Manuel Sosa

Musical Studies

Manuel Sosa is a graduate of the Juilliard School, where he received B.M., M.M., and D.M.A. degrees in composition under the guidance of Stephen Albert, Robert Beaser, and David Diamond.

He has also studied composition with Joseph Castaldo, Jacob Druckman, Earl Kim, Jacques-Louis Monod, and Bruce Saylor; and participated in composition seminars with Mark Andrè, Beat Furrer, Georg Friedrich Haas, Karel Husa, Adriana Hölszky, and Helmut Lachenmann. He has studied harmony with Mary A. Cox, conducting with Jacques-Louis Monod, and Afro-Caribbean percussion with Jerry González.

Dr. Sosa’s orchestral and chamber music works have been performed in North and South America, Europe, and Asia. He has also collaborated with painters, dancers, and sculptors in the creation of multi-media environments. His scholarly work concentrates on the art and music of South America, and his writings have been published in Europe and South America.

Manuel Sosa has received fellowships from Meet the Composer, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, the John S. Guggenheim Foundation, and the Corporation of Yaddo. He serves on the faculty of the Juilliard School’s Pre-College Division, and he also teaches at Fordham University. He joined the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music in 2017.


What advice do you always give your students?

Sing, sing, and sing! The voice is the first and the only instrument we really possess, and it is the one closest to our thoughts and emotions. Our musicality resides in our singing voice, and that is the reason why we must perennially go back to it, as we shape our lives in music through the instruments we play.


What do you enjoy most about being a teacher at Curtis?

What I enjoy the most is my classes (Solfège/Dictation) and the interaction with the students, as we work on pitch and durations with the intention of developing a personal connection with these two basic parameters, always under the umbrella of time. It is all very precise, but also very elusive, and this makes it deeply interesting…


What do you think is special about Curtis?

Again, it is the people that makes Curtis such a special place. It is the students and their ability to live in music. And it is also my colleagues, who are always thought-provoking, as well as a great source of inspiration.


What has been one of your best memories while at Curtis?

One of the highlights of my Solfège classes at Curtis is when we perform (sing) a piece of music. It is always a memorable moment. It is always a moment when the class comes together as one, in an effort to take the pitches and durations to a different and possibly new place.