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Conservatory ( Italian conservatorio , from Latin conservare 'preserve') is an institution for the training of musicians and music teachers .

Conservatories at university level are often called universities of music in Germany , while in Switzerland they are called conservatories, music universities or academies. In Austria, the state-recognized professional training for musicians takes place at universities for music and performing arts, private universities and conservatories with public rights . State-recognized diplomas can be obtained at conservatories.


The term originally stood for the orphanages (children's homes ) in Naples and later all of Italy. In the 16th century there were four of them, which were assigned to different churches. Not only boys, but also girls in the conservatoires received singing lessons from the best composers in town (although women were forbidden to sing in churches at that time). They were the first professional singers . So the name passed over to musical training over time.

Important conservatories emerged at the end of the 18th century and especially in the 19th century in Paris (1795), Prague (1811), Vienna (1819), Leipzig (1843), Munich (1846), Berlin (1850), Cologne (1850) , Dresden (1856), Stuttgart (1857), Frankfurt (1878) and Saint Petersburg (1862).

Today a conservatory is a university-like training facility for all branches of musical professional and lay training.



school type
Country Austria
ISCED level 4B
Classification (national) Other vocational school (statute) / music schools and conservatories (29.5–3903)
School board Federal states , other school bodies
requirement talent
Duration Depending on ability,
levels : - (15th, attendance outside of regular school hours)
Regular age from 15
Graduation Other final examination ( professional diploma )
Special shape Church Music Conservatory (3903)
partly also degree programs and master classes (ISCED 5B)

The Conservatory is in Austria of school to train as a professional musician or preparing for a music teacher .

The Conservatory offers in-depth, comprehensive training in mastering a musical instrument and singing , as well as the arts related to music (such as musical theater , dance ), as well as musicological and music theoretical content.
Conservatories build on training in a music school , as a regular school with a musical focus or as a secondary music school in the narrower sense. In particular, the Austrian curriculum
( KOMU curriculum) developed for the music schools run by the music school works also serves as preparation for a visit to the conservatory.

Conservatories and Conservatory for Church Music are school types ( curricula ) of the school type music schools and conservatories within the school category Other Vocational School (Statute)  (SBS), are formally the 15th  grade (0th grade, final grade 15, ISCED level 4B post-secondary , curriculum code 3903 or 3902).

The educational qualification is a professional qualification ( professional diploma ). This is a general requirement for professional entry into an orchestra or other ensemble, or attending a master class .

For students who attend a conservatory, i.e. who learn music intensively, there is also the special form of the upper level secondary school for music students , which complements the general education degree and the higher education entrance qualification ( Matura ) for the beginning of a university degree in the musical subject (concert subject or teaching profession) . These are run as branches of high schools in collaboration with local conservatories.

The public conservatories are maintained by the federal states (Landeskonservatorium) ; there are also a number of private schools from other school bodies with public rights.

With the professionalization of the teaching profession (requirement of a university degree for all apprenticeship professions ), a professional qualification in the pedagogical subject can no longer be achieved at the conservatory (as a school type). For this reason, many conservatories now also offer courses and are therefore already part of the higher education sector. Such studies include, for example, composition, conducting, dance, acting, or musical theater.

List of conservatories and conservatoires








The main conservatories in the country are the Athens Conservatory and the National Conservatory, with branches across the country. There are also numerous other conservatories on the Ionian Islands that are known as the Ionian School . See also: Greek Conservatory .


There are a total of 57 conservatories in Italy, including music schools on an equal footing with them.











A total of 13 conservatories (as of 2019): in Astrakhan , Ekaterinburg , Kazan , Magnitogorsk , Moscow , Nizhny Novgorod , Novosibirsk , Petrozavodsk , Rostov-on-Don , Saint Petersburg , Saratov , Tolyatti and Volgograd . The most important are:




Czech Republic

United Kingdom


United States

People's Republic of China


The Cairo Conservatory, Academy of Arts, Cairo

See also

In Germany, some music schools serving lay education also have the word Conservatory in their name; see conservatories without professional qualifications .


Web links

Commons : Music schools  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Conservatory  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. a b Federal Ministry for Education, Art and Culture, Department V / 1 - Education Statistics, Documentation, IT Administration Applications (Ed.): School Form System . Index of key figures for school types in the Austrian school system. 2012, p. 99 ( link to the current version ,, pdf).
  2. curriculum ,
  3. a b Conservatories ( Memento of the original from March 26, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. ,