About us

The Institute of Classical Music ...

... was founded in 1905 and was the first music conservatory in German-speaking Switzerland. Throughout its history, directors like Hans Huber, Hermann Suter and Felix Weingartner worked to ensure that the Institute became synonymous with excellence in music education. This ideal still drives everything we do today. For proof, you need look no further than the quality of the 500 or so concerts we stage every year, which give our students the opportunity to perform in front of a live audience and at venues ranging from the City of Basel Music Academy to concert halls and opera houses in the city of Basel and beyond. The partnerships we have forged over the years allow our students to regularly perform as soloists with the Basel Symphony Orchestra and Basel Chamber Orchestra, take part in opera productions staged by the Theater Basel and the Gare du Nord, and perform at a host of festivals.

Artistic excellence knows no national boundaries. Our academic staff have first-hand experience of the professional music world, whether it be through their concert performances, recordings or master classes, and generously pass their insights on to their students. Their openness to new ideas on musical interpretation and music education makes them ideally placed to equip students from around the world to shape the classical music landscape of tomorrow.

New Music is central to both our teaching and research activities. The diversity of current music is reflected not only in the wide range of majors we offer – composition, contemporary performance, improvisation, audio design and music theory – but also in the way in which they link up conceptually and strategically. These activities also include the Electronic Studio Basel and two ensembles – Diagonale and zone expérimentale.
Chamber music is also an essential part of the core curricula of the Academy’s undergraduate and graduate degree programmes, and is the subject of the Graduate Course for String Quartets (Walter Levin Chair), an advanced training programme aimed at highly experienced professional ensemble musicians. Students are also able to hone their ensemble playing skills with the Chamber Academy Orchestra, which plays without a conductor.