Historical Performance

The Sydney Conservatorium of Music is one of Australia’s most vibrant centres for the study of early music and historical performance. Lecturers in the Sydney Conservatorium Historical Performance Unit include musicians who perform regularly with leading national and international ensembles which foster historically informed performance (HIP) such as the Ironwood, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Orchestra of the Antipodes, Pinchgut Opera, Salut! Baroque, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and English Baroque Soloists.

The Historical Performance Unit currently offers tuition in a wide range of historical instruments including clavichord; harpsichord; fortepiano (including 18th and 19th centuries); lute and guitar; viola da gamba; trumpet; cornetto; sackbut; historical violin, viola, cello and bass (from the 17th to the 19th centuries); recorder; Baroque and classical flutes, oboes and bassoons. These instruments can be taken as a principal study for an undergraduate or postgraduate degree.

Chamber music and orchestral studies programs complement academic studies in historical performance. Students gain experience in the Early Music Ensemble (the Sydney Conservatorium’s period instrument orchestra), meeting twice weekly and performing four or more varied concert programs each year. Masterclasses and lecture/demonstrations from local and international artists supplement the student’s experience, and the Historical Performance Workshop provides hands-on and immediate feedback from teachers and peers.

Study Options

Historical Performance Faculty

Undergraduate Audition Requirements

Postgraduate Audition Requirements