Main menu

Composition Seminar

 

Jump to...

A weekly meeting, required of all composition majors, providing student composers with tools to foster a sophisticated awareness of contemporary composition, facilitate familiarity with a broad range of cultural references, and become focused and articulate when speaking of their own and others' music.

A wide range of topics will be touched on, including professional development (program notes, commissions, grants, identifying performance opportunities, etc.); introduction to composers and music not covered in other conservatory courses (recent contemporary music, vernacular and popular music); visiting composers, masterclasses and clinics with conductors and performers; analogies to other art forms; issues of orchestration, instrumentation, structure, and form.

Seminar Calendar

Fall 2013


 
Freshmen


Sophomores


Juniors


Seniors

MM Year 1
MM Year 2
 week 1
 September 11
 Andy Vores – welcome and practical matters + Patty Thom – walking and bowing workshop
 Opera Studio (Room 441)
 week 2
 September 18
 John Murphree
 Room 301
   Jan Swafford
 Room 401
   Curtis Hughes
 Room 407
 Curtis Hughes
 Room 407
 week 3
 September 25
 Dalit Warshaw
 Room 301
   Jan Swafford
 Room 401
   Curtis Hughes
 Room 407
 
 week 4
 October 2
 Jan Swafford
 Room 407
       Curtis Hughes
 Room 401
 
 week 5
 October 9
 Studio Classes – this week, not necessarily at this time – instructor will advise
 week 6
 October 16
 Jan Swafford
 Room 407
       Curtis Hughes
 Room 401
 
 week 7
 October 23
 Jan Swafford
 Room 407
       Curtis Hughes
 Room 401
 
 week 8
 October 30
 Guest Presenter – Samuel Solomon – 1260 Boylston
 week 9
 November 6
 Midterm Listening Assignments Exam – Opera Studio 5:00–5:30
 5:30—Guest Presenter – Andy Costello – Opera Studio (Room 441)
 week 10
 November 13
 Curtis Hughes
 Room 407
     Jan Swafford
 Room 401
   
 week 11
 November 20
 Guest Presenter – Keeril Makan – Opera Studio (Room 441)
 week 12
 November 27
 Thanksgiving Break
 week 13
 December 4
 Guest Presenter – Marco Fusi – Opera Studio (Room 441)
 week 14
 December 11
 Curtis Hughes – The Music of Louis Andriessen – Opera Studio (Room 441)
 week 15
 December 18
 Final Listening Assignments Exam - Opera Studio 5:00–5:30
 Studio Classes – this week, not necessarily at this time – instructor will advise

 


Spring 2014


 
Freshmen


Sophomores


Juniors


Seniors

MM Year 1
MM Year 2
 week 1
 January 22
 Guest Presenters – Frances-Mairie Uitti and Ken Ueno – Opera Studio (Room 441)
 week 2
 January 29
 Andy Vores
 Room 301
   Curtis Hughes
 Room 407
   Jan Swafford
 Room 401
 
 week 3
 February 5
 Guest Presenter – Louis Andriessen –Seully Hall 11:00 am – 12:50 pm
 week 4
 February 12
 Curtis Hughes
 Room 407
    Rudolf Rojahn
Room 401
 Jan Swafford
 Room 401
 
 week 5
 February 19
 Curtis Hughes
 Room 407
    John Murphree
Room 301
 Jan Swafford
 Room 401
 
 week 6
 February 26
 Curtis Hughes
 Room 407
     Jan Swafford
 Room 401
John Murphree
Room 301
 
 week 7
 March 5
 Curtis Hughes
 Room 407
     Jan Swafford
 Room 401
Rudolf Rojahn
Room 401
 
