Conducting, bachelor and master

With us, you can become one of the best conductors in the world. Study symphony or wind orchestra conducting or choral conducting under the guidance of internationally acclaimed teachers.

Käsi heiluttamassa tahtipuikkoa

Why study here?

You can study music conducting under the guidance of the most internationally renowned conductors at one of the best performing arts universities in the world. You will regularly work with a trainee orchestra, a choir consisting of professional singers and professional orchestras operating at the Helsinki Music Centre. We offer you all the support and tools that you may need from the very beginning of your studies. The orchestral and choral conductors who have graduated from the programme have gone on to build impressive careers in the world’s leading orchestras and choirs.  

Content and objective of the programme

You will lead a trainee orchestra or a choir on a weekly basis, and some of your rehearsals will be recorded on video. During the joint feedback sessions, you can exchange thoughts and ideas about your work with your student colleagues and supervisors. Regular collaborations with professional orchestras both in Finland and abroad serve as a bridge between your studies and working life. These working methods make our education unique even by international standards.  

You will attend a wide range of studies in music theory and conducting. The studies are tailored to your goals and give you the skills to work in demanding positions in the field of music. 

You can also choose courses organised by the two other Uniarts Helsinki academies and complete so-called joint studies that are available to all students. 

If you apply for the orchestral or wind orchestra conducting major, you are required to have versatile soloist skills and theoretical knowledge, as well as experience in ensemble playing. If you apply for the choral conducting major, you are required to have versatile soloist skills and theoretical knowledge, as well as experience in ensemble singing.

Orchestral conducting

As a student of orchestral conducting, your most important tool is the trainee orchestra. On average, the orchestra is available to students twice a week. You will also get to lead Finnish orchestras on an annual basis. During your studies, you will become extensively acquainted with the literature of orchestral music and its different styles and interpretations. You will also study musical theatre such as opera, ballet and musical plays. As part of your professional skill set, you will also learn the administrative tasks of a conductor. 

Over the course of its long history, the Sibelius Academy has educated an impressive number of internationally renowned conductors. Sibelius Academy alumni include, e.g., Mikko Franck, Hannu Lintu, Susanna Mälkki, Eva Ollikainen, Sakari Oramo, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Esa-Pekka Salonen, John Storgårds and Osmo Vänskä. 

As a part of Sibelius Academy’s International Visitor Programme, established in 2019, Sir Roger Norrington was one of the esteemed artists invited to teach at the Sibelius Academy. 

Sakari Oramo tells us about the orchestra conducting studies

Choral Conducting

With choral conducting as your major, you will work with the Sibelius Academy’s 16-member vocal ensemble (“Vokis”) in your practice and degree concerts. You will perform with Vokis three to four times a year. As a student of choral conducting, you will study the following:  

  • the history of choral music
  • choral literature from the 14th century to the present day 
  • the conducting technique required for the most demanding choral music works 
  • sound formation techniques in choral music during different stylistic periods 
  • the special features of repertoires and sound formation in different types of choirs 
  • enunciation practices of foreign languages  

Graduates of choral conducting include e.g. Pasi Hyökki, Dani Juris, Juha Kuivanen, Heikki Liimola, Jani Sivén and Kari Turunen.

Vocal Ensemble Theatre of Voices is one of the international professionals invited to teach at the Sibelius Academy through the International Visitor Programme, established in 2019.

Wind orchestra conducting

You can choose between studying general wind orchestra conducting and specialising in military orchestra conducting. In your studies, you will become acquainted with the most demanding pieces in the wind orchestra repertoire and the conducting techniques required for them. You will also get to know different styles, special features and interpretations of the wind orchestra repertoire. You will regularly get the opportunity to work with varying band compositions. Your weekly tool is the 12–17-member trainee wind band. Your class will also serve as visiting conductors for the Finnish Military Bands around Finland. 

Watch the presentation video of our wind orchestra conducting studies


Our teachers are some of the best experts in their respective fields. In addition to the permanent teaching staff, the programme welcomes international top professionals as guests on a regular basis. 

Doctoral studies

You can complete a licentiate and a doctoral degree at Uniarts Helsinki as a third-cycle degree. After graduating with a master’s degree, you can apply for doctoral studies in music and specialise in research-oriented, artistic or applied doctoral studies.   

Find out more

KapuTv is the Youtube playlist for orchestral, choral, and wind orchestral conducting studies. Esteemed teachers from both Finland and abroad guest star in the videos. Tune in!

Student experiences

Admissions guide

Target degree and length of study

Master of Music (MMus)
5,5 years

Application period

Next possible time to apply is in January 2024. Studies begin in August 2024.

Application languages

English, Finnish, Swedish Read more about language skill requirements

Tuition fee

Annual tuition fee €5,000 for students studying in English and who come from outside the EU and EEA countries. Read more about tuition fees.

Supervising teacher

  • Kaisa Holopainen

    Head of Department, Conducting, Sibelius Academy


Sibelius Academy

Ask about applying