Live Electronics
bachelor of master in de Kunsten

Live Electronics

Discover Live Electronics!

A new programme at the KCB starting 2018-2019!

Welcome to the Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel!

The course of ‘Live Electronics’ is essentially an instrumental course. Given the dissimilarities with the study of traditional instruments, the course of Live Electronics is divided in a technical and an artistic component. The technical component focusses on the physics of sound, digital studio, programming, HCI, modular synthesis, sound design, etcetera. As for the artistic side of things, our course is very much built on the triangle 'performance - composition (creation) - digital lutherie', as these agents are often inextricably linked when working in the realm of electronic and/or electro-acoustic music.

Apart from nurturing our students in all these separate aspects, we also focus on connecting (with) other forms of art, as this is often a key capacity of the electronics performer. Adjacent to the latter, our students also receive classes on multimedia (performance and creation), (electro-acoustic) ensemble performance and installation art. These subjects (which all exist under the common denominator called Live Electronics) are accompanied by a specific course of Music History and Aesthetics (focussing on electronic and electro-acoustic music). For more information on the full curriculum, go to the 'courses and credits' menu.

Being able to study in the Live Electronics class has left me with many positive experiences in both performing, as well as composing with electronics. The classroom is well-equipped with all necessary hardware and software for students to experiment and develop their musical projects. Furthermore, the team of professors supports the students with a broad spectrum of expertise and provide a connection to the professional circuit.

Nina Fukuoka
Student Live Electronics

Your subjects


Required subjects Ba1 (CR) BA2 (CR) BA3 (CR)
Live Electronics I, II, III 24 24 27
Chamber music 1, 2   6 6
Orchestra 1, 2, 3  6 6 6
Theory and ear training  1, 2 4 4  
Rhythm and intonation   1, 2 5 5  
Harmony and analysis   1, 2 9 9  
History of music 6    
Modules 'History of music'   6 6
Formal analysis 1     6
Encyclopedia and research 3    
Posture and movement 3    
History of culture     3
Optional subjects     6
Total  60 60 60
Required subjects Ma1 (CR) Ma2 (CR)
Live Electronics IV 27  
Master exam part 1   12
Master exam part 2   18
Artistic Research Practices 3  
Seminaries Music & Technology 1,2 6 6
Chamber music 3, 4 6 12
Orchestra 4, 5 6 6
Analysis of Musical Forms 2 6  
Introduction to philosophy 3  
Optional subjects 3 6
Total  60 60

Teaching Staff

In order to develop your talents to the fullest you need a teacher that is capable to help and motivate you in the right way. Our teaching staff is world renowned and have years and years of experience both as performers but also as pedagogues. 
Do you have any specific questions before you register for the admission tests? Would you like to meet your teacher before you take the big step? Below is a list of all teachers with contact information.

Benjamin Van Esser

Benjamin Van Esser

Professor Music Technology & Piano Accompanying

Benjamin Van Esser is a pianist, electronics performer/developer, composer and improviser, focusing on contemporary and experimental music. Apart from artistic activities he’s a researcher and accompanist at Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel and teaches music technology and accompaniment at Kunstacademie Zaventem.

As a composer Benjamin was commissioned by organisations such as Transit Festival, Festival Voorwaarts Maart, Musica, ensembles such as Nadar Ensemble, ChampdAction, Lunapark and several film directors and choreographers. As a performer Benjamin currently focusses on computer-based performance, often in collaboration with ChampdAction.

Although stylistically diverse, there's a clear 'leitmotiv' present throughout Benjamin's compositional work: metrical ambiguity. In his compositions and improvisations he investigates ways to realise a 'trompe l'oreille' effect based on the parameter 'time'. Benjamin’s research on computer musician’s performance practice incorporates this phenomenon and focusses on the performance of these processes and the communication model they create between performer and audience.

Contact Benjamin:


Peter Swinnen

Peter Swinnen

Professor Composition/Music technology

Peter Swinnen studied at the Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel from 1983 to 1992, where he earned first prizes in music history, cello, chamber music, composition and practical harmony. He also graduated from the Queen Elisabeth Muziekkapel in Waterloo, after studies with André Laporte from 1989 to 1992. In 1993 he attended masterclasses with Michael Finnissy and five years later with Brian Ferneyhough.

From 1990 to 1997 he taught cello in a number of music schools and since 1992 he has also taught analysis at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels. In addition, Swinnen has worked as a freelancer for the VRT (Flemish Radio) and is regularly called upon to provide live electronics and recording engineering for various ensembles. 

Peter Swinnen won the CERA Prize of Youth and Music Flanders for his complete oeuvre in 1991, and his opera The Petrifying Blue received the 1992 Provincial Prize for Musical Composition from the Province of Antwerp. He also wrote the music for the Belgian Television film Andres, a Dirk Greyspeirt production with choreography by José Besprosvany, which won the Premio Choreografo Elettronico 1993 and two years later the 34th Bert Leysen Prize. For his work, Quar'l, Peter Swinnen earned the 1997 Prix de Musique Contemporaine of Québec. He has twice won the National Composition Competition of the Queen Elisabeth Competition: in 1997 with Canzone and in 2001 with Ciaccona.

Contact Peter:


Admission Tests

To start your study at the Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel you will have to pass an artistic admission test. Most specializations have two sessions: one before the summer break and one in September. As candidate-student you can register for one of these sessions. 
For information regarding the admission tests like dates, the programme you need to prepare and the admission requirements and costs you can click on the picture below:

Any question?

For more information on this programme you can contact the student administration via