Boston Conservatory at Berklee's composition program is best known for equipping young composers with the vast catalogue of knowledge and tools needed to develop musical fluency and hone artistic expression throughout the course of a lifetime.
In addition to building a strong foundation in music history, theory, and compositional method, the program is unique for the high number of opportunities students have to collaborate with fellow artists and hear their works performed live—in a given year, there are 36 scheduled concerts that exclusively premiere student compositions. This process of writing, rehearsing, and performing an original work gives composers a thorough understanding of how to write for various instruments and genres, and valuable first-hand experience collaborating with peers.
Students are supported by a diverse faculty of esteemed composers, who encourage students to experiment writing in a variety of styles for various mediums, such as orchestral, electronic, film, and radio. The exploration of different genres and aesthetics throughout the program helps students realize their own music sensibilities and how to best articulate that in their writing.
What It Takes to Succeed
Students in the Conservatory's composition program are hands-on learners with the creative drive, curiosity, and openness to be fully immersed in a world of music, culture, and technology. The Conservatory's multidisciplinary environment and prime location in the bustling city of Boston provides composers with endless inspiration and a multitude of opportunities to work with local singers, dancers, actors, and instrumentalists.
The first two years of the B.M. of Composition program are designed to help students understand music on a contextual level: why composers may have written certain pieces and how the politics and cultures of their times influenced their work; how to analyze the technical construct of music; and how to embody music and translate ideas into comprehensive writing. At the same time, students begin learning the framework of composition and how to write for a variety of instruments, as well as how to best communicate their vision to performers.
In their final year of study, composition students complete a senior thesis, in which they are tasked with creating a substantial work demonstrating their command of musical materials and instrumentation. Seniors also present a full-length recital of their original compositions, which they are solely responsible for producing.
Your Boston Conservatory education prepares you to work at the highest level with large and small ensembles and solo performers, collaborating on commissioned works, concert series, and interdisciplinary pieces.