Orchestral Instruments & Guitar M.Mus.

Program Overview

The premiere orchestral training program in Canada, this program is for talented instrumental musicians and guitarists wishing to hone their artistry and expressive, interpretative skills in a flexibly designed curriculum. A range of seminar offerings ground performance practice in the broader humanistic and scientific contexts of music and artistic research-creation. The program has a strong focus on healthy performance, individual creativity, and development of the whole musician.


Ensembles emulate professional settings, and include five orchestras: Two full orchestras (the renowned McGill Symphony Orchestra and the McGill Sinfonetta), one opera orchestra, one baroque orchestra, and one contemporary music ensemble—as well as one large wind symphony and one guitar ensemble. Opportunities for chamber music also abound.  


Performance faculty involved in this program include the concertmasters and principal players of major Canadian orchestras, including the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, as well as world-class ensemble conductors.  

Resources and Opportunities

  • Recital options include solo, chamber music,  concerto competitions, recording, and orchestral repertoire exams emulating professional auditions;
  • String players benefit from rigorous string quartet training program;
  • Brass and winds perform wide range of large ensemble repertoire and have opportunities to learn on doubling instruments (as relevant);
  • Percussionists perform, tour and record with the esteemed Percussion Ensemble;
  • Guitarists benefit from large Montreal guitar and contemporary music community, collaborations with graduate composition students, and early music program;
  • Special performance opportunities include performances in the hall of the MSO, Maison Symphonique.


Students in this program have received awards from many sources, including:  Golden Violin, McGill Concerto Competitions, Canada Council, summer program initiatives supported by various funding agencies, Austrian Summer Scholarships, to name a few.


Graduates have secured positions in orchestras throughout Europe, North and South America, and with the Canadian Opera Company, Ensemble Moderne, and others.

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