Composition at Columbia University

COMPOSITION LINKS


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

POST-DOCTORAL FELLOWS:

PROGRAMS OFFERED

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

ONLINE RESOURCES

 

News & Events in Composition

Position Announcement: Two-Year Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching Fellowships

Two-Year Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching Fellowships-Lecturerships in Music at Columbia University

 

The Department of Music at Columbia University invites applications for Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching Fellowships. Appointment will be at the rank of Mellon Teaching Fellow/Lecturer, for a period of two years to begin July 1, 2015.  A PhD, DMA or the equivalent is required. The degree must have been received between 1 January 2011 and 1 July 2015. Fellows will be expected to do research, participate in the academic life of the Department of Music, and teach one course per semester in each of the two years (three in Columbia's Core Curriculum and one in the candidate's area of specialization).

 

Review of applications begins immediately and will continue until the positions are filled. For more information and to apply, please visit:  

https://academicjobs.columbia.edu/applicants/Central?quickFind=59823  

Columbia University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.

Prof. George Lewis Interviewed in "I Care If You Listen" Magazine

Prof. George Lewis is featured in an interview in Issue 10 of I Care If You Listen magazine, entitled "The Past is Prologue," and written by Arlene and Larry Dunn. 

DMA alumna Kate Soper Featured in a NYT ArtsBeat Video

Kate Soper (DMA 2011) was recently featured in a New York Times ArtsBeat article, which includes a video of her performing "Go Away," from her 2011 "Only the Words Themselves Mean What They Say," with flutist Erin Lesser.  ArtsBeat calls Soper's work "virtuosic" and "limit-stretching."

You can see the full article and watch the video here

Read more about Kate Soper's work on her website.

DMA Student Nina Young Named a "Trailblazing Artist" by WQXR

Congratulations to Columbia DMA student Nina Young who was named as one of "10 Imagination-Grabbing Trailblazing Artists of 2014" by WQXR's Q2 Music. 

The article includes an audio clip of Nina's "Vestigia Flammae" from a performance by Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, and Brad Balliett writes:  "Nina's music is constantly surprising, but at the same time, seems predestined. Every event seems so well-placed and inevitable that one is left with the feeling that the piece could have gone only the way she has it mapped out. Echoes of Stravinsky and something spectral give way to an intensely personal voice cut through with an ear for color and balance that is almost unmatched among composers that are not Marcos Balter, Alex Mincek or Helmut Lachenmann. Listen and enjoy."

You can see the full article here

Learn more about Nina's work on her website.

Fall 2014 Department of Music Newsletter Published!

The Department of Music is pleased to announce the publication of its Fall 2014 official Newsletter!

Please click here to open the Newsletter in PDF format. 

The Department also asks our friends and alumni to consider making a financial gift  in support of the Department's many initiatives and programs this holiday season.  Your generous gift will support many student needs directly, including graduate student conference and research travel, visiting speakers and performers, and needed improvements to classrooms and practice rooms. 

2015 will be an exciting year for the Department as we celebrate 50-year anniversaries for both the journal Current Musicology (in spring 2015) and the Center for Ethnomusicology (in fall 2015), in this the Department's 119th year.  

Please see the Newsletter for some of the outstanding upcoming events for the spring semester. 

Finally, we wish all our friends, affiliates, students, and colleagues a very happy, warm, and music-filled holiday season and extend our best wishes for the new year!

____________________________

Call for Papers: Current Musicology 50th Anniversary Conference, March 28-29, 2015 (Deadline for submissions is 1/15/15)

Call for Papers!

Current Musicology
50th Anniversary Conference

March 28-29, 2015 at Columbia University

Deadline for All Abstract Submissions: January 15, 2015

Submissions are invited for a conference commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the journal Current Musicology. As a tribute to Current Musicology's multidisciplinary orientation, which combines perspectives from different areas of music scholarship, we welcome proposals for 20-minute paper presentations on any topic related to the areas of historical musicology, ethnomusicology, music theory and analysis, philosophy of music, popular music studies, music education, and related fields. Papers presented at the conference will be considered for publication in the journal's celebratory special issue.

