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This 21 message thread spans 2 pages: [1]  2  > >  
  Music schools/noted composition teachers in Europe  iman2919 at 18:08 on 03 August 2009
 

Dear Composers,

I'm going to be finishing my final year of masters this year in Canada, and am considering the possibility of moving to Europe (preferably to England, or one of the German-speaking countries, since I will have less language problems there), for my doctorate (or even to do a one year diploma/residency before my doctorate).

Does anyone know of any good music schools, or composition teachers in Europe? I know very little about the music scene there. So any help/suggestions is appreciated.

Thanks,

  Re: Music schools/noted composition teachers in Europe  nickscott at 14:20 on 26 August 2009
 

Generally, any of the UK conservatoires will give you good tuition and ample performance opportunities, and the music scene in the UK is really hotting up, but I would recommend going to the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD), since I've been myself. The composition department there is extremely good, as are the performance opportunities. Be aware that the application deadline for British conservatoires is usually end of September/beginning of October, so you'll need to apply soon.

In Germany, I know there is a lot of hype around University of the Arts, Berlin.

Other than that, the Royal Conservatoire in the Hague in Holland is pretty famous, since it has Louis Andriessen there.

It depends what you're looking for, or what kind of music you want to compose. France is good for some music, Poland for others. Have a look at what music you compose, see what is composed by some composers from those countries and if they match up, check them out. Being taught by the right person is as important as being in the right place.

  Re: Music schools/noted composition teachers in Europe  iman2919 at 23:56 on 26 August 2009
 

Thank you. This is very helpful. I was starting to give up on this thread.

Yes I've heard a lot about the schools in Berlin and Hague. I'll have a look at all of them. Thanks for the links.

  Re: Music schools/noted composition teachers in Europe  Nicolas Tzortzis at 14:42 on 27 August 2009
 

Do you care more for the teacher or the school?or the city?the whole vibe around music?
because these things do not necesseraly come together.
I suggest you stay in Canada and study with Philippe Leroux at the university of Montréal.He is one the best teachers I have ever met and a great composer on the rise.
and have in mind that very few schools in Europe give PhD's in composition.
In England most of them,but I do not know where else you can get one.

  Re: Music schools/noted composition teachers in Europe  iman2919 at 19:01 on 27 August 2009
 

The teacher is of course the most important thing.

But the school is also important. Since your career afterwards relies more on the connections you make in school, than anything else (or so I think). So I would want to be somewhere with a strong performance program, so that I get to meet good performers.

City? hmmm... Depends. If I'm doing a 4-year doctorate degree, I guess it is important (I'm a bit spoiled here in Vancouver, Mountains, ocean, trees, city, it's really the perfect place)! But if I'm doing an 8-month or so degree, then I don't care where I end up.

University of Montreal is a french only school (as far as I know). And my french is pathetic!!! Unless they allow me to do a degree in English, it is no use. But the worst part is, even if they allow me to do a degree in English, I feel like I will miss out on a lot of things (meeting people, educational opportunities, etc.), if I study in a french-speaking place, and not be able to speak french. Don't you think?

  Re: Music schools/noted composition teachers in Europe  Nicolas Tzortzis at 19:55 on 27 August 2009
 

most of the people I know studying composition here in Paris are not French
most of them couldn't speak a single word when they came
and sometime after,they did learn.
you're a smart kid,you'll learn
;-)

  Re: Music schools/noted composition teachers in Europe  iman2919 at 20:03 on 27 August 2009
 

Yes, but shouldn't the school allow them to do a degree in English?

Otherwise, I don't see myself being capable of writing a thesis in French anywhere in the near future! Sure, I may learn to speak (or survive) after a year, but I can't write essays, and attend lectures in French, and take much out of it!

  Re: Music schools/noted composition teachers in Europe  Nicolas Tzortzis at 01:16 on 28 August 2009
 

you do have a point, but then again it's French,not ancient Chinese...
but to the starting point:
which teacher would you be interested in studying with?
what kind of music do you enjoy writing?which composer?


  Re: Music schools/noted composition teachers in Europe  iman2919 at 03:33 on 28 August 2009
 

Well, the problem is, I don't really know any teachers, so how can I know who I want to study with!? This is the reason I started this thread, and I hope that some names will come up here that I can check out (And hopefully other people can also take advantage of that). I can name some contemporary composers I like, but if I like someone's music, it doesn't necessarily mean that they will be a good teacher for me! I strongly believe that teaching is a completely different matter. You don't need to be a good composer to be a good teacher, and vice versa.

So here are some of the contemporary composers I enjoy listening to. No particular order:
Einojuhani Rautavaara, Judith Weir, Thomas Ades, Aaron Jay Kernis, Osvaldo Golijov, Kaaija Saariaho, Eric Whitacre, John Adams, Henri Duttilleux, William Bolcom (at times)...

