Study information

From the 2016-2017 academic year the Royal Conservatoire is offering the Master’s specialisation Reed Quintet in association with the Dutch ensemble Calefax. The course represents a tremendous opportunity to specialise on your own instrument in the practice of this successful ensemble. This Master’s specialisation is a unique and distinctive opportunity to prepare for your own professional career.

Formed 30 years ago by five schoolboys, Calefax has grown into a world-class ensemble. Its repertoire covers many centuries of music. The musicians of Calefax literally breathe new life into classical music by arranging it for their own unique reed quintet of oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bass clarinet and bassoon. About a hundred new works have also been written for Calefax by composers around the world.

Calefax can fairly be called the inventors of the reed quintet genre. They are the ambassadors of a new music movement, the International Reed Quintet Network, in which new reed quintets from Argentina to New Zealand are following in Calefax’s footsteps.
The members of Calefax are Olivier Boekhoorn (oboe), Ivar Berix (clarinet), Raaf Hekkema (saxophone), Jelte Althuis (bass clarinet) and Alban Wesly (bassoon).

During the two-year Master’s specialisation Reed Quintet students will not only rehearse and perform the repertoire for reed quintet, but also devote a lot of attention to:

  • Ensemble coaching;
  • Individual coaching with a focus on chamber music for the student’s own instrument (timing, colour, intonation, articulation, refinement of technique);
  • Programming and artistic vision;
  • Stage presence and development of concert formats;
  • Financial policy and fund raising;
  • Coaching in producing arrangements.

The final presentation consists of a concert entirely organised by the ensemble itself and preferably performed at a venue outside the school.


We believe it is important that you develop into a self-sustaining musician who can handle the ever-changing professional practice well. For this reason you are required to do research on a topic of your choice during the master's programme. You will be assisted by a research supervisor, follow an introductory course about doing (artistic) research and an elective in your first year. You will participate in a Master circle, a 'peer-to-peer ' group consisting of fellow students and a circle leader. At the end of your master’s programme you are required to present the results of your research. Upon registration to the master's programme, you must write a study plan (Master Plan), in which you describe how you want to compile your master’s programme. Please take a look at the handbook here.





2 years


Master of Music

Tuition fee

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Department head

Marlon Titre

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