Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS)

Concert Improvisation

The Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) in Concert Improvisation is a continuing education specialization (post-diploma degree) aimed at musicians of keyboard instruments who intend to develop spontaneous composing, including its performance in public concert.


  • Individual and collective Improvisation Galina Vracheva
  • Advanced reading scores Andrea Rebaudengo
  • Self-management

Program of the Improvisation classes

  • Cadenzas in various styles as part of piano concertos, from baroque to the 21st century;
  • Sonatas, Sonatines;
  • Fantasy in the form of variation or in ABCA form;
  • Improvisations in chamber music settings.

Applications deadline

Applications must be submitted by August 31.

Admissions criteria

Admission is conditional on:             

  • successful completion of a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree;
  • the submission of a complete and suitable application dossier;
  • the passing of an admission examination.

A maximum of 6 students per year are admitted to the course.


The programme costs CHF 5’000, that correspond to the following fees:

  • One-off enrolment fee CHF 250
  • Semester fee CHF 2'000
  • Administrative semester fee CHF 250
  • Final exam fee CHF 250


The course is structured in 8 sessions that usually take place during the weekend, between October and June.  
Each session includes:

  • 2 hours of Individual Improvisation;
  • 5 hours of Collective Improvisation;
  • 2 hours of Advanced reading scores.

Three meeting of coaching in Self-management are also planned.

The course leads to the acquisition of 20 ECTS, divided as follows:

  • Individual Improvisation 12 ECTS
  • Collective Improvisation 5 ECTS
  • Advanced reading scores 2 ECTS
  • Self-management 1 ECTS

Calendar (2021-2022)

  • Session I: 23,24 October 2021
  • Session II: 13,14 November 2021
  • Session III: 4,5 December 2021
  • Session IV : 12,13 February 2022
  • Session V: 19,20 March 2022
  • Session VI: 23,24 April 2022
  • Session VII: 14,15 May 2022
  • Session VIII and Exam: 18,19 June 2022

Calendar (2020-2021)

  • Session I: 26,27 September 2020
  • Session II: 31 October, 1 November 2020
  • Session III: 5,6 December 2020
  • Session IV: 23,24 January 2021
  • Session V: 13,14 February 2021
  • Session VI: 27,28 March 2021
  • Session VII: 24,25 April 2021
  • Session VIII and Exam: 15,16 May 2021

Admission and enrolment procedures

1) Admission procedure 

By August 31, candidates must send via e-mail to servizi.accademici@conservatorio.ch a dossier with the following documents:

  1. Online admission form;
  2. Copy of identity document;
  3. Copy of study qualifications;
  4. Curriculum Vitae;
  5. Letter of motivation;
  6. Optional web-link to a recent recording of a live performance.

Once the dossier has been evaluated, candidates are invited to take a live video-audition admission exam (candidates will be informed in advance on the technical details). The admission exam consists of two free improvisations: the first on a theme chosen by the candidate, the second on a theme chosen by the committee.

Late applications can only be exceptionally accepted if places are available. Incomplete dossiers will not be taken into consideration.

The University of Music may ask for further documents (e.g. translations or certificates), should it find any of the documents in the application dossier to be lacking in clarity or comprehensibility, with particular attention to the diplomas.

2) Enrolment

Candidates who are considered eligible will receive a letter of admission and a registration confirmation form by email. This form must be signed and returned both by email (to servizi.accademici@conservatorio.ch) and by post to the Segreteria didattica as instructed in the letter of admission.

Once the letter of confirmation of enrolment has been signed, the candidate is officially enrolled at the University of Music of the Conservatorio della Svizzera italiana for the first semester. Withdrawal from studies will only be possible from the second semester on. Even in the case the student doesn’t attend any lesson at the Conservatorio, all fees for the first semester will have to be paid.


At the end of their studies, participants will obtain the title on condition that they:

  • have acquired all required ECTS credits;
  • have successfully taken the final examination consisting of a recital with 3 improvised pieces;
  • have paid the fees. 

The University of Music of the Conservatorio della Svizzera italiana is a state-recognised university school and is affiliated to the University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI). The titles that it awards are recognised by the Federal Government according to the law (LPSU, 30 september 2011).

This title is not a professional qualification and does not qualify holders to teach in public schools in Switzerland.



The course is subject to the current Regulations of Studies of the University of Music. The University of Music reserves the right not to activate the course if the necessary conditions are not met.

Extension of the duration of studies

If their main instrument teachers agree, students can submit to the Head of Continuing Education a request of extension of the duration of studies for a maximum of 2 semesters (no semester splits are allowed). If the request is accepted, the University of music will invoice students the respected administrative fees and semester fees. The final exam fee is in any case invoiced only once at the end of the second year. 

Repetition of the final exam: if students do not sit the final exam, or do not pass it successfully, they can ask to repeat it in a later session. Exam sessions are normally scheduled every six months. Students can request to postpone the final exam for one or a maximum of two consecutive semesters. For each postponed semester the University of Music will invoice students only the administrative fee.

Suspension of studies: in exceptional cases, and with the authorization of the Head of Continuing Education, students may request to temporarily suspend their studies for one or a maximum of two consecutive semesters. For each semester of suspension, the University of Music will invoice students only the administrative fee. The suspension request must be sent (by certified mail) to the Segreteria didattica, according to the deadlines listed below.

Withdrawal of studies: if students decide to withdraw from their studies, their request must be sent (by certified mail) the Segreteria didattica, according to the deadlines listed below.

Deadlines: suspension or withdrawal deadlines are:

  • 31 October for the second semester (February-August)
  • 31 March for the first semester of the following academic year (September – January) 

If the deadline is not respected, students will be invoiced for all fees of the following semester.


Carlo Ciceri

Responsabile Formazione Continua