 week 8
 March 12
 Midterm Listening Assignments Exam – Room 407 5:00–5:30
 Studio Classes – this week, not necessarily at this time – instructor will advise
 week 9
 March 19
 Spring Break
 week 10
 March 26
 Jan Swafford
 Room 401
   Andy Vores
 Room 301
 Curtis Hughes
 Room 407
 Andy Vores
 Room 301
 Curtis Hughes
 Room 407
 week 11
 April 2
 Jan Swafford
 Room 401
   Andy Vores
 Room 301
 Curtis Hughes
 Room 407
 Andy Vores
 Room 301
 Curtis Hughes
 Room 407
 week 12
 April 9
 Guest Presenter – Andrew Ford – Hemenway T401 2:00–4:00
 week 13
 April 16
 Guest Presenter – Andy Costello: student works for speaking pianist – Houston Hall
 2:30–4:30
 week 14
 April 23
 Monday Schedule no meeting
 week 15
 April 30
 Studio Classes – this week, not necessarily at this time – instructor will advise
 week 16
 May 7
 Final Listening Assignments Exam - Seully Hall 5:00–5:30 



Listening Assignments

Weekly Listening Assignments are given each semester. Students are expected to listen to assigned works with the score at least two or three times and to research biographical information and program notes relevant to the assignment. 

Scores for each assignment will be on library reserve. Most works are available on the Naxos website. CD's are on reserve for works unavailable on Naxos. 

A midterm and a final examination test familiarity with the assigned works by asking students to identify soundclips and identify extracts from scores.

Fall 2013

  work title composer approx. duration score recording
1 Arcana Edgard Varèse 18·5' on reserve on reserve + on Naxos Music Library
2 Piano Sonata No. 18, Op. 31, No. 3 Ludwig van Beethoven 22' on reserve on reserve + on Naxos Music Library
3 Chemins II Luciano Berio 12·5' on reserve on reserve
4 Sinfonietta Leos Janaçek 22' on reserve on reserve + on Naxos Music Library
5 Le Corsaire Overture
+
Beatrice and Benedict Overture
Hector Berlioz 9'
+
8'
on reserve on reserve + on Naxos Music Library
6 Concerto for Two Pianos Francis Poulenc 19·5' on reserve on reserve + on Naxos Music Library
7 In A Silent Way Miles Davis 38' no on reserve
8 Cabaret Songs, Volume 1
+
Cabaret Songs, Volume 2
William Bolcom 28·5' on reserve on reserve +
9 The Fountains of Rome Ottorino Respighi 16·5' on reserve on reserve + on Naxos Music Library
10 Rain Dogs Tom Waits 53' no on reserve
11 Eight Lines: Octet Steve Reich 16' on reserve on reserve + on Naxos Music Library
12 Lincolnshire Posy Percy Grainger 17' on reserve on reserve + on Naxos Music Library
13 Dark Waves
+
Qilyuan
+
Red Arc/Blue Veil
John Luther Adams 12·5'
+
15·5'
+
12·5'
on reserve on reserve
14 Crown of Creation Jefferson Airplane 37' no on reserve
15 Concerto for Double String Orchestra Michael Tippett 25' on reserve on reserve + on Naxos Music Library
16 String Quartet No. 9 Ben Johnston 18' on reserve on reserve

Midterm Exams test familiarity with assignments 1—8
Final Exams test familiarity with assignments 1—16

