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.

2014-15 Guest Artists

Upcoming Events

  • Oct
    19
    Music Now
    • Guest composer Balázs Horváth [tentative]
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 11:00am
  • Nov
    09
    Music Now
    • Guest artists eighth blackbird [tentative]
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 11:00am

Recent Division News

  • On 27 April 2014, Mivos quartet will perform Panayiotis Kokoras' Holophony for string quartet during the Northwestern University New Music Conference (NUNC!) Panayiotis will also give a presentation titled "Ensemble Holophony Project: Perspectives on Instrumental Sound-based Composition."

  • The Atlantic Coast Conference Band Directors' Association (ACCBDA) has named UNT alumnus Eli Fieldsteel (MM 2010) as the sole recipient of the 2014 James E. Croft Grant for Young and Emerging Composers. The twelve schools that comprise the ACCBDA will hold exclusive performance rights through 2015.

  • Panayiotis Kokoras, Assistant Professor of Composition Studies, has been awarded second prize (first prize not awarded) at the prestigious Kazimierz Serocki 13th International Composers’ Competition 2013 for his composition Susurrus for piano, violin and cello. The prize consists of $2500 US and a concert of the winners, co-organized with the Polish Radio Channel 2, will take place on the 28 November 2013 in Lutoslawski Polish Radio Concert Hall in Warsaw.

  • Senior composition student Daniel Sabzghabaei has been selected as a winner in the inaugural International Composition Competition as part of the 10th Annual Busan Choral Festival and Competition, South Korea's premier choral festival. His piece Two Scenes from Shakespeare for SATB a cappella choir was selected out of a pool of 70 applicants from 20 different countries, and will be performed by one of the festival choirs as part of the Busan Choral Festival. The concert will also be broadcast live on South Korean television and radio.

  • Senior composition student Daniel Sabzghabaei was recently selected as a finalist in the 2014 SCI/ASCAP Student Commission Competition for his piece Four Short Dreams for chamber ensemble and tape. His piece was selected from a pool of about 200 applicants and represented region 6 (Southern USA) in the final round of selection.

  • In Spring 2011, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra called on alumnus Robert Pound (BM, '92) as both conductor and composer, inviting him to conduct the ASO and commissioning him to compose a fanfare in honor of Music Director Robert Spano's tenth anniversary with the orchestra. Other recent premieres include his work for cello and piano, goes around, composed for the Murasaki Duo and perfomed by the duo on their Spring 2013 tour.

  • Alumnus composer Greg Dixon (PhD 2012) has been appointed Assistant Professor of Music and Sound Design at Digipen Institute of Technology (Redmond, WA) beginning in the fall of 2014.

  • Senior composition student Daniel Sabzghabaei was one of six winners in the 2014 Cambiata Composition Initiative. His piece Mosjdeh Beh Bolbol Dehid, for two-part boys choir, solo violin, and piano, will be premiered at the 2014 MS/JH National Convention for Choral Music by the award-winning Lake Jackson Intermediate School Manchoir, conducted by David Hill, and violinist Caleb Mallett on Saturday 3 May 2014 at UNT.

  • Oh My Soul, a choral work by undergraduate composer Ronald Harris, has been selected as a finalist in Chanticleer's Student Composer Competition, and will considered for performance in November 2014 by the Chanticleer Lab Choir.

  • University of Wisconsin-Green Bay based ensemble "a very small consortium" will be presenting a number of new miniatures including senior composition student Daniel Sabzghabaei's work, Fond Memories of a First Love. The concert takes place on 27 September 2014 at 7:30 pm in Fort Howard Hall of the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The concert will also be streamed at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/a-very-small-consortium.