About the Orchesterzentrum|NRW

The Orchesterzentrum|NRW in Dortmund is a joint institution of the four state colleges of music in North Rhine-Westphalia (Detmold, Düsseldorf, Essen and Cologne) and is the first inter-college training centre in Europe for future orchestral musicians.

The Orchesterzentrum|NRW offers the Master’s Degree Programme "Orchestra Playing", in which students are provided over the course of four semesters with practical and targeted preparation for a career in renowned orchestras. For music college graduates who see their future in an orchestra, this Master’s course offers comprehensive specialisation.

With numerous public chamber and symphonic concerts, the Orchesterzentrum|NRW provides concertgoers and music-lovers with the opportunity to experience the musical results of the training courses, to follow the progress of the young musicians and to take advantage of an excellent and varied range of concerts, mostly free of charge.

Both students and visitors enjoy outstanding conditions for their study or concert visit in the premises of the Orchesterzentrum|NRW, which were completed in Brückstrasse in 2014. The bright and modern rehearsal rooms promote the creative process; the chamber music hall with its large stage creates a subtle ambience; the excellent technical equipment and acoustics make it a joy to both play and listen. The bright foyer with its “Percent for Art” concept invites visitors to stay a while and look around.


A central offering of the Orchesterzentrum|NRW is the Master’s programme "Orchestra playing", in which students can study all orchestral instruments (aside from piano).

In addition to individual lessons in the various instruments, the course includes mock auditions, sectional rehearsals, orchestral studies, analysis of works and ensemble playing. In addition, performance coaching, relaxation techniques, mental training and seminars on music law or music teaching, etc. are offered. An essential element of the training is the focused preparation for auditions and the probationary year in an orchestra. Teaching is conducted exclusively by hand-picked orchestra musicians from top orchestras or experts in the respective subject area.

Another unique feature of the course is thus that the students are networking with countless musicians from national and international orchestras even before they graduate. Through orchestra internships, they also have the opportunity to gain experience with orchestras in NRW and to experience close artistic exchange with international soloists, conductors and ensembles that work together with Orchesterzentrum|NRW as exchange partners. The Master’s course aims at comprehensively preparing the students over the course of four semesters for the various requirements asked of orchestra musicians in the 21st century.

You can find further information on the courses of study at the Orchesterzentrum|NRW here.


The central task of orchestral musicians is to play together with others in rehearsals and concerts. Mutual listening in musical performance, rhythmic and tonal harmonisation, targeted communication, assumption of responsibility or team-work skills: in interaction with other musicians, all of these factors are crucial for a successful overall sound.  It’s exactly this which is practiced and studied intensively at the Orchesterzentrum|NRW. At the end of every chamber-music or symphonic study project, a concert is held in which the results are presented publicly.

The Orchesterzentrum|NRW’s events programme therefore offers numerous concerts in its own chamber music hall. Symphonic programmes are also developed several times per semester. The highlights are the symphonic concerts under the direction of renowned guest conductors such as Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Markus Stenz, Muhai Tang or Oksana Lyniv, which take place in the Konzerthaus Dortmund at least once a semester. The selection of the repertoire aims at teaching the students composers and works of the so-called classic repertoires of all eras. Equipped with this knowledge, they are later well-prepared for the everyday routine in an orchestra, in which there is often very little time for rehearsal.

The feedback from cultural society in Dortmund on the concerts offered by the Orchesterzentrum|NRW is excellent. In addition to the Konzerthaus Dortmund, which is also located in the “Brückviertel”, the Orchesterzentrum|NRW has become an established location for classical music, which sets itself apart through its open approach and the curiosity and enthusiasm of its young musicians. The concerts are accessible to the disabled to a large extent.

Experiencing the students’ abilities is also possible outside the “Brückviertel” on a regular basis. They play a series a series of concerts of their own musical favourites in the excellent concert hall of the Wohnstift Augustinum in the south of Dortmund, for example. Moreover, the Orchesterzentrum|NRW is regularly invited to concert venues or festivals.

An overview of all of the concert dates of the Orchesterzentrum|NRW can be found here.


The Orchesterzentrum|NRW is a partner for universities, orchestras and ensembles, musicians, concertgoers, event organisers, companies, state institutions, and culturally-interested society in Dortmund and throughout North Rhine-Westphalia. It participates in state and international cooperation projects to enable musical exchange for the students beyond their usual sphere of influence and thus widen artistic horizons. The institution’s general approach is one of openness towards all enquiries and suggestions that represent a benefit for the students’ artistic development and generally enrich the orchestral landscape as a whole.

You can find further information on the cooperative activities of the Orchesterzentrum|NRW here.