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Composition

ApplyDegrees Offered

Your Training

Composition instruction at The Boston Conservatory emphasizes musical fluency and creativity through a practical approach. The undergraduate program for composition majors provides the fundamental tools for composition. A thorough study of theoretical subjects and private composition lessons enable each student to become familiar with techniques of various historical styles and discover his or her own mode of expression. 

The MM composition program is an advanced degree for experienced student composers focusing to a far greater extent on developing the individual’s voice.

The Professional Studies Certificate is an opportunity for students with an MM in Composition who may not want – or may not yet want – to enter a DMA program to continue their studies and benefit from the many performance opportunities provided by the Conservatory.

Students study with a different composition teacher each year in order to foster guidance from - and exposure to - a diverse range of compositional voices, styles, and emphases. In addition to the private lesson with a composition professor, students attend a weekly two-hour Composition Seminar which addresses some of the less academic aspects of being a composer. The seminar also provides a forum for visiting composers, visiting artists, and interdisciplinary projects. Recent and upcoming guests include Derek Bermel, William Bolcom, Betty Olivero, Lisa Bielawa, Ken Ueno, Dawn Upshaw, Brave New Works, QX, Samuel Adler, and Hans Abrahamsen.

Your Performance Opportunities

The faculty strongly believes that no composer can grow effectively without hearing a lot of his or her music, and performances of student works hold a central position in our program. The Composers’ Recital Series for 2011/12 comprises 29 concerts of composition student works. Included in these are two concerts of student works given by the Conservatory's two New Music Ensembles-in-Residence, and 8 premiers given by New Music Chamber Ensembles; assigned student performers with faculty coaches and conductors. In addition the department provides one concert of student works each semester given by the Conservatory Orchestra as well as choral readings and instrumental clinics and workshops from visiting ensembles and artists.

Your Future

A composition degree from The Boston Conservatory will enable you, like so many of our alumni, to have a fruitful professional life in music. Armed with a conservatory composition education, our graduates are performing and teaching successfully throughout the world. 

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