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

  • Sep
    03
    Student Evaluation
    • Senior Recital Hearings, etc.
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 12:30pm
  • Oct
    19
    Music Now
    • Guest composer Balázs Horváth [tentative]
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 11:00am
  • Oct
    27
    Spectrum
    • Sponsored by Composers Forum
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 8:00pm
  • Nov
    09
    Music Now
    • Guest artists eighth blackbird [tentative]
    • Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater
    • 11:00am
  • Nov
    11
    Guest Artist
    • Eighth Blackbird, New Music Ensemble
    • Winspear Performance Hall
    • 8:00pm

Recent Division News

  • Doctoral composer Chaz Underriner has won 2nd prize in the 2013 Frank Robert Abell Young Composer Competition for New Chamber Music from the University of Louisville for the piece nocturne series: 5 for string quartet and field recording. The work will be performed by University of Louisville faculty on 15 November 2013, as a part of the annual New Music Festival at the University of Louisville.

  • Joseph Klein's interstices, a work for flute, saxophone, and percussion commissioned by saxophonist Gregory Dewhirst and Tarrant County College, will be premiered at the North American Saxophone Alliance Conference at the University of Illinois in March 2014.

  • Senior composition student Daniel Sabzghabaei has been selected as a winner in the inaugural International Composition Competition as part of the 10th Annual Busan Choral Festival and Competition, South Korea's premier choral festival. His piece Two Scenes from Shakespeare for SATB a cappella choir was selected out of a pool of 70 applicants from 20 different countries, and will be performed by one of the festival choirs as part of the Busan Choral Festival. The concert will also be broadcast live on South Korean television and radio.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • In Spring 2011, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra called on alumnus Robert Pound (BM, '92) as both conductor and composer, inviting him to conduct the ASO and commissioning him to compose a fanfare in honor of Music Director Robert Spano's tenth anniversary with the orchestra. Other recent premieres include his work for cello and piano, goes around, composed for the Murasaki Duo and perfomed by the duo on their Spring 2013 tour.

  • Faculty composers Joseph Klein and Panayiotis Kokoras will have works performed at the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival in June 2015. Other featured composers include UNT alumni Mikel Kuehn (BM 1989) and Yu-Chung Tseng (MM 1994; DMA 1998), and incoming doctoral composer Jinghong Zhang.

  • 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.

  • Panayiotis Kokoras, Assistant Professor of Composition Studies, has been awarded second prize (first prize not awarded) at the prestigious Kazimierz Serocki 13th International Composers’ Competition 2013 for his composition Susurrus for piano, violin and cello. The prize consists of $2500 US and a concert of the winners, co-organized with the Polish Radio Channel 2, will take place on the 28 November 2013 in Lutoslawski Polish Radio Concert Hall in Warsaw.