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To submit a proposal, please e-mail your name, institution, e-mail address, and an abstract of no more than 250 words to current-musicology@columbia.edu by January 15, 2015, with the subject line "Conference Submission." The committee will select papers anonymously. All scholars who submit abstracts will be notified of the committee's decision by February 1, 2015.
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Georg Friedrich Haas Featured in the Wien Modern Festival

Georg Friedrich Haas, MacDowell Professor of Music, was the featured composer at the festival Wien Modern in Vienna from October 29 to November 21, 2014. The Festival's opening concert, which took place on October 29, featured Haas's Concerto grosso Nr. 2 for chamber ensemble and orchestra, with Cornelius Meister leading Klangforum Wien and the ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien. On October 30, Klangforum Wien delivered an all-Haas chamber program, including "flow and friction" for a sixteenth-tone piano for four hands, "de terrae fine" for solo violin, and "... Schatten ... durch unausdenkliche Walder" for two pianos and two percussionists.  On November 2, Francois-Xavier Roth led the SWR Symphony Orchestra Baden-Baden and Freiburg in a rare performance of limited approximations for six microtonal pianos and orchestra. Additional performances in the festival included tria ex uno by oenm (Austrian Ensemble for Contemporary Music) on November 3, Concerto grosso Nr. 1 with Peter Rundel conducting the hornroh alphorn quartet and the ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien on November 4, AUS.WEG on November 17 with Ensemble Kontrapunkte led by Peter Keuschnig. All of Haas's eight string quartets were performed by the Arditti quartet in four concerts on November 10 and 11.

For more information on this year's Wien Modern festival, click here.

Magdalena Stern-Baczewska Performs with Tan Dun in Beijing

On October 25, MPP Director Magdalena Stern-Baczewska performed The Banquet Concerto by Columbia's distinguished graduate, Oscar-winning composer Tan Dun, in Beijing's National Performing Arts Center with the China National Symphony conducted by maestro Tan Dun.

The program was:

 Violin Concerto Hero (Tan Dun)
 Cello Concerto Crouching Tiger (Tan Dun)
 ----Intermission----   
 Piano Concerto The Banquet (Tan Dun)
 Concerto for Violin, Cello and Piano Revival (Tan Dun)
     
 Conductor: Tan Dun    
 Violin: Yao Jue (Hong Kong, China)    
 Cello: Zhu Lin    
 Piano: Magdalena Stern-Baczewska (U.S.)

For more information about Tan Dun and the performance go here.

For more on Magdalena Stern-Baczewska's work and performances go here.

Prof. Georg Friedrich Haas' "dark dreams" Receives Carnegie Hall Premiere

Composition Professor Georg Friedrich Haas had a new work, dark dreams, premiered at Carnegie Hall on Monday, October 6th, 2014.  Sir Simon Rattle conducted the Berliner Philharmoniker.
 
In a review of the performance for The New York Times, Anthony Tommasini lauds the piece as "fascinating...pushing against the edge of intensity but never going over it."  The Carnegie Hall program notes describe Haas' techniques in dark dreams as: "firmly in the spectral tradition, but ... [pushed] much further, building a sound world ... that exploits the eclecticism of the 21st century. There is harmonic queasiness everywhere, including microtones--notes between the notes that have an uncanny ability to evoke the subconscious. But the piece also features aggressive consonance: repeating thirds and diatonic climaxes that crash, then vanish, resolving nothing but leaving haunted aftershocks."
 
For more informaiton about Professor Haas' work, see his Music department bio.
 
The video below is a 2014 performance of dark dreams by the Berlin Philharmonic under Simon Rattle. 

Prof. Brad Garton Publishes "MemoryBook" Interactive Application

Congratulations to Prof. Brad Garton on the public release of  "MemoryBook."  MemoryBook is an interactive text/music/graphics application for iPads and Android tablets (Kindle Fire HD/HDX readers in particular). 

