Russia’s leading music school, the Central Music School, has been raising gifted children as accomplished musicians since 1935.

Its’ alumni include the greatest musicians — Denis Matsuev, Igor Oistrakh, Nikolai Lugansky, Vladimir Spivakov, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Vladimir Krainev, Viktor Tretyakov, Eduard Grach, Oleg Kagan, Leonid Kogan, Nikolai Petrov and many, many famous performers in the world of classical music.

The history of the Foreign Department of the Central music school dates back to the 1940s. Since then more than 400 people from 32 countries have been graduated from the School. Among them are laureates of the International Tchaikovsky Competition and other major international competitions.

In 2022, Central Music School acquired the status of the Higher Education Institution, obtained a license to implement higher education programmes and was renamed as Central Music School — Academy of Performing Art (CMS-APA) (Federal State Budgetary Institution of Higher Education «Central Music School — Academy of Performing Art»).

Central Music School — Academy of Performing Art invites foreign citizens to enroll in programs of secondary vocational education (11-17 years, grades 5-11) and higher education (18-23 years, undergraduate degree programme) starting from September 1, 2023.

Departments (faculties)

Educational programmes

Secondary vocational education.

Age: from 11 years old.
Grades 5-11 in Russian educational system.
Duration of study: 6 years 10 months.
Qualifications: Artist-instrumentalist, teacher, also for pianists — accompanist.

The full name of the programme according to the federal state educational standard:

The basic educational program of secondary vocational education integrated with the educational programs of basic general and secondary general education for the specialty

53.02.03 Instrumental Performance (by instrument)

As the programme is integrated, students receive both musical and general education in one place.

Professional disciplines: principal instrument, sight-reading, instrumental teaching methods, chamber music performance, piano accompaniment, musical performance history, orchestra and etc.

Academic studies (general disciplines): aural, elementary music theory, harmony, analysis of musical works, music history, music technology etc.

General disciplines: history of world culture, Russian/native language, literature/native literature, foreign language, history, social studies, geography, mathematics, computer science, physics, biology, chemistry, sports etc.

Cost: from 562 000 rubles per year (to be specified before concluding an agreement)

Higher education:

Secondary vocational education.
Age: from 17 years old
I-V courses in the Russian system of education (undergraduate degree programme).
Duration of study: 5 years.
Qualifications to be awarded: Concert performer, teacher.
Full name of the programme in accordance with the federal state educational standard:
Basic educational program of higher education
53.05.01 Concert Performing Arts (Specialist’s level)

Professional disciplines: principal instrument, chamber music performance, piano accompaniment, performance practice, improvisation (piano), string quartet/spirit ensemble (strings, winds) and others.

General vocational disciplines: music history, aural, harmony, musical form, music technology etc.

General disciplines: history, economics, law, history of world culture, foreign language.

Cost: from 606 000 rubles per year (to be specified before signing the contract).

Additional education

Preparation for admission at CMS-APA.

Duration of the course varies from 4 months to 4 years, depending on the specific program and the level of command of a special instrument — chosen individually.

Scholars study individually and in groups, mastering a principal instrument, Russian language, academic studies and other disciplines compulsory for admission to secondary vocational or higher education.

In Moscow, the infrastructure of the CMS-APA includes:

The CMS-APA is equipped with the best musical instruments, including Steinway & Sons D-274 grand pianos, Yamaha grand pianos, strings, brass and percussion instruments from leading international manufacturers.

How to enroll at the Central Music School — Academy of Performing Art?

Step 1.
Send a video-recorded performance and a brief note about yourself (age, place and period of study) to

Step 2.
If you receive positive recommendations from teachers, program requirements will be sent in response. It is important to prepare and send a video recording of your principal instrument program according to the requirements.

Step 3.
In case the applicant meets the requirements, the candidate will be invited to Moscow (Russian Federation) to enter CMS-APA Preparatory Department. Entry into the Russian Federation is possible by student visa. Invitations and consulting support provided.

Step 4.
Foreign applicants from 11 years old are accepted to the preparatory department where they study the following disciplines: principal instrument, academic studies and Russian language.

During the period of studies, the student may live in the boarding house of the CMS-APA.

Step 5.
At the end of the preparatory programme student may take part in auditions for admission to CMS-APA or continue his/her studies at the preparatory department.

The selection process takes place in June/July each year.

Step 6.
If the applicant successfully completes the competitive selection process, he/she will be enrolled in class or course at CMS-APA.

Foreign citizens studying performing arts may take part in master classes conducted by the best teachers of CMS-APA (Moscow) either in person or remotely (by video link). To apply for a master class, please email

Experienced teachers and school staff provide foreign students with all the support needed to overcome the difficulties of the transition to a new language environment.

Each foreign student may rely on an individual approach: CMS-APA staff provide detailed information, arrange visa documents and help to get settled in everyday life.