Skip to content

Madrid CIVIS Orchestra Academy 2023

Join the second edition of the European CIVIS Symphonic Orchestra Academy in Madrid: Explore the classical repertoire and advance your knowledge on different practical approaches to the performance of orchestral music

← Back to courses
CIVIS focus area
Society, culture, heritage
Open to
  • Bachelor's
  • Master's
  • Phd
Field of studies
  • Art, Design and Media
  • Social Science and humanities
  • Blended Intensive Programmes (BIP)
Course dates
4 May - 22 June 2023

The main objective of this course is to perform a concert in Madrid, featuring CIVIS students from as many universities as possible, after a week's work together. The selected works are Tchaikovsky's suite from the "Sleeping Beauty" ballet, and Carl Orff's "carmina Burana".

In order to do this, we aim to gather students from different orchestras or music ensembles based at CIVIS universities and work in Madrid for five days, during which we will have full orchestra and sections work sessions, and also some trips to Madrid and surrounding historical places of musical significance.

After this, they will perform a concert at Madrid's Auditorio Nacional de Música. This will be done with the participation of three universities' choruses (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Universidad Politécnica and Universidad San Pablo-CEU). An online part of the course also includes sessions devoted to the study of these particular music works and their sociological and aesthetic background.

Main topics addressed

  • Rehearsal
  • Sections rehearsals
  • Playing with a (big) choir
  • Orchestral writing adaptations
  • Study of the sociological and aesthetic background of these particular music works.

Learning outcomes

Following this course, students will be able to:

  • Participate in an orchestral program with a full symphonic orchestra and a big choir
  • Experience working with musicians and conductors from different backgrounds
  • Share the results of a week’s work with an audience and see how they react to the power of the music and performance
  • Live a unique onstage experience at Auditorio Nacional de Música
  • Learn to have confidence and play convincingly one’s own part
  • Get a deep understanding of two musical works, both from the musical point of view and the experience of performing them, but also from the historical, sociological and aesthetic point of view.


CIVIS Symphonic Orchestra Academy 2022

90 students from CIVIS member universities gathered in Marseille from 9 to 17 April 2022, for the first edition of the CIVIS Symphonic Orchestra Academy, for a total immersion into Gustav Mahler’s first symphony "TITAN". After a week of intense rehearsals, the group performed a live-streamed concert at the National Teather of Marseille, La Criée.

Watch the replay

Click here to read more on last year's orchestral meeting in Marseille!

Dates: 4 May - 22 June 2023 Total Workload: 90 hours

Format: Blended

Location: Madrid, Spain Language: English 

Recognition of ECTS depends on your home university. 

Physical mobility

The physical mobility part will be running from 22 to 27 May 2023.

During the physical part of the course, rehearsals will typically take part during the mornings through the whole week (22-25, May 2023). Beginning at 10:00, with a pause of 30 minutes, the morning sessions will be dedicated to study the repertoire with the whole group, while in the evenings two hours will be employed playing in different sections. The last two days (Thursday and Friday) will be devoted to rehearse with the choir in the evening, while on Saturday there will be a full rehearse at Auditorio Nacional, before the final concert.

Trips to Madrid's historical centre, El Escorial and Colmenar Viejo are also included in the programme, as visits to places of important musical significance.

Virtual part

The virtual part will be running from 4 May - 22 June 2023.

  • May, 04: The language of ballet by Tchaikovsky. An analysis of the ballet 'Sleeping Beauty' and the historical context of the work.
  • May, 11: Carl Orff's neoclassical tetralogy for monumental ensembles ('Carmina Burana', 'Catuli Carmina', 'Trionfo di Afrodite', 'De temporum fine comoedia').
  • May, 18: Orchestration technique by Tchaikovsky in the ballet 'Sleeping Beauty'.
  • June, 08: Tchaikovsky and Orff's works: two case-studies between music and politics.
  • June, 15: C. Orff's choral development and rhythmic richness in 'Carmina Burana'.
  • June, 22: Orff's and Tchaikovsky's legacy: 'Classical' traits and modern reception.


