Building on the strong historical roots of the Royal Conservatoire, Antwerp, the keyboard department provides an inspiring learning environment for young keyboard artists, in which tradition and innovation go hand in hand.
The development of the individual professional profile of each student is central to the training programme, and the specific interests, talents, vision and uniqueness of the aspiring artist are always the starting point.
An international team of teachers with a broad range of specialisations and styles forms the backbone of the programme. The teaching staff coach students on an individual basis, helping them unfurl their artistic vision and develop excellent mastery in their field. Each teacher works from his or her artistic and pedagogical uniqueness, sharing a team-vision of the importance of a strong technical mastery of the instrument, the repertoire to be studied, a healthy work ethic and a focus on the final level to be reached, amongst other things. Performance practice and the profession are actively and inextricably intertwined with teaching practice.
In addition to this intensive one-on-one relationship between principal teacher and student, numerous opportunities serve to broaden the experience and the artistic technical mastery of the students. Every year, several masterclasses are organised with international great masters such as Andras Schiff, Imogen Cooper, Richard Goode, Jan Wijn, Christian Zacharias, Daniel Polak, Jura Margulis, etc. The programme supports fruitful collaborations with renowned institutions such as the Vleeshuis (fortepiano and harpsichord), the Pianoatelier Maene, and the Onze-Lieve-Vrouw Cathedral in Antwerp (organ). Exchange lessons and short courses offer students the chance to also receive coaching from other conservatoire teachers.
In addition to an in-depth study in the principal subject and the associated literature, the student will receive an introduction into one or more related keyboard instruments and a course in improvisation and applicable keyboard practice. In the master's programme, entrepreneurial and creative competencies are actively encouraged.
The department organises a range of concert possibilities, experience-oriented collaborative projects and short courses in the professional world; concerts in collaboration with deSingel international arts centre, midday concerts, class concerts, and concerts for external organisers offer students challenging stage opportunities. Interdisciplinary artistic practice is catered for by projects with other courses in the Conservatoire, such as the interdisciplinary project week, Common Ground, opera projects with the vocal department and creative projects with jazz, drama and dance. Short courses offer a direct learning experience within the context of the profession, with Opera Ballet Vlaanderen and music schools and academies for amateurs being close partners for this purpose. The study programme encourages participation in competitions and specialisations via postgraduate programmes.
All of this results in artists who can actively position themselves within the national and international artistic landscape: as a concert and/or chamber musician, an interdisciplinary musician, a teacher, repetiteur, coach, or a combination of all these.
The keyboard department encompasses the following instruments: piano, fortepiano, organ, accordion and harpsichord.