Spring 2014

  work title composer approx. duration score recording
1 Symphony No. 6 Anton Bruckner 60' on reserve on reserve + on Naxos Music Library
2 Cello Concerto Edward Elgar 31' on reserve on reserve + on Naxos Music Library
3 Boy In Da Corner Dizzee Rascal 60' on reserve on reserve
4 Piano Sonata No. 22, Op. 54 Ludwig van Beethoven 15' on reserve on reserve + on Naxos Music Library
5 The Madcap Laughs Syd Barrett 35' no on reserve
6 El Amor Brujo Manuel de Falla 19' on reserve on reserve + on Naxos Music Library
7 String Quartet No. 4
+
String Trio
Giacinto Scelsi 10'
+
12·5'
on reserve on reserve + on Naxos Music Library
8 The Complete Bukka White Bukka White 38' no on reserve
9 Symphony No. 15 Dmitiri Shostakovich 55' on reserve on reserve + on Naxos Music Library
10 String Quartet No. 5 Philip Glass 24'·5' on reserve on reserve + on Naxos Music Library
11 Piano Sonata No.3 Michael Tippett 24' on reserve on reserve + on Naxos Music Library
12 Gris-gris Dr. John, the Night Tripper 33' no on reserve
13 Rebonds
+
Evryali
Iannis Xenakis 11·5'
+
10'
on reserve on reserve + on Naxos Music Library
14 Symphonies of Wind Instruments (1947)
+
Ragtime
Igor Stravinsky 9'
+
4·5'
on reserve on reserve + on Naxos Music Library
15 Serenade Arnold Schoenberg 33' on reserve on reserve + on Naxos Music Library
16 The Lark Ascending Ralph Vaughan Williams 15' on reserve on reserve + on Naxos Music Library

Midterm Exams test familiarity with assignments 1—8
Final Exams test familiarity with assignments 1—16


Guests

Fall 2013

Samuel Solomon
Percussionist Samuel Z. Solomon has been responsible for dozens of world premieres of solo and small ensemble works and has been involved in numerous additional projects to perpetuate the music of young composers. He is author of How to Write for PERCUSSION, a comprehensive guide for composers on percussion composition that has received critical acclaim worldwide and will soon be available in three languages. He has also written three books on percussion playing and curated two collections of percussion etudes and solos. He currently teaches percussion at The Boston Conservatory, Boston University, and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. From 2007-2011 he was the President of the Massachusetts Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society.

Solomon is founding member of the Line C3 percussion group and the Yesaroun’ Duo, from 2005-2010 he was percussionist-in-residence at Harvard University, and and since 2003 he has been principal timpanist of the Amici New York Chamber Orchestra in residence each summer at the OKM festival in Bartlesville, OK. He is currently actively involved in the acquisition of works for a multi-percussion setup of set instrumentation.

Solomon can be heard as soloist and chamber musician on GM, Albany, Bedroom Community, and Tzadik labels, as well as performing the music of Björk on the soundtrack to Matthew Barney's Drawing Restraint 9. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2000 as guest soloist with the New York Youth Symphony, and in 1999 he was featured in Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, performing the American premiere of Iannis Xenakis’ O-Mega for percussion solo and chamber orchestra with the New Juilliard Ensemble. Appropriately titled, O-Mega would prove to be the final work Xenakis composed before his death.

Solomon spent six summers as a student at Tanglewood, three as a Fellow of the Tanglewood Music Center, and six years at Juilliard, receiving two degrees under the tutelage of Daniel Druckman, Roland Kohloff, and Gordon Gottlieb. He currently lives in Hull, Massachusetts with his wife Kristy and sons Nicolas and Leo.
from the artists's website


Andy Costello

Described by Innovations en Concert as "completely unique on the Montreal scene, and perhaps the world over," Andy Costello has quickly established himself as a musician of versatility, creativity, originality and imagination. As a soloist, chamber musician, collaborative pianist, and masterclass clinician, Andy has held Artist Residencies at Dalhousie University, Montréal Contemporary Music Lab, the Boston Conservatory, Columbia College, and Interlochen Center for the Arts; and has been presented by prestigious organizations across North America, as well as by daring, young blood, including the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Music, Media and Technology (CIRMMT), Pianoforte Foundation Chicago, Institute for the Public Life in the Arts and Ideas (IPLAI), the Equilibrium and Acoustic Uproar Concert Series of Boston, the Conservatoire de Musique de Montréal, University of Toronto, University of Calgary, and Carleton University, to name a few of most recent years. In addition to standard repertoire of the classical canon, Andy also ventures into theatrical works for the body and voice, including works for "speaking pianist" of recent decades. He is a graduate of Columbia College (summa cum laude) with a B.M., and McGill University's Schulich School of Music with an M.Mus.
from the artists's website