This course is open to Bachelor, Master and PhD students at CIVIS member universities enrolled in the following fields of study or related: music studies, performance practice, choral music, orchestra.

A  concrete level of English is not required. 

NB: Visiting Students - Erasmus Funding Eligibility

To be eligible for your selected CIVIS programme, you must be a fully enrolled student at your CIVIS home university at the time you will be undertaking the programme. Click here to learn more about the eligibility criteria.

Application process

Interested students should apply by filling in the online application form by 28 February 2023. 

Apply now

Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Being part of a music ensemble or orchestra
  • Musical skills and experience. Instrument of choice, musical experience (short overview) years studying instrument

If you have any problems applying, please send your application by email to


A formative assessment* will take place during the physical mobility phase, so students may adapt their learning strategies while performing music under the direct supervision of teaching staff at the host university.

After the physical mobility stage a final virtual one will take place in the ensuing virtual sessions, in which different aspects of the repertoire will be explored, from the historical, artistic and social point of view. After each of these sessions, an MCQ will be presented to each student, in order to assess his or her knowledge, understanding or judgment on the issues included in each session.

*Assessment for certification. Before allotting the intended 3 ECTS to each student, proof of participating in at least 80% of the virtual sessions must be registered, as well as the completion of the MCQs presented after each session. Attendance to the physical mobility part in its entirety will also be necessary for each student to be allotted the 3 ECTS the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid will award to this BIP.

Blended Intensive Programme

This CIVIS course is a Blended Intensive Programme (BIP): a new format of Erasmus+ mobility which combines online teaching with a short trip to another campus to learn alongside students and professors across Europe. Click here to learn more about CIVIS BIPs.

GDPR Consent

The CIVIS alliance and its member universities will treat the information you provide with respect. Please refer to our privacy policy for more information on our privacy practices. By applying to this course you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.


  • José María Álvarez Muñoz (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid) studied conducting at Tchaikovsky's Conservatory (Moscow), and then at the with Helmuth Rilling, at Stuttgart's Bachakademie. He has toured tours Italy, Germany, Ecuador, Argentina, Poland and the United Kingdom, and decorated by Ecuador's National Assembly.In the last years he has devoted his efforts largely to choral music, winning numerous awards both in Spain and Italy.
  • Michael David Dan (Musikwissenschaftlichen Institut der Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen) has performed more than 600 times with the TrioDan brothers' ensemble in many European countries. In addition, Michael David Dan is active throughout Europe as a church musician, pianist, organist, conductor, arranger and répétiteur for many well-known ensembles, choirs and orchestras. Since 1996, Michael David Dan is an employee of the University of Tübingen, whose academic choir and orchestra he leads together with music director Philipp Amelung.
  • Sébastien Boin (Aix-Marseille Université) graduated with a unanimous conducting prize in Roland Hayrabedian's class at the Marseille Conservatory (CNR), and completed his training with conducting projects at the ARIAM Ile-de-France, Chœur d'Assemblée de Radio France, the Chœur Contemporain, the orchestre de chambre européen AME, and Orchestre des Jeunes de Méditerranée. Sébastien Boin is currently Roland Hayrabedian's assistant in the Musicatreize ensemble and teaches musical direction at the Aix-en-Provence Concervatory (CFMI).
  • Daniele Gorla (Sapienza Università di Roma) performs in concerts, both as soloist and chamber musician, in Italy and abroad, and acted as concertmaster in different orchestras in the last 30 years. In the last decade he has regularly performed as soloist under the sponsorship of the Rome municipality, with the aim of bringing the music around the city and attract a wider audience by performing in unusual places, like art museums. Since its birth in 2007, he acts as the concertmaster of the MuSa Classica orchestra of Sapienza Università di Roma.
  • Maria Bazou (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens) is a multi-faceted young musician, with training both as an instrumentalist and as composer and conductor in Krakow and Athens. She has conducted several orchestras and she has taken part as an active participant in many Masterclasses. At the age of 19 years old, she found her own symphony orchestra and choir ‘’Filii Notas’’ in Athens, and will act as assistant conductor at Madrid CIVIS orchestra academy.