Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS)

Contemporary Repertoire Conducting

The Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) in Contemporary Repertoire Conducting is a continuing education specialization (post-diploma degree) aimed at musicians who intend to study the conducting technique, theory and performance practice of the repertoire from the XX and XXI centuries. 

The course is held by Arturo Tamayo.

Applications deadline: June 30


The course lasts 1 year (2 semesters) and takes place from October to May in 8 sessions from Friday to Sunday.

Each session includes both the theoretical and analytical study of the repertoire and the ensembles conducting. The ensemble consists of musicians specialized in contemporary music and the Ensemble900, a group formed by the best students of the University of Music. The Ensemble900 is the ensemble in residence of the contemporary music season 900presente, co-produced by the Conservatorio della Svizzera italiana and the RSI, Radiotelevisione svizzera di lingua italiana.

The course leads to the acquisition of 10 ECTS, divided as follows:

  • Ensemble Conducting 6 ECTS
  • Conducting Theory 4 ECTS

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 course costs CHF 5’200, that correspond to the following fees:

  • One-off enrolment fee CHF 250
  • Semester fee CHF 2'100
  • Administrative semester fee CHF 250
  • Final exam fee CHF 250

Calendar 2024-25

Session I: 4-5-6 October 2024
Session II: 15-16-17 November 2024    
Session III: 17-18-19 January 2025   
Session IV: 21-22-23 February 2025
Session V: 28-29-30 March 2025
Session VI: 11-12-13 April 2025
Session VII: 16-17-18 May 2025
Exam Session: 6-7-8 June 2025


Fridays 12:00-21:00 
Saturdays 09:00-21:00 
Sundays 09:00-12:00 

(details may change)


Session I
Pierre Boulez, Improvisé

Preliminary theoretical session by Arturo Tamayo, score preparation for thefollowing sessions

Session II
Claude Debussy,  La Mer (2 pianos)

Session III
Arnold Schoenberg, Verklärte Nacht (original sextet version)

Session IV
Bela Bartok , The Miraculous Mandarin (2 pianos)

Session V
to be defined soon

Session VI
Igor Stravinsky, L’histoire du soldat

Session VII
Pierre Boulez, Éclat

Session VIII
Exam, repertoire to be defined


The programme may be subject to change

Admission and enrolment procedures

1) Admission procedure - by June 31

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 2 video recordings (good quality and possibly shot frontally) - at least one with a repertoire of the XX-XXI century - for a total duration of at least 15 minutes.

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 applications.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 an ensemble conducting session;
  • 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 year. 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 Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) in Contemporary Repertoire Conducting
Arturo Tamayo