Which Conservatories in Europe Are the Best?

June 26, 2004 at 03:17 AM · I'm going to be a senior in high school next year and I'm trying to find conservatiories in Europe because I want to pursue my music career in Europe. Any suggestions on any schools?

Replies (74)

June 26, 2004 at 03:28 AM · I think you should focus more on induvidual teachers in Europe rather then any one conservatory.

June 26, 2004 at 06:49 AM · In England there are a lot of good conservatoires - Royal Academy of Music is generally considered to be one of the best (if not the best) but there are lots of good ones, like Royal College of Music, Guildhall School of Music (where Simon Fischer teaches) and Royal Northern College of Music.

I've heard that there are lots of really excellent conservatoires in Germany, and of course there is always the Paris Conservatoire.

Which languages do you speak? You'll probably only get a place at one of these if you can speak the language fairly comfortably (other than the English ones, as you obviously speak English.)


June 26, 2004 at 05:46 PM · ive heard amazing things about schools in germany

June 26, 2004 at 06:46 PM · Considering the recent violinists that have come out of there recently (Khachatryan, Fischer, Batiashvili, Tetzlaff...) I'd say studying there would be a great experience.

June 26, 2004 at 08:14 PM · For a violinist...maybe the Brussels Conservatory, good luck learning French...

June 26, 2004 at 08:23 PM · Matt, who teaches at the Brussels conservatory?

June 26, 2004 at 09:29 PM · Greetings,

I think you need to base this on various questions abot your needs as has bbeen suggested above.

Questions such as;

10 What teacher do youwant?

2) What countyr do you like?

3) How much money do you have ? ;)\

4) What kind of career do you want?

5) Why do you ant to go to Europe?

and so on. Firtsis -always- the teacher.

This time I am gonna disagree politely with Carl. The Academy is not generally rated as the best college. It does boil down to teachers. I think we often sya the College we are at is the best....

It is true that the teachers at the Academy are fantastic but look at the line up at teh RCM now. Those are some of the best teachers in the world. Some times English places get a reputation for being better at soemthing. For example the RNCM hasa very strong chamber music emphasis but suppose you wree at the Academy or RCM and you met a perfect team and formed a long lasting quartet. For you, that would mean that you went to a place that was 'good for chamber music."



June 27, 2004 at 01:11 AM · Who do you think are the top 5 teachers in Europe?

June 27, 2004 at 02:09 AM · To add to Buri's post, I understand Guildhall is really coming into its own these days.

June 27, 2004 at 03:28 AM · Greetings,

just to be clear, I was not sayinf the Academy is not as good as all the others. It certainly is. But look at the all start line up in all of them. How can any one really be -the best-?

I wa slooking at the RCM lineup the other day and that has been revolutionized since I wa sthere. Its practically a 'Little Russia' although the Julliard torvh has been passed down form DeLay to Mark Kaplan. Then there is Manze.

Oddly enough, I thought the Guildhall wa s looking a little sparse but Sue will be more in touch with reputatyions being based in London.

My initial reaction to 'the top five teahcers in Europe' is that it really does depend on what you wnat from them and how you intereact. There are a lot of international prizewinners coming out of Germany from a number of sources, then some great teacher sbase din Italy (Chumanenko)and France. But Takeno is at the Guildhall ( taught Rachel Podger) then Eric Gruenburg, Pauk and so on in Britain while Bron is floating around all over the place...

Take your pick.



June 27, 2004 at 07:39 AM · Point taken Buri. In terms of teachers Academy isn't the best I'm sure, but the education supplements of British Newspapers always rate it at no.1 for Music, a ranking which I take it looks at the institution overall, not just the violin faculty.


June 27, 2004 at 08:58 AM · Greetings,

does that mean you appear on page three of the Sun?



June 28, 2004 at 05:16 AM · Cio Adriana....:) Good question by the way! I was actualy going to ask about conservatories in France. Does anyone know about the chamber music programs in the French schools? I was looking at France for sometime later, maybe graduate something or another, since I will probably pick up enough french in Montreal durring the next four years.


June 28, 2004 at 06:18 AM · My dearest Buri,

However did you guess?



June 28, 2004 at 06:35 AM · There were these Young Danish String Quartet that came to Winchester, VA for a Festival that included talented students and professionals world-wide. They're perfomance was amazing. Apparently they won the 2004 first prize and prize for Best performed contemporary piece in the 7th Danish Broadcasting Company's Chamber Music Competition. They all attend the Copenhagen Royal Danish Academy of Music.

June 28, 2004 at 06:49 AM · Greetings,

Carl whne do we get to see the movie?

