About the Program

The composition program at the University of North Texas is one of the largest and most diverse in the nation, with approximately 70 composition students and seven faculty members representing a variety of compositional aesthetics and approaches. Regular guest composer residencies, visiting new music specialists, and dozens of events each year provide students with a rich educational and artistic experience.

An interdisciplinary center within UNT’s Division of Composition Studies, the Center for Experimental Music & Intermedia (CEMI) provides a unique environment for the exploration of time-based arts and is internationally renowned for its long history of innovation, particularly in the realm of electroacoustic music. Students, faculty, guests, and collaborators from a variety of disciplines engage in research, creation, and performance in CEMI’s six production studios and the Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater.

Music Now is the weekly composition departmental meeting, an open forum for the exchange of ideas and information about the creation, performance, and understanding of recent music. These forums, which are typically scheduled Mondays at 11:00-11:50 am, feature presentations by UNT faculty and students as well as visiting composers, scholars, and interpreters of new music.

Nova is the new music ensemble of the University of North Texas. In keeping with its mission to present a diversity of musical, aesthetic, and cultural experiences, Nova’s repertoire ranges from 20th century classics to works that incorporate the latest musical innovations. Students in the ensemble have opportunities to work with faculty and guest composers and are occasionally joined by faculty and guest performers. Performances and workshops have included music by composition students as well.

The Spectrum concert series features new solo and chamber works for instruments and voices, often utilizing new technologies and intermedia. These programs are presented throughout the fall and spring semesters, and are listed in the calendar section of this website.

The Composers Forum is a student organization devoted to coordinating performances and bringing new works to public attention. The organization was formed to foster the spirit of collaboration between composers, performers, and artists of all kinds throughout the UNT community.

The Initiative for Advanced Research in Technology and the Arts (iARTA) is an interdisciplinary research cluster represented by faculty from across a wide spectrum of the arts, engineering and sciences. iARTA activities include scholarship, creative research and technical development at the leading edges of emergent media practice; the resulting research areas are represented by diverse forms such as telematic performance, immersive installation, robotic sculpture, mobile networks, and art-science collaboration. The cluster also publishes the MOEBIUS Journal, which explores the intersection of theory and practice in electronic arts.

2015-16 Guest Artists

Upcoming Events

  • Feb
    08
    Music Now
    • TrioPolis — Collaborations with UNT Composers
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 11:00am
  • Feb
    08
    Faculty Recital
    • TrioPolis — new music for clarinet, violin, and piano
    • Recital Hall
    • 8:00pm
  • Feb
    15
    Music Now
    • Panel Discussion: Career Services for Composers [tentative]
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 11:00am
  • Feb
    15
    Spectrum
    • Sponsored by Composers Forum
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 8:00pm
  • Feb
    29
    Music Now
    • UMS n’ JIP (Ulrike Mayer-Spohn and Javier Hagen), Recorder/Voice Duo
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 11:00am

Recent Division News

  • An Unaware Cosmos: Module-Set 1 by Joseph Klein was premiered at the Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno, Czech Republic on 21 October 2015. The work was conducted by the composer and performed by students at the Janáček Academy.

  • UNT alumnus Eli Fieldsteel (MM 2010) has accepted a one-year position as an Assistant Professor of Music Theory at Ball State University (Muncie, IN), where he will be teaching composition and music technology during the 2015-2016 academic year.

  • Undergraduate Composer Sam Mikulewicz's work Himawari was selected for performance at the April 2016 Sound Of Dragon Chinese Music Festival in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Sam was one of ten composers selected among entries from twelve countries, and the only American composer whose work was selected for performance.

  • Lockjaw, a brass quintet by undergraduate composer Brandon Maahs, was selected to be premiered at the 2015 Vox Novus Festival on 24 October 2015 at Symphony Space in New York City by the Nautilus Brass Quintet.

  • Doctoral composer Timothy Harenda has been selected as one of four finalists in the 2016 ASCAP/SEAMUS Student Commission Competition, for his work Purple Quartz. Winners will be announced at the SEAMUS conference in February.

  • New Motive Power, a work by undergraduate composer Brandon Maahs, received an Honorable Mention in the Texas A&M University Composition Competition and Symposium, one of the final three from among 46 submissions.

  • Alumnus composer Greg Dixon (PhD 2012) received a commission from the Instruments India Composition Commission, sponsored by Liverpool Hope University and Milapfest, Britain’s leading Indian arts development trust. The commission grants Dixon exclusive access to a sound library of traditional Indian instruments that he will use to create new music.

  • Elizabeth McNutt performed at the National Flute Association Convention, including a work written for her by her mentor Harvey Sollberger. The Nova Ensemble, directed by Elizabeth McNutt, premiered Unset by faculty composer Andrew May, at Donald Judd's kilometer long masterpiece 15 untitled works in concrete at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, TX on 1 August 2015.

  • The premiere performance of May 29 - June 9 for string orchestra and string quintet by alumnus composer Daniel Sabzghabaei (BM 2014) was presented by the Youth Symphony Orchestra "Slobozhanskiy," commissioned and conducted by Eldred Marshall on 20 November 2015 in Kharkov, Ukraine at the Kharkov State Performance Hall.

  • In the 2015 call for scores by the Los Angeles-based concert series wasteLAnd, three of the four selected composers out of 830 entries were from UNT: Ryan Fellhauer, Timothy Harenda, and Panayiotas Kokoras. A fourth UNT composer, Chaz Underriner, received an honorable mention.