Theater and Orchestra Management Master

Information and tips on applying

Course content

Course content

The master's programme in theater and orchestra management trains B.A. graduates from academic and artistic programs, as well as colleagues with professional experience, for middle and higher management positions in theater, festivals, independent groups, orchestras and concert halls. Within four semesters, students complete twelve subjects (modules) in which they are taught the latest knowledge in the areas of theater management, orchestra management, play planning, business administration, cultural theory, law, scheduling, marketing and production, among others. The studies take place in a small seminar group of max. 8 to 10 students and in intensive exchange with more than 20 lecturers and the course directors.

In doing so, the course critically examines the current theater and music landscape and discusses options and reform models within the seminars and practical exercises, in which more justice, greater co-determination of ensembles, flatter hierarchies, more democratic management models and the active promotion of women, accessibility and anti-discrimination are among the essential cornerstones. We also support the demands of the ensemble network and other organizations that advocate for better working conditions for artists.

The director of the program has recently published Theater, Krise und Reform (by Springer VS. Wiesbaden, 2016) and Macht und Struktur im Theater: Asymmetrien der Macht (by Springer VS. Wiesbaden, 2019), which analyzes and discusses the current theater system based on these and other points.

Theater- und Orchestermanagement: Studienverlaufsplan

Theater- und Orchestermanagement: Informationen zum Studiengang

Theater- und Orchestermanagement: Seminarbeschreibungen

for the winter semester
Start of study
4 semesters
Standard duration of study
120 CP
Credit Points
Master of Arts (M.A.)
non-consecutive, accredited Master's program
8 - 10 students

Dates & Deadlines

Dates & Deadlines

Dates & Deadlines


MA Theater and Orchestra Management (TheO): Application deadline for winter semester 2024/25


MA Theater and Orchestra Management: aptitude test for WS 2024/25

subject to change



Admission to the Master's programme in Theatre and Orchestra Management requires a completed BA degree in an artistic or other subject (theatre, music, cultural studies, etc.) and the passing of the aptitude test. We also expect a high level of interest in a professional career in this field, initial experience from internships or through your own work, and the ability to also deal with questions about the future of theatres and orchestras in Germany. We are also interested in the theatre and orchestra systems of other countries. Applications from students from other countries are therefore explicitly welcome, provided they meet the above requirements.



Online application

What do I need for the application?

Proof of German language skills

Here you will find a list of required German language skills for all degree programs. Please check which of these requirements apply to your degree program.

Aptitude test

Aptitude test

Admission to the master's programme in theatre and orchestra management takes place in a two-stage procedure.

All graduates of artistic or other subjects (e.g. theatre, music, cultural studies, etc.) with an interest in a future job in a theatre, orchestra, festival or production location of the independent scene in Germany can apply. The B.A. degree certificate does not have to be available by the application deadline, but proof that the degree will be available by the start of the winter semester is required.

The application documents consist of the following parts:

  • Letter of motivation (2 DIN A4 pages on the personal references of a study and career choice in the environment of theatre and orchestra)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Degree certificate or proof of current status of studies
  • Application essay (5 - 8 pages, in German, English or Spanish)
  • Online application via the website of the HfMDK Frankfurt

The application essay and documents will be evaluated by a three-member applicant selection committee headed by the programme director, Prof. Dr. Thomas Schmidt.

Selection interview

We will then evaluate the documents and invite the best 12 - 14 applicants* to a qualifying examination, which will start at 1:30 pm on June 22, 2022 and last until approximately 5:30 pm. The aptitude test will take place digitally, so that you will not have to travel.

Application essay

The essay should have a length of 5 - 8 pages, of course it can be longer if you want to say more about one of the topics. The essay may be written in German, English or Spanish. You can treat the essay either scientifically, journalistically or in a mixed form. Please submit the essay together with your application documents and please always send a copy of your documents directly to in parallel.

The current essay topic:

Unfortunately, the German theater and music landscape is currently characterized by a slump in audiences. The reasons for this are obvious: on the one hand, after the long Corona break, many people have become accustomed to preferring to spend their evenings at home; on the other hand, both the world political and the economic situation are very uncertain. Many people who used to go to the theater are therefore postponing their visits to the future. Theaters are experiencing declining audience numbers and thus declining revenues - but this must not be a permanent state of affairs.

At the moment there are no solutions to the problem of inviting more visitors again, as well as convincing the people of the cities of the importance and significance of the theaters, concert halls, orchestras, festivals and independent groups. Therefore, please outline briefly and concisely what you yourself see as the importance of theaters and music today and in the future, and what measures you would propose to solve the problem.

We look forward to receiving your essays and your ideas.

Essay Writing Tips:

An essay is an invitation to linger in thought, not a scholarly work.

Therefore, please try to think as freely and inspiredly as possible about what measures we can take to reinvigorate theaters and concert halls, festivals and production venues in the future. Let us share your thoughts on how you see the situation and what you would do if you were in charge of a cultural organization.

There is no right or wrong here, we are interested in what and how you think. Write us your thoughts, share with us your suggestions and ideas. 

We look forward to receiving your essays and your applications.

If you have any questions about writing the essay, please contact the assistant or the program director via mail at any time. We promise to respond to you as soon as possible.

Lesefassung: Eignungsprüfungsordnung der HfMDK Frankfurt

[Nicht-amtliche Lesefassung. Stand: 15.04.2024]

Study and Examination regulations

Study and Examination regulations

The Study and Examination Regulations (SPO) set out the framework conditions and regulations for your studies. They apply together with the General Regulations (for Bachelor's and Master's degree programmes) or the SPoL (for teacher training degree programmes). All versions of the SPO for your degree programme (including earlier versions for students of previous academic years) can be found at Examinations.

Lesefassung: Allgemeine Bestimmungen für Bachelor- und Masterstudiengänge der HfMDK Frankfurt

Stand: 27.05.2019

Studien- und Prüfungsordnung für den Masterstudiengang Theater- und Orchestermanagement (2020)

[94/2020, 19.5.2020]

Questions & Contact

Questions & Contact

Questions about the study program?

Questions about the online application?