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.

Applications deadline: June 30


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

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.

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.

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.

Attendance at the seminar 'Self-management for musicians: discovering the art of success' is 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




Admission and enrolment procedures

1) Admission procedure - by June 30

a) Fill in the online application form by following this LINK

b) Upload the required documents to the applications portal:

1) Copy of ID or passport;
2) Copy of study qualifications;
3) Curriculum vitae;
4) Motivation letter;
5) Web-link (only Youtube or Vimeo) to a recent video recording of a live performance.

The University of Music reserves the right to invite candidates to audition live at the Conservatorio della Svizzera italiana in Lugano. 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.

Access to the applications portal is possible in one of the following ways:

  • As soon as you fill in the application form (automatic redirect)
  • By clicking the link received by email with the pre-registration data
  • By heading to conservatorio.ch and login in with the access credentials provided via email

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 (HEdA - September 30, 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.