I would be genuionly interetested in the criteria newspapers use to evaluate music colleges?

I would hate to think it was based purely on the paper subscriptions for the student common room.

BTW does the Academy have one of those now? ;)

When I were a lad the Academy ahd the best partties by a long way. Oh Sally, where are you now?



June 28, 2004 at 10:21 AM · If you want to be really great , try to be allready excellent violinist when you will try to Paris.If you succeed and you will keep going , you will be the tip of the sword...Teachers...Gerard Poulet , Jean Jaque Kantorow , Patrice Fontanarossa , Olivie Charlier...

June 28, 2004 at 06:41 PM · I don't think it's the newspapers themselves that do the rating - it's some government assessment thing I think. I have absolutely no idea how they assess these things, as presumably inspectors or whatever can't view individual lessons, or if they can it must be on a very limited scale.

I personally wouldn't trust the rating thing for anything other than academic universities, which can be more objectively assessed.

I'm only at the junior Academy, so I don't actually know much about the senior Academy other than from friends who study there. They all seem to like it (though a suprisingly large number of them wish they had gone to university and got a 'real' degree first).


June 28, 2004 at 07:11 PM · Berlin. Vienna.

June 28, 2004 at 09:10 PM · You could consider the Mozarteum in Salzburg.I don't think that you can pick a teacher you are alloted them.Ricci teaches there.I have already suggested this place to someone else and they are extremely happy with the course.

June 28, 2004 at 09:21 PM · Carl, I wouldn't trust the rating system for academic universities either: my DIY English course was apparently among the top for teaching and research in the UK, at one of the top five universities. Let's just say I didn't get any feedback until my final year, which was then delivered in the form of a series of checkboxes.

June 28, 2004 at 10:23 PM · I like to pretend they're accurate, as the department my mom is head of came top in the country in that subject!


June 29, 2004 at 06:54 PM · Does anyone know if any of Zakhar Bron's masterclasses were released commercially on VHS or DVD? If so, where could one buy it?

June 29, 2004 at 07:41 PM · There is a lot of non comercially masterclasses circulating. (I'm behind the camera on a few...)

June 29, 2004 at 07:59 PM · i haven't been keeping up to date with Moscow and St. Petersberg Conservatories in Russia, but they were the best a few coupla decades ago

June 29, 2004 at 11:46 PM · Greetings,

(I'm behind the camera on a few...)

attias is a man who knows how to prevent his likeness to me being spotted,



June 30, 2004 at 01:17 AM · Well I have to - the IRA are everywhere!

June 30, 2004 at 01:23 AM · Greetings,

I thought it was the IRS for you,



June 30, 2004 at 02:46 AM · IRS? thats not a problem since he moved to sweden.

June 30, 2004 at 02:57 AM · Greetings,


Idiot Ravages Sweden



June 30, 2004 at 04:18 AM · lol...

I intended to write IRS, but some stupid put the 'A' next to the 'S' on the keybord!

Maybe I'll get a Japanese keybord instead.

June 30, 2004 at 04:48 AM · Greetings,

yes, I was puzzled by your initial choice, but hung in there gamely,



June 30, 2004 at 06:20 AM · Is Mattias secretly an Irish Protestant? The plot thickens!


June 30, 2004 at 06:23 AM · Greetings,

Mattias and milk both go off,

And both events make you grumpy,

But given the choice between the two,

I`d rather have milk that`s lumpy



June 30, 2004 at 06:38 AM · Bravo!

June 30, 2004 at 08:36 AM · Grumphf.

June 30, 2004 at 09:00 PM · meow

June 30, 2004 at 09:16 PM · Dan K, please tell us about Russian conservatoires!

I am based in the UK. Academy isn't the best for violin, although it's certainly the snootiest, hahaha

July 1, 2004 at 06:49 AM · which UK Academy do you go to lorenzo?

July 1, 2004 at 07:21 AM · Yup, I have to agree with that lorenzo. I've heard some nasty rumours about some of their auditions.


July 1, 2004 at 09:56 AM · Greetings,

I think the danger of these kinds of classifications , although they do have some merit, is not seeing the wood for the trees. If you studied with Gruenberg or Pauk you would be getting as good as you can get -anywhere-. I don"t know if Hausson is a good teacher or notbut that is a pretty major player to be studying with. You can go anywhere and get an average teacher or even a bad one sometimes. I know I did. Genuinely crap. So, to me the Royal College was essentially a bad institute which is doing the opposite. Not seeing the trees for the wood. And suppose you went to a major institute in Europe and didn"t get in with one of the top teachers churnign out prizewinners? Just some old dude put out to pastor because he was protected by the union.

