main navigation bar - top row

main navigation bar - bottom row

main menu

Department of Composition

about

A distinguished faculty of internationally known composers empowers students with guidance and encouragement in the search of the student's individual voice and creative goals. Our students achieve at the highest level by creating cutting-edge work that explores a wide range of creative media and styles. Alumni continue our tradition of artistic excellence, holding teaching positions across the globe, performing and composing at the top of the field, and contributing in a meaningful way to a diverse range of communities.

read more

Composers in undergraduate and graduate programs enjoy premiere performances of their work through our recently revamped write HEAR / right NOW concert series, annual participation in the Midwest Composers Symposium (a forum for student composers from four schools), and concerts by University of Michigan ensembles. Students also have access to the incredible technological resources of the School, including the Duderstadt Audio Studio and the brand new Music Technology Lab.

Our composers benefit from the EXCEL Program, which provides entrepreneurship training and career services with the goal of enabling all students to forge a viable career by exploring, developing and leveraging their talents, training, skills, and ambitions.

All of these factors combine to make the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance one of the country's most important centers for the training of young composers.

 

faculty

guest composers & past faculty

In addition to the regular faculty, students have the opportunity to work with a variety of eminent composers each semester.

news

Hila Plitmann performing with the USB in 2016 (photo: Peter Smith)
New U-M Symphony Band CD features multiple GRAMMY-winners

GRAMMY winners include soprano Hila Plitmann, composer Michael Daugherty, and saxophonist Timothy McAllister, who said students performed at "highest professional leve."  more

image for Always Inspirational, Forever Valiant: A Bicentennial Appreciation for the Performing Arts at Michigan
Always Inspirational, Forever Valiant: A Bicentennial Appreciation for the Performing Arts at Michigan

The University of Michigan Bicentennial marks 200 years of extraordinary research, education, and public service.  more

See more department news

image for SMTD Professors Daugherty and Gramley Receive GRAMMY Nominations
SMTD Professors Daugherty and Gramley Receive GRAMMY Nominations

Multiple GRAMMY nominations went to Michael Daugherty's Tales of Hemingway; YoYo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble, of which Joseph Gramley is a member and associate artistic director, received two nominations.  more

Chelsea Hamm and Kevin Allswede took Bharatnatyam lessons as part of the India program. Photo by Chelsea Hamm
The India Program is Music to Their Ears

When nine U-M students began their journey to India with Prof. Stephen Rush in July, they thought they were going to learn about Indian classical music. But when they returned one month later, they also brought vast new knowledge about themselves and each other. more

image for Workshop for Dream of the Red Chamber (VIDEO)
Workshop for Dream of the Red Chamber (VIDEO)

Last winter, voice students performed a workshop production of Dream of the Red Chamber by Professor Bright Sheng, which debuts at the San Francisco Opera on Sept. 10.     more

 

events

SMTD logo for eventSMTD Presidential Bicentennial Colloquia (SOLD OUT/WAITLIST AVAILABLE)

Monday, January 30 - 5:30pm
Walgreen Drama Center, Stamps Auditorium
Free - registration required
details

SMTD logo for eventEn Español: Sounds of the Hispanosphere Guest Lecture: Ricardo Lorenz

Thursday, February 2 - 5:00pm
Walgreen Drama Center, Stamps Auditorium
Free - no tickets required
details

See more department events

SMTD logo for eventUniversity Symphony Orchestra

Monday, February 6 - 8:00pm
Hill Auditorium
Free - no tickets required
details

SMTD logo for eventSMTD@UMMA

Tuesday, February 7 - 7:00pm
Museum of Art
Free - no tickets required
details

SMTD logo for eventStudent Composers’ Concert

Monday, February 13 - 8:00pm
Earl V. Moore Building, Britton Recital Hall
Free - no tickets required

Michael Daugherty, Professor of Composition
Evan Chambers, Professor and Chair of CompositionRoshanne Etezady, Lecturer in CompositionKristin Kuster, professor of compositionErik Santos, Associate Professor of Composition and Director, Electronic Music StudioPaul Schoenfield, Professor of CompositionBright Sheng, Leonard Bernstein Distinguished University Professor of Composition
"Michigan, for me, was incredible. I worked with everyone..... There are many schools that have great teachers but few where you can work with them intensively. I was not shy about approaching them, but there was something about Michigan that made me feel that I could."
Derek Bermel, MM Composition 1993 & DMA Composition 1997

main navigation bar - top row

main navigation bar - bottom row

Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower

×