Composition at Columbia University


Composition Faculty

Assistant Professor of Music
Joseph Dubiel
Professor of Music
Professor of Music
Director, Computer Music Center
Georg Friedrich Haas
MacDowell Professor of Music

Alfred W. Lerdahl
Fritz Reiner Professor of Musical Composition
Director, Fritz Reiner Center
George E. Lewis
Edwin H. Case Professor of American Music
Chair of the Composition Area Committee, 2014-15
Emeritus Composition Faculty
Francis Goelet Professor of Composition



MA, DMA, undergraduate courses, MFA in Sound Arts, through the School of the Arts and the Computer Music Center



News & Events in Composition

Nina Young Wins Rome Prize in Composition!


The Department of Music warmly congratulates Nina Young, DMA student in Composition, who has just been awarded the Frederic A. Juilliard/Walter Damrosch Rome Prize in Musical Composition!  

For a century the Rome Prize, awarded by the American Academy in Rome, has been one of the greatest honors in the world of composition.  The winners of these prizes represent "the leading edge of contemporary American scholarship and creativity" as Academy President Mark Robbins notes.

Magdalena Stern-Baczewska SF Symphony Solo Debut


Magdalena Stern-Baczewska made her San Francisco Symphony solo debut on April 25, 2015, stepping in last-minute for a sold-out performance of Tan Dun's Banquet Concerto at the Davies Symphony Hall, with maestro Damian Ioro conducting.


George Lewis Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences!

George Lewis, Case Professor of American Music, has been elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Among the members are some of the world's most accomplished scholars, scientists, writers, artists, and civic, corporate, and philanthropic leaders: see the complete list of 2015 Fellows here and the press release here.

DMA Alumna Wang Lu Appointed Assistant Professor at Brown University

The Department of Music warmly congratulates Wang Lu (DMA 2012) who has been appointed Assistant Professor in Composition and Theory at Brown University.

You can read more about Wang Lu's work and accomplishments on her website.

New Website Documents David Adamcyk & Zosha Di Castri's "Phonobellow" for ICE


Zosha Di Castri (Assistant Professor, Music) and David Adamcyk (visiting postdoctoral scholar at the Computer Music Center) have created a website to document their new work "Phonobellow" commissioned by the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE).

As the website describes the work: "Phonobellow, a huge bellows, spreads across the stage like an accordion or an old-fashioned camera. Through images, electronics, sculpture, lighting, and live music performed by ICE, Phonobellow captures how deeply two very different technologies--the high-speed camera and the phonograph--resonated with people in 1877, and and how they continue to reverberate to this day."


Eliska Cilkova (Czech Republic), current Music Fulbright Scholar in the Department of Music, has won the "AHUV PRIZE" for Best Czech Composer under 30. The winning piece was under the supervision of Professor George Lewis, Eliska's adviser in the Fall '14:





Three Columbia-Affiliated Composers Awarded Guggenheim Fellowships

Congratulations to the three composers in our extended Columbia community who have been appointed Guggenheim Fellows for 2015!

Richard Carrick (Columbia BA and former Visiting Professor of Composition)

Stephen Lehman (DMA in Composition, 2012)

Professor George Lewis (Edwin H. Case Professor of American Music)

As the Guggenheim Foundation website notes, these fellows were "appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise."

Congratulations to all!


Alumni Anthony Cheung and Nico Muhly cited in NY Times article on Pierre Boulez

Two Alumni, Anthony Cheung (DMA) and Nico Muhly (Columbia BA), were recently cited in a New York Times article, "Musicians Discuss the Influence of Pierre Boulez" by Zachary Woolfe, written in honor of Boulez's 90th birthday.

On Boulez as a composer, Muhly notes: "His own music has a great amount of surface beauty... That decadence. The Frenchness to it. You can feel the butter swirling in that pan. And when he conducts it, he teases out these luxurious textures."

On Boulez as a "perpetual reviser," Cheung observes: "The quality and care of his work, the craft with which he writes, is something that everyone who cares about composition respects."

Dr. Yoshiaki Onishi Appointed Associate Professor at Toho Gakuen School of Music

The Department of Music warmly congratulates Dr. Yoshiaki Onishi, who recently successfully defended and deposited his dissertation for the DMA degree in Composition, and who has been appointed Associate Professor of Composition and Theory at Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo, Japan, as of April 1, 2015.

You can read more about Dr. Onishi's work on his website, or in his faculty page for Toho Gakuen School of Music, (in Japanese).

Professor George E. Lewis to receive honorary Doctor of Music degree from the University of Edinburgh


The Department of Music warmly congratulates Professor George E. Lewis, Edwin H. Case Professor of American Music, who will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Music from the University of Edinburgh on June 27, 2015.

You can read more about Professor Lewis's work and accomplishments on his faculty bio, and see the full list of University of Edinburgh honorary graduates here.