Studio composition at Purchase College began in 1986, on the 100th anniversary of the first viable sound recording.

The studio composition program provides talented and ambitious writers with intensive preparation in the craft of musical composition, especially in the recorded media. The hallmarks of this program are:

  • hands-on studio experience
  • thorough training in conventional and unconventional music
  • small-group study with acclaimed professional writers
  • a working community of artistic peers
  • a tradition of alumni success

In sum, the studio composition program offers a friendly, artistic community whose tradition of excellence produces hundreds of new musical compositions every year.

All studio composers write and produce two significant original projects (undergraduate) or two master’s recitals (graduate). These can be either recorded, reviewed in score form, or performed live. Many studio composition recitals feature multimedia collaboration with students in the other arts conservatories at Purchase College. Other recitals may occur at clubs and concert venues in New York City, as well as in professional recording studios. The program also functions closely with the studio production program, and collaborative accomplishment between these two programs is typical in classes, concerts, and recording sessions.

Three decades after the program’s inception, studio composition alumni and former students are working in the music industry in New York City, Los Angeles, Berlin, Paris, and Tokyo and touring internationally. They are composers and recording artists, orchestrators and arrangers, producers and executives, DJs and MCs, interactive technology designers, authors and educators. They include (to name a few): Jay Azzolina, Sébastian Bardin, Susie Bench, David Bianciardi, Dan CastellaniCharlie B. Dahan, Jack D. Elliot, Lucy (DeJesus) KalantariMitski Miyawaki, Jarrett Mumford (J-Zone), Dan Romer, Hanan RubensteinJohn Selway, Maya SolovéyRegina Spektor, Bill Youngman, Jenny Owen Youngs, Jeremy Wall, Rich Westover, and Saundi Wilson.

Bachelor of Music Requirements:

In addition to meeting General Education requirements, undergraduate studio composition majors must complete the following conservatory requirements (97 credits). Of the 97 credits, up to 8 credits of music history may be counted toward the liberal arts requirement (30 credits minimum) for the degree.

Freshman Year: 28 credits

Sophomore Year: 29 credits

Junior Year: 25 credits

Senior Year: 15 credits

*Music History Electives (Effective Fall 2020)

MUS 1060/Reflections Western Music
MTH 1560/Introduction to World Music
MTH 2130/Music and Politics, 1800-1950
MTH 3170/Techniques of Composition for Performers
MTH 3400/History of Jazz I
MTH 3450/History of Jazz II
MTH 3520/Disruption and Art Music
MTH 3575/Music from Antiquity
MTH 3576/Music of the Common Practice Era
MTH 3577/Expansion of Chromaticism
MTH 3578/Music Since 1945
MTH 3600/The Music of J. S. Bach
MTH 3620/Music of Beethoven
MTH 3630/Berlioz, Wagner, and Liszt
MTH 3670/Mahler and Strauss
MTH 3680/Shostakovich and The Soviet Era
MTH 4075/Post-Tonal Theory & Analysis
MTH 4120/History of Recorded Music I
MTH 4130/History of Recorded Music II
MTH 4235/Opera Queens: LGBTQ Representation in Opera Onstage and Off
MTH 4340/World Traditions in Music
MUS 4520/Trends in Music in Society

Master of Music requirements:

Applicants to the conservatory’s MM concentration in studio composition are expected to demonstrate significant professional accomplishment upon entry into the program.

Graduate music majors in this concentration must meet the following conservatory requirements (42 credits) and earn a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA at Purchase College. 

First Year: 21 credits

Second Year: 21 credits


  • Lecturer of Music
    • BM, Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford
    • MM, Purchase College, SUNY
  • Lecturer of Studio Production and Studio Composition
  • Associate Professor of Music
    • BPS, Empire State College, SUNY
  • Visiting Artist, Studio Composition
  • Lecturer of Studio Composition, Voice
  • Lecturer of Studio Composition and Studio Production
  • Lecturer of Music, Studio Composition
    • BMus, McGill University
    • MA, DMA, The Graduate Center, CUNY
  • Lecturer of Studio Production and Studio Composition
  • Lecturer, Studio Composition
    • BM, Berklee College of Music
    • MM, New York University
  • Associate Professor of Music
    • MA, Academy of Music in Krakow (Poland)
    • MM, The Juilliard School
  • Assistant Professor of Music and Technology
    Co-Program Head Studio Composition (Undergraduate Studies)
    • MusB, Purchase College, SUNY
  • Lecturer of Studio Composition
    • BS, Northeastern University\
    • MA, Aaron Copland School of Music, CUNY Queens College
    • PhD, SUNY Stony Brook University
  • Lecturer of Studio Composition
  • Visiting Affiliate Artist
    • BA, New York University
  • Lecturer, Studio Composition
    • BM, Salamanca Conservatorie, Spain
    • BM, Musikene Conservatoire, Spain
    • MM New York University