Keeril Makan

Described by The New Yorker as “an arrestingly gifted young American composer,” and by The New York Times as “consistently stimulating,” The Boston Globe portrays Keeril Makan as a composer “whose music deserves to be more widely heard.” Recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Luciano Berio Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome, he has also received awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Fromm Foundation, Meet the Composer, the Aaron Copland House, the Utah Arts Festival, the Fulbright Program, and ASCAP. His work has been commissioned by the Bang on a Can All-Stars, American Composers Orchestra, Harvard Musical Association, and Carnegie Hall, among others. His CDs, In Sound (Tzadik), Target (Starkland), and Afterglow (Mode) include performances by the Kronos Quartet, Either/Or, and the International Contemporary Ensemble. Persona, his opera, written for Alarm Will Sound and produced by Beth Morrison, is an adaptation of Ingmar Bergman’s classic film, with a libretto by Jay Scheib. Schott is publishing his compositions.

Makan was raised in New Jersey by parents of South African Indian and Russian Jewish descent. After training as a violinist, he received degrees in composition and religion from Oberlin and completed his PhD in composition at the University of California–Berkeley, with additional studies in Helsinki and Paris. Makan makes his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he is Associate Professor of Music at MIT.
from the composer's website


Marco Fusi
Marco Fusi, violinist, violist and viola d'amore player, has studied with Dimitrios Polisoidis, Ernst Kovacic and Jeanne-Marie Conquer. Marco has performed with conductors and soloists including Pierre Boulez, Lorin Maazel, Peter Eötvös, Beat Furrer, Susanna Mälkki, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Gustav Kuhn, Jürg Wyttenbach, Jean Deroyer, and Marco Angius. He has premiered new works by composers Castiglioni, Eötvös, Sciarrino, Vacchi, and Cattaneo, among others. Marco has had the opportunity to perform concerts in renowned halls such as the Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam, Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome, KKL Konzertsaal in Lucerne, Beyond Baroque in Los Angeles, Experimental Intermedia in NYC, Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow, and the Béla Bartók Concert Hall in Budapest.

Marco has collaborated with Ensemble Algoritmo (Rome), Interface (Frankfurt), Proton (Bern), Linea (Strasbourg), Phoenix (Basel), l’Arsenale (Treviso), MotoPerpetuo (NYC), Ecce (Boston), Handwerk (Köln).

His complete recording of John Cage’s Freeman Etudes was released by Stradivarius; he has been invited to present this project, giving concerts, masterclasses and lectures at University of Southern California, Columbia University, Arizona State University, Basel Musikhochschule, University of Chicago. Marco was a member of Lucerne Festival Academy from 2007 to 2012, under the artistic and musical direction of Pierre Boulez.
from the artists's website

Spring 2014

Louis Andriessen .
Louis Andriessen is one of Europe's most eminent and influential composers. His music combines propulsive energy, economy of material,l and distinctive sonorities, often dominated by pungent wind and brass, pianos and electric guitars. His works show the influence of Stravinsky and he has explored, in relation to music, the subjects of politics, time, velocity, matter, and mortality in five works for large ensemble: De Staat (1976), De Tijd (1981), De Snelheid (1983), De Materie (1985-88), and Trilogy of The Last Day (1996-97). Stageworks include the operas Writing to Vermeer (1997-98), La Commedia (2004-08), and the monodrama Anaïs Nin (2009-10). A central figure in Dutch contemporary arts scene, he is the winner of the 2011 Grawemeyer Awar and has a series of recording savailable on the Nonesuch label.
adapted from the Boosey & Hawkes composer page




Grading

Class Participation 45%
Composition Assignments 15%
Midterm Listening Assignment Exam 15%
Final Listening Assignment Exam 25%

 

Back to top