The Curtis composition department integrates new students into the full musical life of the school from the moment they arrive.

Curtis aims to educate and train musicians for 21st-century careers on the highest professional level. With unparalleled performance opportunities and a strong culture of team teaching, the Curtis composition department encourages its students to lean into their individual passions and idiosyncrasies. Curtis believes composers thrive when they approach the intersection of tradition and innovation with an open mind, growing their individual musical language with a “learn by doing” approach.


Every Curtis composer receives a fully rehearsed premiere with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra each year. Students can expect to have their chamber works performed often on the Curtis Recital Series and in other school-sponsored recitals from the beginning of their time at the school.

The composition department maintains commissioning opportunities for its students both within Curtis and with outside partner organizations. Composers can elect to present a graduation recital at the end of their time at Curtis, devoting an entire evening to a program of their work. All Curtis performances are recorded in both audio and video by Curtis’s world-class engineers.

Every Curtis composer works with all members of the composition faculty each semester. If a composer chooses, they can elect to do additional intensive work with one faculty member each semester.

Applicants who are admitted enter either the Bachelor of Music, Master of Music, or the diploma programs. Those who already hold bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral degrees, or other certificates or diplomas are still welcome to apply.

The composition department holds two Zoom informational sessions each fall. Find out more about registering for an informational session.

  • Composition Curriculum

    Degree programs available within the composition department include the following.

    • Diploma
    • Bachelor of Music
    • Post-Baccalaureate Diploma
    • Master of Music

    Students who already hold bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees or other certificates or diplomas are welcome to apply.

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  • Composition Audition Requirements

    Auditions for entry in fall 2025 will take place in February and March of 2025. Audition dates will be posted by October 2024.

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Student Performances