Composition Faculty

Margaret McAllister

Associate Professor, Composition

Donald McDonnell

Professor, Composition | 617-747-8277

"I tend to like to compose at the piano. The computer I use at the final stage for engraving, once I've made all the decisions. I encourage my students to do that as well."

Jeffrey Means

Assistant Professor, Composition | 617-747-6257

"It’s important to me to format my conducting class so that it’s as much about learning to conduct as it is learning how to perform under a conductor, because both can become pertinent in students’ professional lives."

George Monseur

Professor, Composition | 617-747-8288

Carmen Moral

Professor, Composition | 617-747-8590

"I have over 600 works in my repertoire, and I am at a moment in my life where I am able to transmit my experiences to students. I find Berklee to be the right environment to do so."

Francisco Noya

Associate Professor, Composition | 617-747-2818

"The most important thing for me is to open students' eyes and inspire in them a curiosity to look deeper."

Apostolos Paraskevas

Professor, Composition

"I tell students, 'You cannot become an artist without discipline, like an athlete: wake up in the morning, do your scales, and do your theory exercises. It doesn't matter if you know it, you still have to do it every day so your body and mind can always be in shape.'"

James Ricci

Assistant Professor, Composition | 617-747-6334

"The beauty of composition is that you can essentially slow down time; you can focus all your energy and attention on a microsecond of music. In a sense, that gives you an equal playing field with some incredibly brilliant improvisers."

Elena Roussanova Lucas

Associate Professor, Composition | 617-747-3126

"It makes a really big difference to hear great music from different eras—it's like an awakening."

James Smith

Professor, Composition | 617-747-8356

"The more tools the students have, the more ways they have of staying in the profession."

Eric Stern

Associate Professor, Composition | 617-747-6448

"There is nothing that compares with the physical relationship you learn to form with the music itself, constructing and performing aerial geometry that somehow conveys the essence of each moment."

Louis Stewart

Professor, Composition | 617-747-8363

"Conducting means leading; it doesn't make sense to teach conducting unless you're teaching people to follow the baton, to connect with the orchestra, and to rehearse them."

Valerie Taylor

Professor, Composition | 617-747-8599

"Even if a person never conducts any kind of ensemble after this, the whole notion of getting music incorporated into the body is just so vital."

Francine Trester

Professor, Composition | 617-747-2906

"An understanding of craft and continuum can truly guide a musician's professional choices."

Gabriele Vanoni

Assistant Professor, Composition | 617-747-6484

"The unique diversity and liveliness of the Berklee community offers the rare possibility to teach talented people who have little or no preconceptions about any music, should that be classical, jazz, popular, contemporary, or anything else."

Michael Weinstein

Assistant Professor, Composition | 617-747-8203

"The ability to control dissonance and consonance is really important in writing music. There are some conventions in tonal writing, but there's also a great deal of freedom."

Arthur Welwood

Professor, Composition | 617 747-8463

"I think composition is best taught by people who are out in the field writing music, performing it, and interacting with audiences. Berklee's composition department is made up of composers and conductors. They're bona fide professionals getting paid for what they're doing. They're not just teaching in ivory towers."

Julius Williams

Professor, Composition | 617-747-8286

"One of the people at the Boston Symphony told me that Berklee composition students are the most well rounded, because they can write in all styles, from pop to symphonic works. People are beginning to realize what a jewel this is."

Clyde Witmyer

Associate Professor, Composition | 617-747-8225

"Students who are proactive regarding their education will not only gain the respect of their teachers but their teachers will be more willing to go that 'extra mile' for them."