Composition

Overview

The composers on the USC Thornton faculty are outstanding members of the international musical community, with major commissions, awards, recordings and residencies among the faculty’s many accolades. Composition students, among the finest in the country, regularly win national awards and commissions, including: ASCAP and BMI awards, New York Symphony Orchestra First Music commissions, Aspen and Tangelwood fellowships, American Composers Orchestra and Minnesota Orchestra reading sessions, among many others.

The Composition Program strongly emphasizes performance opportunities for student composers. Student works are premiered at Thornton Edge new music Ensemble concerts, student department showcases and recitals, and at the annual New Music for Orchestra concert – an event which has premiered over 150 USC Thornton student orchestral works. The USC Thornton choruses, Wind Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble and chamber music program provide composition students with significant reading and performance opportunities as well.

Our Program’s curriculum offers thorough training in composition, musicianship, theory, analysis, orchestration and counterpoint. Electives in electro-acoustic composition are also available. Student who complete the BM, MM, or DMA in composition at USC Thornton are given priority status for admission to the MM Screen Scoring program. Those wishing to pursue this option are required to meet with the director of the Screen Scoring program as early as possible in their composition studies at USC Thornton in order to determine which additional courses they must successfully complete (typically 5 units or less), and what other steps they must take (including but not limited to submission of an application), to secure their spot in the Screen Scoring program.

more

Spotlights

event calendar

Upcoming events

  • USC Thornton Symphony: New Music for Orchestra

    Donald Crockett, chair of the Composition program, leads the USC Thornton Symphony in this annual concert featuring original works by Thornton student composers.

    Bovard Auditorium (ADM)

  • Composition Showcase

    The Composition department presents a concert featuring new solo, chamber, and vocal works by student composers. The celebrated program has included Pulitzer Prize finalists and major award winners among its recent alumni.

    Newman Recital Hall (AHF)

  • Electro-Acoustic Showcase

    The Composition department presents the annual electro-acoustic showcase, led by DMA student Eric Pham, featuring works by student composers that combine electronic instruments and signal processing with acoustic instruments.

    Alice and Eleonore Schoenfeld Symphonic Hall (AES)

  • Faculty Recital with Chris Rozé

    Composition faculty member Chris Rozé presents an evening of original work performed by Thornton students, past and present. The recital will feature a program of Rozé’s music that includes three songs on poems of e.e. cummings with current student, soprano Lucie Shelley, Changing Light commissioned by faculty member, Kristy Morrell, and other works.

    USC Brain and Creativity Institute's Joyce J. Cammilleri Hall (BCI)

  • Caught in the Chamber: A Music and Dance Concert-in-Process with yMusic

    In two very special performances, yMusic, composer and USC Thornton faculty member Andrew Norman, dancer/choreographer and USC Kaufman professor Jennifer McQuiston Lott, and avant-pop music-video director Nathan Johnson will create a hybrid “chamber music video.” Hailed by NPR as “one of the groups that has really helped to shape the future of classical music,” yMusic is an ensemble of six innovative New York City instrumentalists who are equally at home performing with popular musicians like Björk and commissioning scores from rising orchestral composers. Share in their creative journey at this unique event, which will also feature new works by students from the USC Thornton School of Music and USC Kaufman School of Dance. Presented by USC Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities

    Glorya Kaufman International Dance Center

  • Thornton Edge: Stephen Hartke Piano Concerto

    Donald Crockett leads the Thornton Edge new music ensemble in the West Coast premiere of Stephen Hartke's concerto for piano and ensemble, featuring pianist Xak Bjerken as soloist. Hartke's concerto is co-commissioned by USC Thornton and the Oberlin Contemporary Ensemble.

    Newman Recital Hall (AHF)


  • more videos

    Videos


    news archive

    News

    Veronika Krausas pens article for Association of Canadian Women Composers

    December 18, 2017

    Composer and USC Thornton faculty member Veronika Krausas contributed an article to the Fall/Winter 2017 journal of the Association of Canadian Women Composers (ACWC), chronicling her September collaboration with artist Ana Prvacki and architecture firm SO-IL for the Chicago Architecture Biennial. The team’s performance piece, L’air pour l’air, was staged… read more

    more news

    all USC Thornton faculty

    Faculty