Master of Advanced Studies (MAS)

Renaissance Polyphony Performance


The Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) in Renaissance Polyphony Performance is a continuing education specialization (post-diploma degree) aimed at musicians who will be performing and conducting instrumental and vocal repertoire of the Renaissance period, beginning with Flemish polyphony and working up to Monteverdi and his time, sacred and secular repertoire.


The duration is 2 years (4 semesters).

Applications deadline

Applications for the next two-years cycle (2021-23) must be submitted by May 31, 2021.

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 full programme costs CHF 7’100, that correspond to the following fees:

  • One-off matriculation fee CHF 250
  • Semester fee CHF 1'400
  • Administrative semester fee CHF 250
  • Final exam fee CHF 250


The teaching of the fundamental disciplines and the organization of educational activities will be run by Diego Fratelli. Internationally renowed teachers will be invited for specific themes and discussions (changes are possible): 

Ekaterina Antonenko Conservatorio Tchaikovsky of Moscow, director of Intrada Ensemble
Juan Carlos Asencio Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya
Antonio Greco Conservatorio Ravenna, director of Costanzo Porta choir and Cremona Antiqua consort
Licia Mari Università Cattolica Brescia, vicedirector of Archivio Storico Diocesano Mantova
Michele Pasotti lute, theorbo, director of La Fonte Musica
Emanuela Vai Worcester College, Oxford


The course takes place in sessions generally structured consecutive days to provide the possibility to attend to those who, for professional or family reasons, cannot take part in an academic weekly schedule. Usually the lessons are held at the Conservatorio della Svizzera italiana; some sessions could be moved to significant historic buildings (churches or palaces) for the history of polyphony.

Dates (two-year cycle 2019-21)

(susceptible to modifications)

First year

  • Session I 5,6 October 2019
  • Session II 19,20 October 2019
  • Session III 9,10 November 2019
  • Session IV 30 November - 1 December 2019
  • Session V 18,19 January 2020
  • Session VI 22,23 February 2020
  • Session VII 28,29 March 2020
  • Session VIII 25,26 April 2020
  • Session IX 30,31 May 2020

Second year

  • Session X 27-31 August 2020
  • Session XI 24-27 September 2020
  • Session XII 24,25 October 2020
  • Session XIII 28-30 November  2020
  • Session XIV 10-12 April 2021
  • Session XV 29 May - 2 June 2021


(susceptible to modifications)


  • 8.00 - 12.00 Historical counterpoint/Individual research
  • 13.00 - 14.00 Renaissance music theory
  • 14.00 - 15.00 Solmisation
  • 15.00 - 16.00 Exercises on primary sources
  • 16.00 - 17.00 Musical treatises and historically informed performance
  • 17.00 - 18.00 Cantare a libro
  • 18.00 - 20.00 Workshop performance


  • 8.30 - 9.30 Solmisation
  • 9.30 - 10.00 Cantare a libro
  • 10.00 - 11.00 Exercises on primary sources
  • 11.00 - 13.00 Workshop performance
  • 14.00 – 18.00 Historical counterpoint/Individual research

Study plan

The study plan of MAS develops a deep knowledge of the practices and the historical contexts of performance, using the study of the original manuscripts, both repertoire and treatises, using the approach of systematically reading and performing repertoire from these original manuscripts. Approaching the reading of repertoire, performance and concertizing using the modus operandi of the renaissance musician assists a more complete comprehension of the musical page, and also the techniques needed for its execution, permitting one to recover the fundamental artistic dimensions to make music.
The course earns 60 ECTS credits as following (hours of lesson and related university credits):

I year        

  • Solmisation 1 (18 hours, 3 ECTS)
  • Renaissance music theory 1 (9 hours, 2 ECTS)
  • Cantare a libro 1 (13.5 hours, 3 ECTS)
  • Musical treatises and historically informed performance 1 (9 hours, 2 ECTS)
  • Exercises on primary sources 1 (18 hours, 3 ECTS)
  • Workshop performance 1 (36 hours, 4 ECTS)
  • Historical counterpoint 1 (9 hours, 3 ECTS)
  • Individual research (9 hours, 5 ECTS) 

II year

  • Solmisation 2 (18 hours, 3 ECTS)
  • Renaissance music theory 2 (9 hours, 2 ECTS)
  • Cantare a libro 2 (13.5 hours, 3 ECTS)
  • Trattatistica e prassi esecutiva 2 (9 hours, 2 ECTS)
  • Exercises on primary sources 2 (18 hours, 3 ECTS)
  • Workshop performance 2 (36 hours, 4 ECTS)
  • Historical counterpoint 2 (9 hours, 3 ECTS)
  • Individual research (9 hours, 5 ECTS) 
  • Final project / Recital (10 hours, 5 ECTS)

Admission, enrolment and matriculation procedures

1) Admission procedure 

By May 31, candidates must send via e-mail to 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. Web-link to audio/video recordings of their own and, if desired, analytical work related to their work and/or their profession.

The University of Music reserves the right to invite candidates to an interview at the Conservatorio della Svizzera italiana in Lugano. Late applications can only be exceptionally accepted if places are available. Incomplete dossiers will not be considered.

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 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.

3) Matriculation

Enroled students are requested to come to the Conservatorio della Svizzera italiana at the beginning of September for:

  1. Completing the Matriculation, by bringing to the Segreteria didattica the original of their access diploma (or their ex-matriculation certificate, if they have studied at another Swiss University);
  2. Submitting a study plan proposal to the Head of Continuing Education. Students will receive their approved study plan by the end of September;
  3. Participating in other scheduled activities.


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 project;
  • 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.


Head of Master of Advanced Studies in Renaissance Polyphony Performance

Diego Fratelli -


Head of Continuing Education

Carlo Ciceri