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MSM Offering Masters in Contemporary Performance

In Ohio over Thanksgiving, I was happy to discover a small pile of mail from Manhattan School of Music: it’s about time they decided to keep in touch with their alumni. Anyway, browsing the school’s new newsletter, I was pleased to learn they’ve just established a new Masters program in Contemporary Performance. This, of course, should come as no surprise now that a composer’s in charge up there.

The requirements include playing four semesters with Tactus, MSM’s increasingly hot contemporary music ensemble; lots of reading of works by student composers; and plenty of instruction in performing with electronics. All in all it sounds like a great way for performers to segue into the NYC contemporary music scene. Now if only MSM could find a donor to cough up a cool $100 million ala Yale: a Masters from MSM doesn’t come cheap, and contemporary music, alas, still doesn’t pay well.


Comment from Eric Lin
Time: December 1, 2006, 2:10 am

That rocks….Maybe more schools will follow if the experiment works.

Comment from Scott W.
Time: December 1, 2006, 2:55 am

I’m so excited about this degree. I can’t wait to see how it turns out. I have a 2 years before I’ll be applying to Master’s but this degree is so exciting! I hope that more schools follow suit.

Comment from Carson Cooman
Time: December 1, 2006, 3:15 am

Don’t forget also about Bowling Green’s brand-new “DMA in Contemporary Music”.

Comment from rama gottfried
Time: December 2, 2006, 12:20 pm

yes, this is really exciting. i’m a current student there now – and this program is the shot in the arm to make msm without question one of the best schools to be at. of course i will have graduated! :) that always seems to happen to me. maybe i will have to reapply!

but just for the record, there is at the moment no composition element to the new program, it’s a performance degree. the composition department there is already pretty solid with dr.s vigeland and fueting.

that bowling green program looks interesting …

Comment from david toub
Time: December 2, 2006, 6:40 pm

I can understand something like this for performance—the music schools do not do a uniformly good job, if at all, at preparing musicians for contemporary music. But regarding the BGSU program, which also has a contemporary composition track…maybe I’m missing something, but isn’t the goal of any composition program to train people to compose contemporary music? Is this program perhaps going to be more attuned to the cutting edge?

Comment from Eric Lin
Time: December 2, 2006, 11:05 pm

Haha…as if we don’t have enough composers to go around. Creating another composition program isn’t really helpful… performers to play the music of the tens of thousands of composers graduating every year seems like a more interesting pursuit.

Comment from davidcoll
Time: December 6, 2006, 7:24 am

i’d hope that people realize that UCSD has had this degree for plenty of time, and if you’re interested in going to an established and proven program for contemporary music, this is the clear choice- of course you’d not be in nyc, which in my opinion allows a better opportunity to follow the music you are most interested and gain access to wherever that music has its community