The orchestra major trains students to work as orchestral musicians, taking account of the major changes that have taken place in professional orchestras in recent years. Specialisation by certain orchestras (Baroque, classical, Romantic or contemporary) calls for new practices, and requires musicians to be more flexible and have broad, varied skills: familiarity with historical instruments, mastery of contemporary vocabularies, knowledge of styles, etc. Musicians are also required to master ‘special’ or ‘additional’ instruments (E-flat or bass clarinet, cor anglais, oboe d’amore, contrabassoon, natural trumpet, natural horn, sackbut, etc.).
In order to meet these new demands, the course includes practica in established professional orchestras, as well as coaching by experienced musicians.