I don"t know about the way people are consistnetly treated in audtions but the RCM was the friendliest to me by far. The head of string at Guildhall was rude and unfriendly to the point where I had no interest in studying at the place which is also an overpersonalized reaction rather than a cool decision.

Best to do a lot of research, get a lot of input and try to specify clearly what is meant by things like snooty, who is snooty , how many people are snooty and so on.

Just a thought,



July 2, 2004 at 11:35 PM · Adriana, I meant the Royal Academy. I didn't study there but you get to know these places anyway if you are a music student in London for billion+ years.

Buri is right; it really is the teacher that counts. I have heard that at the Academy, Pauk is great.

July 2, 2004 at 11:37 PM · Please share your views on other countries in Europe! I would love to study in Spain or Slovenia or Croatia or somewhere totally random. Which teachers are there?

July 3, 2004 at 12:05 AM · Bron is in Spain as well.

July 3, 2004 at 07:21 AM · Moscow and St. Petersburg conservatories have an extensive history...and as we know, most of the greats studied there. here are some websites excellent websites, because im lazy

Moscow Conservatory:


St Petersburg Conservatory:


July 3, 2004 at 11:56 AM · Moscow and St. Petersburg do have great histories, but a lot of the best teachers from those conseervatories now teach in Germany, Austria, England, France, Switzerland, and USA.

July 3, 2004 at 01:27 PM · Hi adriana ,There are so many good places to study in europe so that you don't need to come to Paris.The best countries in Europe for violin playing and music in general are UK and Germany.Go to london berlin or vienna or wherever you want but not to Paris!!!

July 3, 2004 at 03:27 PM · Why not Paris?

July 5, 2004 at 12:06 AM ·

July 5, 2004 at 12:06 AM ·

October 16, 2004 at 11:16 PM · Hello all. I am looking for a program maybe for a semester or a summer program for violin. I'm thinking Germany or Austria? Has anyone ever been to a summer program or studied abroad for a semester at any place in Germay?

October 28, 2004 at 02:39 AM · I am hoping to get into a conservatory in England this year and attend next Fall as well - your discussion was very helpful to me!! Is the Royal North East College of Music near Chingford; if not, how far might it be?

per the last message, I am also thinking of taking a semester in Germany! we should talk. sprechen Sie Deutsch?

November 19, 2004 at 11:36 AM · The question you should be asking is, "Which conservatories in Europe would be/are the best for YOURSELF?".....

November 19, 2004 at 12:52 PM · I am currently studying in Austria and have been active in festivals and study programs in France and Italy. Coming from the States and already holding degrees there, some of the major differences that you should want to consider:

- Do you speak the language (some schools allow for the first year that you adjust with the language and you can test in after to make sure that you can communicate and take the required classes

- Some Conservatories have a program that is LONGER than the typical four-year BM degree that many are familiar with (insert mental note to research this topic here)!

- Dependant on Government funding, the amount for tuition and then living expenses (as a foriegner) are helpful to be clarified. Given that, with a student Visa, you are not permitted to work (this also depends on the country).

- Knowing of a particular teacher that you are interested in helps (esp. for entrance) because you will know their styles and their imput is VERY useful when going through the audition process. Start by making contact, and getting them to know you and why your interested in the school, yada yada.

- Why in Europe? Plot out these questions and see if they direct you towards certain teachers, styles, experiences and locations. By process of elimination, you can find out which school(s) will meet YOUR needs as a student.

There are countless factors of determining where to go for schools. Start with figuring out what you need and want out of a school and you may deveop likes and dislikes out of the programs you read about. If there is a way to contact administration or students about more specific questions concerning a program you're interested in, this is also strongly suggested.

Give that a try and see how it goes.

November 20, 2004 at 02:23 AM · Jenni, I assume you mean the Royal Northern? No, it's in Manchester, in the Midlands. If you're going to be in Chingford, you'd surely be looking at one of the London conservatoires, which are 30 mins train ride away. The best of these are the Royal Academy, the Royal College, Guildhall and Trinity.

November 20, 2004 at 03:12 PM · My comment is simple... go for the teacher not the school.

November 20, 2004 at 03:31 PM · I personally would want to be surrounded by a lot of great students. As an undergraduate there weren't any really good players that I could talk to, play for, etc (until I went to Europe to study where there were tons!). I liked my teacher, he was a very good teacher and a great performer, but without that performance environment I feel I didn't have the willpower to push myself.

Take a look at the competition at the school (if you're into that or not), then the teacher.

