Each year, L’Abbaye aux Dames offers several courses to discover the interpretation of classical and romantic repertoires on period instruments. These courses are open to young musicians at the end of their higher education or at the start of their professional career.

Each Jeune Orchestre de l’Abbaye project (internships, tours, participation in the Festival de Saintes, recordings) aims to professionalise musicians, both in terms of experience and of networking. For this reason the JOA sessions are as close as possible to the realities of the professional musical world. The JOA is a professional springboard into the demanding world of specialised classical music, where talent must be accompanied by a strong network.

It is possible to integrate an orchestra or chamber music internship sporadically. This can be an opportunity to discover the JOA before applying for the Master.

2024-2025 :

  • July 8 to 14, 2024 inclusive – Orchestra course conducted by Sigiswald Kuijken – Mozart, overture to The Marriage of Figaro / Haydn military symphony / Beethoven, Symphony n°5
  • October 7 to 12, 2024 inclusive – Chamber music and mediation course – Classical repertoire
  • November 25 to 30, 2024 inclusive – Orchestra course conducted by Christophe Coin – “Grand Répertoire et Découvertes” of French Romantic music. Works by Franchomme, Battanchon, Caplet, D’Indy, Bizet.
  • January 30 to February 4, 2025 inclusive – Chamber Music and Organology course – Romantic repertoire
  • March 31 to February 5, 2025 inclusive – Orchestra course conducted by Julien Chauvin – Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART, Symphonies 40 and 41
  • May 19 to 23, 2025 inclusive – Exam course for Master MRPE students

Admission Requirements

  • Desired profile for a JOA course applicant:
    – has finished or is finishing a degree in modern instruments (graduate/finishing their training within a higher music academy);
    – already familiar with the historical approach;
  • Procedure:
    If you meet these criteria, send us an email (, at least two months before the course, with:
    – an up-to-date CV,
    – a recent recording (3 min max), classical or romantic repertoire if possible.

However, due to last-minute withdrawals, we still recruit musicians after that deadline.

Costs / Accommodation

Chamber music courses
– For your first session of the current season, a €70 contribution to teaching fees + €16 for your compulsory membership for our association, or €86 in total.
– For your second session of the current season (and following sessions), only a €70 contribution to teaching fees.

Orchestra courses
– For your first session of the current season, a €110 contribution to teaching fees + €16 for your compulsory membership for our association, or €126 in total.
– For your second session of the current season (and following sessions), only a €110 contribution to teaching fees.

Once you have paid that amount, we cover your nights’ accommodation and all your meals, which will be provided on-site.

Transport costs are at your expenses.


The objective of the training is to develop the musician’s skills around 4 assessable axes:

Artistic maturity
Stylistic awareness
General behaviour within a musical group


Evaluation methods: the musician is monitored by the teaching team throughout the training session. A detailed evaluation form is given to the student at the end of the session.

The evaluation of the acquired knowledge is based on the examination of 4 criteria: technicality, stylistic awareness, artistic maturity and general behaviour. This evaluation is carried out at the end of each training session. At the end of the course, the trainee receives a certificate of attendance (on request) mentioning the number of hours of training completed and a pedagogical evaluation.


The student who would have difficulties due to a situation of disability, even slight, even temporary, is kindly requested to consult the disability referent ( when registering, in order to allow the establishment of an adapted training plan.

Download the JOA Internal rules

Download the description of the course

Details of a JOA course


Each project has a different teaching team, made up of conductors, musicians and professional trainers from renowned orchestras. Each trainer teaches, advises and supports the students during the week.

For orchestral courses, the programme is designed in advance with the guest conductor.

For chamber music courses, we prepare the repertoire (classical or romantic) in advance. Students enrolled in the MRPE Master have priority on internships, we then design each internship programme according to the musicians enrolled and we recruit the missing musicians as necessary.

The course lasts 6 to 8 days with 6 hours of lessons per day. The duration and progress of each course is specified in the training contract.

For chamber music courses, we organise the groups according to the chosen works and we alternate rehearsals every day. A concert or a restitution is organised at the end of the course.

For orchestral courses, we alternate tutti and section rehearsals(supervised by the trainers) for the first couple of days, then just tutti, and finally we organise concerts for the end of the week (with or without tour).

Tours are sometimes organised during orchestral courses. In this case, the Abbaye aux Dames organises and pays for transport, meals and accommodation for the musicians.

Each workshop is organised at L’Abbaye aux Dames, la cité musicale de Saintes. The abbey is an important cultural site with a hotel, rehearsal rooms and a concert hall.

Musicians stay at the Abbaye aux Dames, in the Hotel Les Chambres de l’Abbaye. Sometimes we move to the youth hostel, located just next to the abbey, when the group is too large.

Meals are prepared on site for lunch and dinner, served by a catering team present throughout the project. The Abbaye aux Dames team adapts to your dietary requirements and food allergies.


For security verification, please enter any random two digit number. For example: 50

The information collected through this form will be saved in a file computerised by the production service of the Abbaye aux Dames to manage student relations.
It will be conserved during the time of the course and is intended only for an internal use by the association.
In accordance with France’s Act on Information Technology, Data Files and Civil Liberties, you can exercise your right to access and modify your data by contacting us at:

Aussi à l'Abbaye