Prof Garton describes the "MemoryBook" as a "recollection of memories, but memories enhanced b music and graphics. Past stories act as a springboard for random speculations about life, memory, existence, all that fun stuff. The music and graphics are algorithmically-generated within the app. They are synchronized with the text at any point (and no matter what reading speed). Essentially it is a 'book with a soundtrack'."

To learn more about MemoryBook and to download the Apple App Store and Amazon App Store versions: 

http://music.columbia.edu/~brad/MemoryBook/

for links to the Apple App store and the Amazon App store to download it.

A "stand-alone" Macintosh application is also available.  A Windows version coming soon.

Peter M. Susser in Italy

Dr. Peter M. Susser, (DMA 1994), Director of Undergraduate Musicianship, attended the soundSCAPE Composition and Performance Exchange in Maccagno, Italy, July 2014. There he gave a presentation on Performance Skills and the music of Gyorgy Ligeti. 

 

DMA Alumnus Andrew Byrne to Head Symphony Space

Andrew Byrne, a Columbia Music Department DMA alumnus (1999),  has been appointed as the new Artistic Director of Symphony Space, one of New York's pre-eminent performance venues.  He begins September 15th, taking over the already planned 2014-2015 season. Previously, Dr. Byrne was Director of Festivals and Special Projects at Carnegie Hall to  Andrew Byrne studied with Jonathan Kramer and Fred Lerdahl in the 1990s and received his DMA in composition in 1998 with Fred Lerdahl as sponsor.

For more information see The New York Times
or
Andrew Byrne's website.

Zosha Di Castri Appointed Assistant Professor of Composition!

The Department of Music warmly welcomes and congratulates Zosha Di Castri, who has been appointed as Assistant Professor of Music (Composition).  Prof. Di Castri, who will soon complete her DMA in the Department, will begin her appointment on July 1, 2014

Ms. Di Castri is a Canadian composer/pianist living in New York. Her work (which has been performed in Canada, the US, and Europe) extends beyond purely concert music, including projects with electronics, installations, and collaborations with video and dance. Her latest work, Serafiniana, for solo amplified violin, amplified harp, orchestra, and electronics was premiered in Toronto by Esprit Orchestra in May. Other recent orchestral compositions have been programmed by the San Francisco Symphony, New World Symphony, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, and the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra among others. Zosha has made appearances with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the L.A. Philharmonic in their chamber music series and has worked with many local groups including Talea Ensemble, Wet Ink, Ekmeles, and Ensemble Pamplemousse. She was the recipient of the Jules Leger Prize for New Chamber Music for her work Cortege in 2012, and participated in Ircam's Manifeste Festival, writing an interactive electronic work for Thomas Hauert's dance company ZOO. Upcoming projects include an evening-length collaborative interdisciplinary work with David Adamcyk and ICE, and a piece for the Cecilia String Quartet. Zosha is presently completing her doctorate and will begin a tenure-track appointment in the summer of 2014.

Learn more about Prof. Di Castri's work on her Columbia Composers bio page!

Read an article (with audio samples) about Prof. Di Castri in musicworks magazine.

Dr. Ashley Fure Appointed Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in Music!

The Department of Music is delighted to welcome Dr. Ashley Fure as an incoming Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in Music for 2014-16. 

Dr. Fure is an American composer interested in chaotic matter and music's ability to convey movement. She works in both acoustic and electroacoustic media and collaborates frequently with artists from other disciplines.  A 2013-14 Fulbright Fellow in France, Fure is currently creating a 65 minute electroacoustic ballet with choreographer Yuval Pick commissioned by IRCAM for the 2014 Manifeste Festival in Paris. She earned a Phd in Music Composition from Harvard University, where she studied with Chaya Czernowin, and further degrees from IRCAM (Cursus 1 and 2), Oberlin Conservatory (B.Mus), and the Interlochen Arts Academy. Notable honors include a 2013 Impuls International Composition Prize, a 2012 Darmstadt Stipendienpreis, a 2012 Staubach Honorarium, a 2011 Jezek Prize, and a 2010 10-month residency at Akademie Schloss Solitude.  

Visit Ashely Fure's website here!

