The composition program is committed to fostering the unique gifts of each composer and providing both the technical and artistic tools needed to best express their unique musical personality.

Central to the program is the weekly individual composition lesson, where, over their time at Purchase, students study with the entire faculty so that they are exposed to different approaches and musical perspectives. The weekly Composition Seminar builds community and provides a forum for in-depth discussions of student work, stylistic and philosophical trends in the field, and professional issues facing composers today. Guest speakers enhance the seminar, illuminating different aspects of the complex world of new music.

Perhaps most important, student composers at Purchase hear their works performed every semester under the auspices of Purchase New Music, a collaborative class that pairs composers and student performers in the creation and performance of original works, coached by the Conservatory’s performance faculty. Projects embracing collaborations with other areas of the campus such as dance, film, and theatre, as well as with the Neuberger Museum of Art and The Performing Arts Center are encouraged and supported.

Courses in theory, orchestration, electroacoustic music and musicology are designed to increase skills, broaden perspectives and generally nurture and strengthen each student’s creative journey.


Page Updated 9-17-20