Classical Performance and Composition

USC Thornton’s Division of Classical Performance and Composition, ‘The Conservatory’, is built on a rich tradition of pairing legendary artist/faculty with extraordinary students of the highest caliber from across the globe.

Our acclaimed programs include Choral & Sacred Music, Classical Guitar, Composition, Keyboard Collaborative Arts, Keyboard Studies, Organ Studies, Strings, Vocal Arts & Opera, and Winds & Percussion.

ARTISTRY is what drives us. A world-class faculty with a passion for teaching, for true excellence and the cultivation of music in our society through the continued success and fulfillment of our students.

VISION is what guides us. The ability to recognize and anticipate the ever-changing landscape of classical music and the foresight to prepare our students for what lies ahead.

COMMUNITY is who we are. A rigorous conservatory of music, nestled within an elite research university in the musically vibrant city of Los Angeles, in which our students are mentored in an exceptionally close-knit environment and offered rich and unique opportunities for study.

“The Division of Classical Performance and Composition is essentially a rigorous conservatory of music, nestled within a prestigious research university, where students have amazing opportunities to explore a wide array of studies.  But we are more than a conservatory.  We are a strong and close-knit community where students are constantly encouraged to challenge themselves and to think outside the box. We recognize that, in order to be a truly great artist, one must thoroughly understand the culture and context of the music we perform.  And furthermore, we understand the constantly evolving landscape of classical music and have the foresight to prepare our students for what lies ahead.  In my estimation, there is no better place for such exploration and study than USC, where the arts are a proud centerpiece of the university.”

Lucinda Carver
Vice Dean
Classical Performance and Composition

event calendar

Upcoming events

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  • Chamber Music Festival: Winds & Percussion

    As part of a three-day festival, USC Thornton’s Winds & Percussion students present an afternoon of chamber music under the direction of Kristy Morrell.

    Newman Recital Hall (AHF)

  • Latin Pop Showcase

    Popular Music students showcase their skills in a variety of exciting Latin musical styles.

    Carson Center (CTV)

  • Classical Guitar Masterclass with Pepe Romero

    Classical guitar master and Thornton faculty member Pepe Romero offers an up-close glimpse into his renowned artistry in three masterclasses. Romero is the second son of "The Royal Family of the Guitar." His contributions to the field of classical guitar have inspired a number of distinguished composers to write works specifically for him, including Joaquín Rodrigo, Federico Moreno Torroba, Rev. Francisco de Madina, Lorenzo Palomo, and Celedonio Romero. Please note that Pepe Romero's fall masterclasses have been rescheduled to the following times: Tuesday, November 28, 12:00 PM - Ramo Recital Hall Tuesday, November 28, 8:00 PM - Ramo Recital Hall Wednesday, November 29, 7:00 PM - MacDonald Recital Hall

    Ramo Recital Hall (BMH)

  • Chamber Music Festival: Vocal Arts

    Lisa Sylvester leads students in the Vocal Arts department in an evening of vocal works from across the centuries in collaboration with instrumental performers. CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL EVENTS: Winds & Percussion Monday, November 27 at 4:30PM Vocal Arts Tuesday, November 28 at 5:30PM Strings Tuesday, November 28 at 7:30PM Strings Wednesday, November 29 at 5:00 & 7:30PM All events take place in Newman Recital Hall.

    Newman Recital Hall (AHF)

  • Chamber Music Festival: Strings

    Karen Dreyfus, director of chamber music at Thornton, leads students from the Strings department in two days of chamber works as part of this newly-revamped three-day festival. CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL EVENTS: Winds & Percussion Monday, November 27 at 4:30PM Vocal Arts Tuesday, November 28 at 5:30PM Strings Tuesday, November 28 at 7:30PM Strings Wednesday, November 29 at 5:00 & 7:30PM All events take place in Newman Recital Hall.

    Newman Recital Hall (AHF)

  • Classical Guitar Masterclass with Pepe Romero

    Classical guitar master and Thornton faculty member Pepe Romero offers an up-close glimpse into his renowned artistry in three masterclasses. Romero is the second son of "The Royal Family of the Guitar." His contributions to the field of classical guitar have inspired a number of distinguished composers to write works specifically for him, including Joaquín Rodrigo, Federico Moreno Torroba, Rev. Francisco de Madina, Lorenzo Palomo, and Celedonio Romero. Please note that Pepe Romero's fall masterclasses have been rescheduled to the following times: Tuesday, November 28, 12:00 PM - Ramo Recital Hall Tuesday, November 28, 8:00 PM - Ramo Recital Hall Wednesday, November 29, 7:00 PM - MacDonald Recital Hall

    MacDonald Recital Hall (MUS)

  • Popular Music: First-Year Showcase

    Led by professors Andy Abad and Patrice Rushen, first-year Popular Music program students explore the foundations of their craft in this showcase.

    Tommy's Place (TCC)

  • Classical Guitar Program Recital

    Students of USC Thornton’s renowned Classical Guitar department present an enthralling evening of chamber music for guitar.

    Newman Recital Hall (AHF)

  • Jazz Night featuring CreSCendo

    The CreSCendo Vocal Jazz Ensemble, led by Sara Gazarek, headlines this ongoing series of contemporary jazz. Please note that, due to the closure of Ground Zero Performance Café, this event has been relocated to Carson Center (CTV).

    Carson Center (CTV)

  • Popular Music: Second-Year Showcase

    Sean Holt leads second-year Popular Music students in an evening showcase.

    Carson Center (CTV)

  • USC Thornton Baroque Sinfonia: Noëls d’autrefois

    Rotem Gilbert leads the Baroque Sinfonia in music of the French Baroque, featuring works by Marc Antoine Charpentier and Jean Baptiste Lully.

    Newman Recital Hall (AHF)

  • Popular Music: Third-Year Showcase

    Third-year Popular Music students present original music written, arranged, and performed under the direction of professors Patrice Rushen and Richard Smith.

    Carson Center (CTV)

  • news archive

    News

    Alumnus Martin Leung performs with the Academic Leipzig Orchestra

    November 20, 2017

    On November 13th, Keyboard Studies alumnus Martin Leung (DMA ’15, piano) performed Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Akademisches Orchester Leipzig (Academic Leipzig Orchestra) under maestro Horst Förster. Leung received the opportunity to perform at the Leipzig Gewandhaus after winning first prize in the concerto division of the Los… read more

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