Composition

The Composition Department offers a major in composition and a minor in conducting.  

The Composition Department provides a thorough course of study in traditional and contemporary musical composition, orchestration, and score preparation. The department also offers advanced training in instrumental, choral, and musical theater conducting.

A faculty of 40 active composers and conductors, many with national and international reputations, guide you in preparing for a career as a professional writer and conductor.

The Composition Department supports the creation of concert music by developing the craft of notating musical ideas. The department also works with creative multimedia, from traditional opera, dance, and theater to contemporary electronic and mixed media. 

The composition major nurtures students to synergize their diverse artistic influences alongside new styles in contemporary concert music and express themselves in ways unbound by conventions and stylistic parameters. The conducting minor offers valuable podium time in different orchestral and ensemble settings.

Every year the Professional Writing and Music Technology Division and the Composition Department organize a series of concerts showcasing faculty and student compositions with recent and upcoming guest performers, including the JACK String Quartet, Tony Arnold, Mivos String Quartet, Loadbang, New Thread Saxophone Quartet, String Noise, the City of Tomorrow, and more. Recent visiting composers include Maria Schneider, Anthony Coleman, Sean Sheppard, and others.

For further information about the Composition Department, please email composition@berklee.edu or call 617-747-8185.

Learn more about studying composition at Berklee: