other musicians and to better connect to your audience. You will be able to teach your future students how to stay healthy while playing their instrument as well.

The Skillslab Music & Health offers several classes in small groups – you learn to study efficiently, deal with matters like focus, goals and nerves, as well as how to be present and to present your music on stage. We teach you to care for your voice and ears, and to work with your instrument in a healthy way in order to prevent injuries related to your musicianship.

For individual advice, you can visit the Music & Health window. Here, we can answer questions or complaints relating to your mental or physical wellbeing. If necessary, we can also refer you to internal or external health professionals.

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We regard the exams that you take during your studies as an intrinsic part of your learning process and not as an end in themselves. In your professional life, though occasionally whilst you are a student as well, you will find yourself faced with situations in which you are ‘tested’. You will definitely have to audition in front of a panel of judges from time to time, play to a packed room or to a classroom full of adolescents. Exams prepare you for such situations. They let you experience the space within the world of the music and where thresholds, opportunities and challenges are. They help you to grow within your profession and gain practical experience.

The world’s your oyster

The classic curriculum at the ArtEZ Academy of Music in Zwolle encompasses all the skills you will need as a modern musician. From mastering your instrument and your knowledge of the profession and music (classical or otherwise) to targeted preparation for your professional career. All these things will be covered, but above all we will be enabling you to make and implement your own decisions!

An example of cooperation between the departments of Jazz & Pop and Classical Music is the theatre production Simply Sondheim. In a time of interdisciplinary collaborations and cross-overs the choice for the music of Stephen Sondheim is an obvious, because in this both worlds come together. Below is a report from the beautiful presentation.