That might give you some idea. Going further back, Bartok is someone I really admire. And I'm also fascinated by Debussy, and Ravel (but who isn't)?

In terms of my music, my style is really diverse. I'd say that every piece is a new exploration for me. New possibilities come to light every time. But in the world of avant-garde writing, I probably lean more towards the traditional side. The majority of my pieces have some form of a tonal centre. I'm fascinated by harmonies, and sometimes really struggle to understand exclusively linear, or unnecessarily complicated music.

I write acoustic music for the most part. I like experimenting with interactive electronics, but I would rather not make that the focus of my education.

  Re: Music schools/noted composition teachers in Europe  Nicolas Tzortzis at 10:09 on 28 August 2009
 

from what you're saying,I don't know if Europe is the best place for you.Especially Germany...
Europe is more into the "avant-garde" stuff,and maybe you're not into that (yet).
Britain and Holland might support the kind of music you do,but as far as teachers go,the choice is pretty limited.Have you thought about the States?
A very good composer friend of mine has told me good things about Mark-Anthony Turnage,he teaches in London.Check out his music if you don't know it yet.He's young and interested in growing as a teacher too.just a thought...

  Re: Music schools/noted composition teachers in Europe  scott_good at 15:26 on 28 August 2009
 

Hi,

"Einojuhani Rautavaara, Judith Weir, Thomas Ades, Aaron Jay Kernis, Osvaldo Golijov, Kaaija Saariaho, Eric Whitacre, John Adams, Henri Duttilleux, William Bolcom"

4 Americans. Why don't you consider going to the states? (Nicholas is right) I treasure the education I got there. There are many good schools.

In English speaking Canada, McGill is a very good school, so is U of Toronto. In general, the performers are better at the top European schools, but, McGill and U of T have produced their fair share of professional musicians. These are also very competitive schools to get into. Often 30 applications for one acceptance, or worse (and all people with Masters degrees)

Taking a year (or more) off, and attending festivals, writing more music, playing concerts, that sort of thing, is something to consider. That's what I did.



  Re: Music schools/noted composition teachers in Europe  iman2919 at 18:31 on 28 August 2009
 

the 4 americans might just be a coincidence. It's what I had in mind at the time I wrote that. It also has to do with the fact that we hear more north American music here, than European (or that's the sense I get)! So I generally know more about American and Canadian composers, than Europeans or Asians. The new music world has remained relatively local, despite the great advances in communication.

Yes, I know about the competitiveness. I will have to worry about that later. UBC is not any better. They have to pick 10 or so out of over a hundred applications every year.

The idea of taking a year or two off doesn't appeal to me that much! I think it will confuse me. I may as well try to do a one-year degree or a residency for my year off!! I just have a feeling that I may lose my motivation to work hard, if I'm all alone by myself.

The main reason Europe is so appealing to me at this point is that I don't know much about the music scene there at all! And I feel like there might be much to learn from this unknown and many connections to make. But I may be wrong, which is why I'm hoping for others' opinions.

Thank you all for helping by the way! It's a tough decision.

  Re: Music schools/noted composition teachers in Europe  scott_good at 21:36 on 28 August 2009
 

hey,

it is exactly that it was a coincidence listing 4 americans that you should be looking to them for grad school! i think your musical taste, and your music is tends to be more north american in flavor than european.

"The idea of taking a year or two off doesn't appeal to me that much! I think it will confuse me. I may as well try to do a one-year degree or a residency for my year off!! I just have a feeling that I may lose my motivation to work hard, if I'm all alone by myself. "

humm...not how it worked for me at all. it was a time of focus. it allowed me to explore on my own, so that I knew more about what i wanted from my doctorate.

perhaps you were joking, but i think you should be concerned if you think you need a school to be motivated!

at any rate, spend some time surfing schools on the net - you can find out all kinds of things in just a few hours. we are talking about 4 years of your life, eh! and yes it is true, the school is equally as important as the teacher - and the location of the school. think about building contacts in places you might want to live. If you like Canada (and perhaps you don't...), then McGill and U of T might be the best choices. Toronto and Montreal are fantabulous cities rich with cultural offerings.


  Re: Music schools/noted composition teachers in Europe  nickscott at 18:49 on 30 August 2009
 

Don't forget to contact any institutions you have your eye on. The staff will be more than happy to explain what their department can offer you. And if they don't, that tells you enough!

  Re: Music schools/noted composition teachers in Europe  iman2919 at 19:54 on 30 August 2009
 

Well, I contacted the school in Scotland that you recommended (It was before you mentioned it, actually) and they still haven't replied!!! But I'm assuming my e-mail got lost or forgotten about.

This 21 message thread spans 2 pages: [1]  2  > >