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

  • Mar
    29
    Music Now
    • Presentation by doctoral composer Ermir Bejo
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 11:00am
  • Mar
    29
    Faculty Recital
    • Calliope Duo: Elizabeth McNutt, faculty; Shannon Wettstein, guest artist
    • 6:30pm
  • Mar
    30
    Student Evaluation
    • Graduate Review (MA)
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 12:30pm
  • Apr
    03
    Music Now
    • Guest composer Harvey Sollberger
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 11:00am
  • Apr
    03
    Nova Ensemble
    • Contemporary chamber reportoire
    • 8:00pm

Recent Division News

  • 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).

  • Four Glimpses of Desire (چهار نگاه اجمالی ازهوس) (2016) by alumnus composer Daniel Sabzghabaei (BM 2014) was premiered on 28 November 2016 at Romania's Festivalul Internațional Craiova Muzicală, commissioned and premiered by soprano Veronica Anușca and pianist Mihai Murariu.

  • Eight UNT-affiliated composers were selected to participate in the SEAMUS 2017 Conference at St. Cloud State University in St.

  • Graduate composer Bihe Wen's work Ancient Reunion was one of three prizewinners in the Radiophonic Composition/Sound Art category of Leibnizharmonies Composition Competition 2016. Prize winners were awarded by the Mayor of Hannover in Herrenhausen Gardens on 30 June 2016.

  • Doctoral composer Seth Shafer presented his paper titled "Performance Practice of Real-Time Notation" at the Second International Conference on Technologies for Music Notation and Representation in Cambridge, UK in September 2016. His electroacoustic work, Hookean Elastics, was performed at the 2016 Sound and Music Computing Conference in Hamburg that same week.

  • Landscape Series: 1 by alumnus composer Chaz Underriner (PhD 2016) is one of five works selected (out of 288 submissions from composers in 36 countries) as a finalist for the prestigious 2017 Gaudeamus Award in Composition. His work will receive a performance at the Gaudeamus Muziekweek in September 2017, at which time the award winner will be announced.

  • UNT alumnus Eli Fieldsteel (MM 2010) has accepted a one-year position as an Assistant Professor of Music Theory at Ball State University (Muncie, IN), where he will be teaching composition and music technology during the 2015-2016 academic year.

  • Alumna composer Elainie Lillios (DMA 2000) was one of twelve recipients of the prestigious 2016 Barlow Endowment Commission, to compose a new work for the new music ensemble Bent Frequency.

  • Elizabeth McNutt performed four works, including two by UNT faculty, at the International Computer Music Conference, hosted by UNT. She recently received a grant from the Earle Brown Music Foundation, in support of her series Sounds Modern, for upcoming performances in Dallas and Fort Worth (2016 and 2017). Her recent collaborations include premieres by Andrew May and local composer Sungji Hong.

  • 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.