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
  • Nov
    20
    Music Now
    • Guest composer Ivo Medek
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 11:00am

Recent Division News

  • In this year's 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.

  • Mimesis, a work by doctoral composer Michael Smith, was premiered in Perth, Australia by the Quanta Quartet during their August 2014 Australian tour.​

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • The Unspoken Geography: FEAR by alumna composer Christina Rusnak (MA 2010) was performed 2 March 2013 at the 12th Annual CSUF New Music Festival: Voice in the 21st Century. On 23 July 2013, Rusnak's Teklanika, a work created in Denali National Park and Yukon Charley National Preserve, was performed at the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival. Going Rogue for horn trio will be premiered on 18 October 2013, and Adriana for solo flute will be performed on 15 November 2013, both in Portland, Oregon. Ms.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Systasis, an electroacoustic work by composition alumnus Dave Gedosh (DMA 2009) was selected as a finalist for the Fresh Minds Festival at Texas A & M University. Gedosh's Train Song was selected for the SEAMUS CD Vol 23 and was recently programmed at Last Friday Listening Room at UCSD by Tom Erbe, who is also programming the piece for a performance at Fort Mason in San Francisco as part of the Sweet Thunder Electro-Acoustic Music Festival in April 2014

  • Panayiotis Kokoras, Assistant Professor of Composition Studies, has been awarded First prize at the 7th Destellos International Competition of Electroacoustic Music 2014 in Argentina for his composition Jet for soprano recorder and electronics.