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.

2016-17 Guest Artists

Upcoming Events

  • Apr
    24
    Music Now
    • Lecture-performance by doctoral composer Seth Shafer
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 11:00am
  • Apr
    24
    Spectrum
    • Sponsored by Composers Forum
    • 8:00pm
  • Apr
    26
    Reading Session
    • UNT Concert Orchestra readings
    • 12:00pm
  • Apr
    28
    Student Recital
    • Graduate student Miguel Espinel's master's thesis recital
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 5:00pm
  • Apr
    29
    Student Recital
    • Performance of Forgotten Lyres by doctoral composer Timothy Harenda
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 5:00pm

Recent Division News

  • Jon Christopher Nelson has had two works selected for programming at the International Computer Music Conference in Utrecht, Netherlands, on 12-15 September 2016: Illusory Lines for 8-channel fixed media and Inside a Cloud of Butterflies for classical guitar and interactive electronics. The international jury selected 116 compositions for performance from approximately 600 submissions.

  • Alumnus composer Ben Johansen (PhD 2012) has been appointed Lecturer in Composition/Music Technology at Baylor University, beginning in the fall of 2017.

  • Graduate composer Christopher Poovey will have his piece Dripstone, for baritone saxophone and stereo fixed media,​ performed on 15 October 2016 at the Jayu Theater in the Seoul Arts Center as part of the 2016 Seoul International Computer Music Festival.

  • David Stout has co-founded a working group at the Santa Fe Institute (SFI) with ecologist and complexity scientist, Dr. Jennifer Dunn. The Ecological Data Dramatization Art & Science working group will focus on the dramatization of ecological data sets integrating sonification, visualization and immersive staging. The project commences in March 2016 and will bring together the Santa Fe Institute and the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) with the University of North Texas and the University of Denver.

  • Alumnus composer Daniel Sabzghabaei (BM 2014) was recently selected as a composer fellow for the 2017 Intimacy of Creativity Festival in Hong Kong. Daniel will be working in collaboration with Master of the Queen’s Music, Judith Weir, co-founder/associate artistic director of the New York Festival of Song, Michael Barrett, acclaimed tenor Jonathan Blalock, and internationally renowned composer and artistic director of IC 2017 Bright Sheng on performances of his cycle, Four Glimpses of Desire (چهار نگاه اجمالی ازهوس) (2016).

  • 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.

  • David Stout has co-founded a working group at the Santa Fe Institute (SFI) with ecologist and complexity scientist, Dr. Jennifer Dunn. The Ecological Data Dramatization Art & Science working group will focus on the dramatization of ecological data sets integrating sonification, visualization and immersive staging. The project commences in March 2016 and will bring together the Santa Fe Institute and the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) with the University of North Texas and the University of Denver.

  • Seven UNT-affiliated composers were selected to participate in the SEAMUS 2016 Conference at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, GA, 11-13 February 2016: faculty composer Andrew May; student composer Timothy Harenda; and alumni composers Elainie Lillios, Chapman Welch, David Gedosh,

  • Doctoral composer Seth Shafer has been invited to present his paper "Temporal Models in Live-Generative Music Notation" at the second New Music Conference and Festival (NUNC! 2) in November 2015 at the Bienen School of Music on the campus of Northwestern University.

  • Works by graduate composers Bihe Wen and Michael Smith, as well as alumnus Dave Gedosh (DMA 2009), are among 24 works selected from 289 submissions from around the world for the ARS ELECTRONICA FORUM WALLIS 2016, to be held in Switzerland in May.