Each year, L’Abbaye aux Dames, la cité musicale 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.

6 internships are offered per year :
October: Chamber music workshop and mediation ending with a concert for young audiences / all audiences
November / December: Orchestra course leading to a concert tour (maximum 3), in France or abroad
February: Chamber music course devoted to research ending with a restitution without an audience, with an organology component
April / May: Orchestra course with 1 or 2 concerts or a recording project
July: 2 orchestral workshops with concerts during the Festival de Saintes.


  • January – Exam course for the MRPE students – in distance
  • From March 2nd to 7th – Orchestra course conducted by Julien Chauvin – classic
    Haydn symphony 101 in D major L’Horloge
    Mozart Piano Concerto 24, K 491 in C minor
    Tuning 430
  • From May 20th to 26th – Chamber Music course (with organology part) + Exam course for the MRPE students – Tuning 430
  • From July 11th to 16th , Festival de Saintes – orchestral course conducted by Alexis Kossenko (possibility of concerts outside Saintes on the following days)

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.


Download the JOA Internal rules



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.

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.

An internship lasts about 6 days.

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.


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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