MA Classical String Performance @ University of Limerick

A unique collaboration between the Irish Chamber Orchestra and the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance offers a Masters programme.

Irish World Academy Building @Unversity of Limerick
Irish World Academy Building @Unversity of Limerick


In Classical Music, many of the skills needed for careers in performance are acquired through an elaborative process of learning via interaction with members of the culture that exemplifies that practice. This includes mental, physical and psychological conditioning as well as cognitive-conceptual knowledge. Performance skills, particularly in regard to ensemble playing, can only be acquired through first-hand experience of rehearsals and live performances. One of the best ways to teach these kinds of skills to advanced music students is to give them the opportunity to work side-by-side with professionals.


The Irish Chamber Orchestra is one of Ireland’s finest chamber ensembles, renowned nationally and internationally for its energy, inspirational programming, outstanding musicianship, unrivalled diversity and highly successful community engagement. The Irish Chamber Orchestra is resident at the University of Limerick, and jointly operates the MA Classical String Performance programme with the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance under their new initiative “Academos Irish Chamber Orchestra Academy.” The Irish Chamber Orchestra and the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance are housed close to each other in their new state-of-the-art buildings situated on the beautiful and inspiring University of Limerick campus along the banks of the river Shannon.


MA Classical String Performance is a two-year full-time programme offering advanced string and keyboard tuition in violin, viola, cello, double bass, piano and harpsichord. This performance-based MA is taught by members of the Irish Chamber Orchestra together with faculty members and guest tutors of the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance who provide expert instrumental tuition in solo lessons, alongside extensive opportunities to experience how professional chamber groups and orchestral ensembles operate. In addition to solo and ensemble lessons, students engage in classes, workshops, seminars and performances with a host of international performers, conductors and directors with whom the Irish Chamber Orchestra works on a regular basis. Students are given the opportunity to attend orchestral rehearsals and concerts, and to perform publically in orchestral and chamber ensembles operated by the Irish Chamber Orchestra in tandem with the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance. Students are encouraged to learn a wide range of approaches from historical performance practices to contemporary repertoire, including interdisciplinary collaborations, while placing mainstream Classical Music repertoire within a continuum and living tradition of creative musical life.


Performance is at the heart of this MA programme, but it also aims to encourage academic research and reflection, together with the understanding and value of other arts practices with reference to the changing cultural world within which they exist. The Irish World Academy of Music and Dance offers extensive opportunities to interact with the global gathering of musicians, dancers and scholars operating across nineteen degree programmes from undergraduate up to doctoral and post-doctoral levels. Graduates of this MA can apply for the innovative PhD Arts Practice (a four-year structured and practice-based doctoral programme) at the Irish World Academy while maintaining ongoing performance contact with the Irish Chamber Orchestra. What makes this MA programme unique is the combination of these factors and the aims, which are geared to cater for the emerging needs of musicians entering into professional life in the global cultural context of the 21st century.


Since the inception the MA Classical String Performance programme in 1998 students have enrolled from many parts of the world, including Australia, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Romania, Spain, Russia, United Kingdom and the United States.


Graduates are successfully employed as members of professional ensembles such as the Irish Chamber Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, RTE Concert Orchestra, RTE Con Tempo Quartet, Camerata Ireland, Stradivari Quartet, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Concerto Malaga, Gyor Philharmonic, Prague Chamber Orchestra and Kuala Lumpur Symphony Orchestra, while others are employed in various teaching positions up to third level in Ireland and abroad, in addition to performing as soloists and chamber artists in their own ensembles.


For further information please contact:


Dr. Ferenc Szucs



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