January 4, 2005 at 09:49 PM · Just as a suggestion. In the Brussels conservatory you have Igor Oistrakh teaching. He's not as great as his dad as a violinist of course, but you truely get some of the Oistrakh playing tradition (I took a few masterclasses with him).

January 6, 2005 at 08:49 PM · Great teachers in great conservatories in Europe: Itzhak Rashkovsky, Felix Andrievsky, Royal College of Music in London; Ana Chumachenco, Hochschule fur Musik in Munchen; Zakhar Bron, Hochschule fur musik in Köln; Josef Rissin, Hochschule für Musik in Karlsruhe; Igor Oistrakh, Royal Conservatory Brussels; Boris Kuschnir, Vienna Conservatory; Igor Ozim, Boris Belkin, Herman Krebbers, etc...

January 8, 2005 at 11:48 PM · I am fascinated by the Russian method of violin teaching - it is so utterly efficient and thorough. Does anyone know of a brilliant Russian teacher(s)? Who specifically in St. Petersburg and Moscow is worth the trip?

January 9, 2005 at 07:34 AM · Hi Rebecca,

I agree the Russian school of violin playing is the most successful out of all of them. It is interesting to note that it really is derivative from the French and German schools since Auer the father of the Russian school studied in both places among others. He also picked up a certain knowledge of bowing according to Heifetz from Wieniawski. The styles back then amongst players was much more similar I think especially in the education and knowledge of the bow in certain elements which I discussed with a friend yesterday. The St. Petersburg Russian School is often mixed up with the Soviet School of playing. They are completely different styles of playing altogether. Most of the great Russian teachers and violinists left Russia before or around the time of the revolution and went to other parts of the world especially the US. According to my teacher Mr. Friedman he said ,"they went to where the money was at!" So today there are many non Russian violinists that come from this background just as my teacher did, people like Joseph Silverstein at Curtis, Keng-Yuen Tseng at Peabody, Pierre Amoyal, Hilary Hahn and few others around the world. So it is really not necessary in my opinion to actually go to Russia now and learn about the Russian School cause I really doubt you will find as much of it in Russia as before.

January 9, 2005 at 02:24 PM · I completely agree with what Nate said. The two styles are completely different (there are differences in the way one holds the violin, in the way one places the fingers on the fingerboard, in the way one trills,...). If you are looking for the Russian school, I would recommend studying with students of Erik Friedman, Efrem Zimbalist, Oscar Shumsky...

January 9, 2005 at 04:20 PM · Andrievsky has studied with Yampolsky and Yankelevitch

January 23, 2005 at 04:57 AM · I am sure Zakhar Bron is one of the best in Europe. (Koln, Germany)

March 18, 2005 at 05:07 AM · I tried posting a topic similar to this, and it wouldn't let me, even though it isn't the same specifics but thats ok, I'll ask it here. REading the above has seriously been dizzying, although fascinating at the same time. Ok, so my heart isn't dead set on a European conservatory, but I have info spilling out of my ears of teachers and conservatories in the US. and i just want to know all the facts i can about everywhere else without visiting every single country and having a lesson with every single teacher cause haha i don't have that kindof money. If someone could list the teachers, list their teaching style and sound, dynamics of the european schools comparing with that of the us, and any other info partaining to that matter, (like is USA better for undergrad or vice versa or not even close) that would be simply great. thanks :) (basically something like above but a little more structured... i mean there are names... but anything regarding the personalities to those names and what makes these names so good would be oh so wonderfuL!! :))

March 18, 2005 at 05:52 AM · I've been thinking about going to an African conservatory. Does anyone have any recommendations? I'm not really into genocide. But I do use protection!


March 18, 2005 at 08:43 AM · Links to some Spanish conservatories









March 18, 2005 at 06:34 PM · I think that best professor is Jurgis Dvarionas, his finis Moscou conservatory. Welcome to Lithuania,Vilnius!

April 3, 2005 at 03:39 PM · Hey, I'm 15 and I'm looking for somewhere to study in paris for a few months in 2006. If possible I would like to hear about suzuki teachers, as I have been studying this method for several years.

April 3, 2005 at 05:35 PM · If you are hoping to ever become a good violinist, quit Suzuki now. I'd get a teacher to teach you some of the aspects of violin playing that you're likely missing.

April 4, 2005 at 09:10 PM · Thanks for that advice. Ny ideas for teachers like that in Paris, preferably one who speaks english?

June 27, 2005 at 11:23 AM · Greetings

In paris there are excellent professors how Jean-Jacques KANTOROW and Roland DAUGAREIL... the language is not a problem with them....

June 29, 2005 at 11:32 PM · But they don't teach privatly Alejandro...

October 12, 2011 at 12:39 PM ·