Recitals and Juries

Graduate students are expected to produce a major work (“thesis”) toward their degree. The thesis is to be of substantial length (15–20 minutes) and of a sustained and unified nature. The thesis is to be discussed with the instructor. One goal of the thesis is to demonstrate mastery of all compositional elements. Three copies of the thesis are to be given to the Department Chair before the graduation recital.

During the first year, at least 20 minutes of music must be completed and performed. (“Readings” may not be included, except of orchestral pieces.) During the second year, the candidate may present either one full recital in the final semester of work or two half-recitals within the last two semesters of work. (A full recital is defined as about 45–60 minutes of music.) Works performed must have been composed during the time the composer was a student at the Conservatory.

In both years, any pieces to be performed must be reviewed with the student’s composition professor in advance and approved by the professor for presentation. At least one week before a performance, two scores for each work being presented should be given to the chair of the composition department.  Criteria in evaluation of graduate composition recitals include versatility, imagination and pleasure as well as competence in working with musical materials. Also taken into account will be competence in aspects of modern musical technique such as orchestration, instrumentation, text setting, the use of electronics and the preparation/presentation of the music.


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For audition information, please click here