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

No events scheduled at this time; please check back later.

Recent Division News

  • Alumnus Daniel Sabzghabaei (BM 2014) was especially active and productive during the summer 2016. He was a production intern at the Ojai Music Festival (Ojai, CA, 9-12 June), where he worked alongside artistic director Peter Sellars, as well as festival artists Kaija Saariaho, Roomful of Teeth, and Claire Chase and the International Contemporary Ensemble, among others.

  • Alumnus composer Daniel Sabzghabaei (BM 2014) was one of three winners of the 2017 POLYPHONOS choral composition competition. Daniel will receive a $1,000 commission for a 5-minute new work that the choral ensemble The Esoterics will premiere at the POLYPHONOS Concert in October of 2017. The winners will also receive funds for travel and lodging to the premiere of their work next year.

  • 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.

  • Graduate composers Michael Smith, Jacob Thiede, Bihe Wen, and Jinghong Zhang will have works presented and performed at the National Student Electronic Music Event (NSEME 2017), 10-11 March 2017 at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA.

  • Faculty composer Joseph Klein has been named as one of two 2016-17 Faculty Fellows from the UNT Institute for the Advancement of the Arts. Klein will use his fellowship in the spring of 2017 to complete his large-scale modular chamber work, An Unaware Cosmos, to be premiered at UNT in January 2018.

  • 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.

  • The premiere performance of May 29 - June 9 for string orchestra and string quintet by alumnus composer Daniel Sabzghabaei (BM 2014) was presented by the Youth Symphony Orchestra "Slobozhanskiy," commissioned and conducted by Eldred Marshall on 20 November 2015 in Kharkov, Ukraine at the Kharkov State Performance Hall.

  • Electroacoustic works Contemplating Larry by alumna composer Elainie Lillios (DMA 2000) and Regression by graduate composer Bihe Wen were two of thirteen prizewinners selected from a pool of 109 composers from 25 different countries in the Concours de Composition Acousmatique Métamorphoses 2016.

  • Lockjaw, a brass quintet by undergraduate composer Brandon Maahs, was selected to be premiered at the 2015 Vox Novus Festival on 24 October 2015 at Symphony Space in New York City by the Nautilus Brass Quintet.

  • 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.