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

  • Mar
    04
    COM Event
    • UNT Concert Orchestra performance, featuring a performance of Jon Christopher Nelson's Suspensions
    • Winspear Performance Hall
    • 8:00pm
  • Mar
    09
    Music Now
    • Colloquium — sponsored by Composers Forum
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 11:00am
  • Mar
    09
    Student Recital
    • Jen Hill Senior Composition Recital
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 8:00pm
  • Mar
    23
    Music Now
    • Andrew May — "ESCAPE: interactive computer music on boom-boxes"
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 11:00am
  • Mar
    23
    Spectrum
    • New works from North Texas composers — sponsored by Composers Forum
    • 8:00pm

Recent Division News

  • Alumnus Jon Anderson's electroacoustic work for fixed media, dash.em, was selected for performance at the regional Society of Composers Inc. Conference hosted by Clarke University. His work for fixed media and video luft am morgen, was selected for performance at the 2013 New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival at the Graduate Center at CUNY. Both works were also invited for performance at the 2013 Electronic Music Midwest Mini-Festival, part of the New Sounds Festival 2013 hosted by Western Michigan University.

  • Panayiotis Kokoras has been commissioned by Festival Mixtur to compose a piece for clarinet, piano, violin and cello. Ensemble Taller Sonoro will perform the piece on 25 April 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. Panayiotis will also coach a student’s composition workshop and give a short presentation on his piece.

  • Senior composition student Daniel Sabzghabaei received second prize in the 2014 Texas Young Composers Festival Composition Contest with his piece Hal: Chahargah for solo violin. It will be premiered by distinguished violinist Mary Reynolds with the acclaimed, Dallas-based new music ensemble Voices of Change on Sunday 4 May 2014 at 5:00 pm in the SMU Owen Arts Center (Dallas, TX).

  • Every Tear from Their Eyes for choir and large ensemble by alumna composer Da Jeong Choi (PhD 2011) was broadcast on C Channel (TV) for the 100th day of remembrance of the South Korean Ferry Tragedy on 24 July 2014 and included in Kukmin ilbo (Korean newspaper) on 29 July 2014. This work will be performed by Banana Choir (from India) throughout South Korea in November-December 2014.

  • 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.

  • Faculty composer Panayiotis Kokoras received the first prize award in the 7th Destellos International Competition of Electroacoustic Music 2014 in Argentina, for his work Jet for soprano recorder and electronics. Alumna Elainie Lillios (DMA 2000) received second prize in the same competition for her work The Rush of the Brook Stills the Mind for percussion and electronics.

  • Oregon State Parks selected Alumna composer Christina Rusnak (MA 2010) to compose a work for the new Cottonwood Canyon State Park. Canyon Voices explores the natural and cultural heritage of the John Day River basin. In August 2014, The Life of Ashes, exploring Mt. Adams through the lens of wildfire, was premiered in Hood River Oregon commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act.

  • Panayiotis Kokoras’, Kydoimos for orchestra commissioned and premiered by Athens State Orchestra, will be performed during the International Society of Contemporary Music – World Music Festival 2014 (ISCM-WMD) in Wroclaw, Poland.

  • Doctoral composition candidate Dan Tramte was recently appointed to a teaching assistant position in the Music Department at Harvard University (spring 2014). He teaches two sections of Music 2: Foundations of Tonal Music, a theory course designed for non-music majors.

  • Doctoral composer Chaz Underriner has won 2nd prize in the 2013 Frank Robert Abell Young Composer Competition for New Chamber Music from the University of Louisville for the piece nocturne series: 5 for string quartet and field recording. The work will be performed by University of Louisville faculty on 15 November 2013, as a part of the annual New Music Festival at the University of Louisville.