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

  • Feb
    04
    COM Event
    • UNT Symphony Orchestra concert featuring the premiere of a work by Kirsten Broberg
    • Winspear Performance Hall
    • 8:00pm
  • Feb
    11
    Music Now
    • Guest artists loadbang
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 11:00am
  • Feb
    16
    Music Now
    • Elainie Lillios, composer and Honored UNT College of Music Alumna
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 11:00am
  • Feb
    23
    Music Now
    • Guest artist Keith Kirchoff, piano
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 11:00am
  • Feb
    24
    Spectrum
    • New works from North Texas—sponsored by Composers Forum
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 8:00pm

Recent Division News

  • 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.

  • Eleven UNT-affiliated composers were selected to participate in the SEAMUS 2014 Conference at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, 27-29 March 2014: faculty composer Jon Nelson; student composers Stephen Lucas, Mark Oliveiro, Clay Allen, and Jen Hill; alumni composers Paul Thomas, Greg Dixon, Eli Fieldsteel, Chapman Welch, and Peter McCulloch; and former faculty composer Butch Rovan.

  • Sophomore composition student Brandon Maahs is one of eight composers selected in the 2013 Dallas Wind Symphony Fanfare Competition. His work, Invictus: Fanfare for Uncommon Heroes, will be performed prior to the DWS program on 4 March 2014 in the lobby of the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center.

  • 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.

  • Eleven UNT-affiliated composers were selected to participate in the SEAMUS 2013 Conference at McNally Smith College in St. Paul, MN, 18-20 April 2013: faculty composers Panayiotis Kokoras and Jon Christopher Nelson; doctoral composer Mark Oliveiro; alumni composers Jon Anderson, Greg Dixon, Eli Fieldsteel, Dave Gedosh, Elainie Lillios, and L. Scott Price; and former faculty composer Butch Rovan. Also participating in the conference was faculty flutist Elizabeth McNutt.

  • 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."

  • In March 2014, graduate composer Jim Doyle received second place in Chorus Austin's inaugural Young Composers Competition for his mixed choir piece Self Pity. The competition attracted nearly forty applicants from across the United States, Canada, and Germany.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Improbable Encounters, a collection of works by faculty composer Joseph Klein, will be released on the innova label on 28 January 2014. The 2-disc album (CD and DVD) includes solo, chamber, and intermedia works composed over the past 30 years, and features performances by UNT faculty members Elizabeth McNutt, Eric Nestler, Christopher Deane, and Felix Olschofka.