DMA Alumnus Timothy Polashek Publishes "The Word Rhythm Dictionary: A Resource for Writers, Rappers, Poets, and Lyricists"

Columbia DMA alumnus Timothy Polashek (Composition, D.M.A. 2002) has written a new book entitled The Word Rhythm Dictionary: A Resource for Writers, Rappers, Poets, and Lyricists.  A result of Polashek's interdisciplinary research and creative projects in music theory, cognition, and composition, as well as computer science and linguistics, the book is new kind of dictionary--one that reflects the use of "rhythm rhymes" by rappers, poets, and songwriters of today. Dr. Polashek is professor music and director of music technology studies at Transylvania University.

Learn more about the book here: 

http://rowman.com/ISBN/9780810884168

 

Graduating Seniors Olivia Munson, Josh Owens, & Alexander Porter Win Departmental Honors!

The Department of Music is pleased to announce that Departmental Honors for 2014 are awarded to the following graduating senior music majors:

Alexander Porter (Columbia College) for his project (advised by Prof. Joseph Dubiel), "Of Diagrammatology in Music and Architecture," which included both an extended essay and two original creative works, a composition called "Diachronism" and a short play called "Broken Images."  All were woven together by Alex's stimulating, imaginative exploration of time, memory, and space across both musical and architectural dimensions. A complete PDF version of Alexander's thesis can be downloaded here.

Olivia Munson (Columbia College) for her essay (advised by Prof. Aaron Fox) "A Space for Musical Therapy: On Nationalism, Modernity, Music, and Medicine in the Transition from Ottoman Empire to Turkish Republic."  This essay looks at the use of music for medicinal or therapeutic purposes across broad historical span of Turkish history.  Olivia's essay represents an impressive combination of on-the-ground fieldwork and sophisticated theoretical-historical analysis.

Congratulations to all our graduates!

Photos: graduates, their families, and their professors at the Commencement reception in Dodge Hall on May 21, 2014.

The Department of Music Congratulates our 2014 Grads!

Columbia College: (CON = "concentrator"/  MAJ = "major")
Agard-Wilson, Chancellor CON
Assor, Isaac  MAJ
Bunch, Isaac  MAJ
Dugan, Anna MAJ
Frech, Robert  MAJ
Garinois, Alessandro  MAJ
Genova, Jerome  MAJ
Harris, Olivia MAJ
Hoffman, Solomon  MAJ
Horstman, Spencer CON
Koski, Gregory  CON
Lagunas, Rudy  MAJ
Kevin  MAJ
Lim, Youngmook CON
Matern, Lukas  MAJ
McCormick, Kyle  MAJ
Munson, Olivia  MAJ
Nez, Ferguson  MAJ
Porter, Alexander MAJ
Rinehart, Amalia  MAJ
Safavi Ardebili, Amir Hossein  MAJ
Sonett, Caroline  MAJ
Street, Lena  MAJ
Sturr, Jonathan  MAJ
Toy, Norman  MAJ
Worthington, Michelle CON 

Columbia School of General Studies:
Bosco, Christopher MAJ  
Cercone, James  MAJ
Owens, Joshua  MAJ
Starcher, Sarah Jane  MAJ

Columbia College Special Major in Ethnomusicology:
Veena Kumar

Barnard Music Majors Graduates:
Kristina Dorsett  (Ethnomusicology)
Catherine Mullen  (Ethnomusicology)
Debra Rosenbaum (Ethnomusicology)
Hana Rosenbaum (Ethnomusicology)
Julia Sayles 

Graduate School of Arts & Sciences  PhD/DMA:
Belkind, Nili (PhD)
Bryan, Courtney (DMA)
Di Castri, Zosha (DMA)
Eggert, Andrew (PhD)
Forshaw, Juliet (PhD)
Heidemann, Katherine (PhD)
Johnson, Aaron (PhD)
King, Jonathan (PhD)
Kisiedu, Harald (PhD)
Morrison, Matthew (PhD)
Nail, Ashley (DMA)
Newland, Marti (PhD)
Schmeder, Maximillian (PhD)
Tallgren, Johan (DMA)