European Chamber Music Master (ECMAster)

The European Chamber Music Master (ECMAster) is a new highly prestigious two-year joint programme developed by the European Chamber Music Academy with assistance from Erasmus +

The ECMAster provides established ensembles the opportunity for intensive study at the RNCM and up to six other leading European institutions.

ECMA - European ChamberMusic Academy logo

About the RNCM

Located in the heart of Manchester, the RNCM is a leading international conservatoire and thriving live music venue, with a reputation for attracting talented students, teachers, conductors, composers and artists from all over the world.

Founded in 1973 through the merger of the Royal Manchester College of Music and Northern School of Music, the RNCM is home to around 320 teaching staff and over 800 students from 60 different countries. Each year the College presents in excess of 400 live performances, ensuring RNCM students receive unparalleled opportunities to perform regularly to public audiences and to work alongside professional musicians and visiting artists.

Ensembles will spend the first and fourth semesters studying with the RNCM’s world class teachers and benefiting from outstanding state-of-the-art facilities. The programme focuses on the development of the students’ artistic and technical skills on their Principal Study instrument and their ability to convey musical expression in a chamber group.

How You Will Learn

You will experience training in chamber music performance to a professional level, develop your knowledge of the repertoire through research activity and refine your musical presentation, communication and technical skills as an ensemble musician.

All ECMAster students will:

  • Spend semester one and four at the RNCM receiving weekly chamber music coaching from our team of internationally acclaimed tutors
  • Learn how to contribute to innovation and advancement in the field of chamber music as well as understanding the demands of musical life and the music industry
  • Explore collaborative activities, develop multi-disciplinary ideas and work with the RNCM’s professional audio-visual department creating demonstration standard recording
  • Develop their knowledge of the stylistic and interpretative challenges of chamber music in a range of repertoires and traditions within classical music

All ECMAsters students will spend two semesters at partner institutions as follows

Semester two at either:

  1. Fondazione Scuola di Musica di Fiesole Onlus, Italy
  2. Norges musikkhogskole, Oslo, Norway
  3. Universitat fur Musik und darstellende Kunst, Wein, Austria 

Semester three at either:

  1. Conservatoire national superieur de musique et de danse de Paris, France
  2. Koninklijk Conservatorium, Den Haag, Netherlands
  3. Lietuvos muzikos ir teatro akademija, Vilnius, Lithuania

Programme Overview and Programme Structure

Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester (RNCM)

(ECTS credits must be distributed over the 4 semesters with 30 ECTS each semester 2 UK credits = 1 ECTS)

Courses ECTS per semester
1 2* 3 4
Chamber Music / Performance 15 15 15
Electives (**) 15 15
Master project 15
Sum: 30 30 30 30

* Semester for incoming exchange students

** Electives may be taken from:

Contemporary Songwriting
Professional Audition
Freelance Musician and Entrepreneurship
Musicianship for Instrumentalists

Routes Available

Established String Quartets, Piano Trios, String Trios, Piano Quartets, Wind Quintets, Brass Quintets, Saxophone Quartets and other ensembles of up to five members with an established original repertoire of sufficient scope.

Students on Exchange to the RNCM

Students exchanging in to the RNCM in Semester 2 will take two 15 (ECTS) credit modules. One module will focus on developing their Principal Study skills in Chamber Music, and the other from the optional modules listed above. The optional modules build on creative, practical and professional skills relevant to the profession.

ECMAster students will be fully integrated into the Graduate School, taking classes in their optional module alongside students on other programmes and participating in concerts, workshops and masterclasses with students in both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.

Training will be provided by the RNCM’s internationally acclaimed roster of tutors, including international visitors. There will be opportunities to perform in festivals and other corporate events. You will also receive individual lessons from our excellent Principal Study tutors. ECMAster students will be encouraged to rehearse, perform and record throughout the semester, taking advantage of the excellent state-of-the-art recording facilities and performance venues.

Entrance Requirements

All ECMA entrants must pass an RNCM audition and hold a good honours degree or equivalent
(normally in Music: FHEQ Level 6). Candidates must be able to satisfy the College that they have
already achieved an advanced standard in their main discipline area and have the potential to develop
further towards a professional level of attainment.

For applicants whose first language is not English, an IELTS score of 5.5 (with at least 5.0 in each of
component) is normally required, exceptions being at the discretion of HGS.

Making an Application

The deadline for applications is 1 February for September entry in the same year. Please email [email protected] for full information.