Composition by DMA Alumna Courtney Bryan Performed at MoMA

DMA alumna Courtney Bryan's collaboration with artist Steffani Jemison on Promise Machine is the public culmination of a multipart commission organized by MoMA's Department of Media and Performance Art.

Tyshawn Sorey Wins 2015 Doris Duke Impact Award!

The Department of Music proudly congratulates Columbia DMA student Tyshawn Sorey, who has received a prestigious 2015 Doris Duke Impact Award from the Doris Duke Foundation Performing Arts Awards. 

From the Doris Duke Impact Awards Website:

Born and raised in Newark, NJ Tyshawn Sorey blends composition and improvisation across a variety of styles and genres. As an instrumentalist, he is known for his skillful open, groove-oriented, and through-composed forms and for his virtuosity on drums, piano, and trombone. The International Contemporary Ensemble, Spektral Quartet, and TAK Ensemble have performed his compositions, which integrate African diasporic, Western classical, and avant-garde musical forms. As a bandleader, he has released four critically acclaimed recordings. The most recent, Alloy (Pi, 2014), features a half-hour-long work and explores extremes of sonic sparseness and density. He has been selected as a Danish International Visiting Artist (2013) and for the Other Minds Residency (2012). He has lectured on composition and improvisation at Columbia University, Banff Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music, and Hochschule fur Musik Koln, among other institutions. In 2015, he will appear with his trio at Rotterdam's North Sea Jazz Festival and NYC's Village Vanguard.

What are the creative challenges you face as an artist?
"Logically extending my musical upbringing, my creative output relies on the convergence of myriad performance traditions. This type of work, however, presents its own set of challenges. As my work synthesizes a wide spectrum of genres and, simultaneously, contests extant aesthetic constructions of place; it is a considerable undertaking to garner greater visibility for its performance and reception. I aim to carve out significantly more time for composition, practice, and promotion, activities that are all fundamental to presenting and advancing the vitality and visibility of my work. In addition, it is my hope to publish musical scores, recordings, and written literature on my music to make it more known and knowable to a wider public. Finally, I seek to contribute to creative excellence by balancing improvisation and formal structure through a body of work that is at once personal, direct, and visceral."

Learn more about Tyshawn Sorey's music and follow his career on his Facebook page, his Twitter, and his personal website.

DMA Alumnus Jeff Talman Publishes Article in NY Times!

DMA Alumnus Jeff Talman recently published a New York Times article, "Birds of New York: A Soundscape," which traces the relationship of birds and birdsong with his artwork, including his recent sound installation at St. Paul's, "When Soaring Sings." 

The article was published on June 13th in the Times "Op-Ed Opinionator-Menagerie" series online, and was featured in print in the "Week in Review" section on Sunday, June14.

You can read the full article here, which includes a sound excerpt and an animation by Lilli Carre.




2015: An Incredible Year for the Department of Music!

Columbia University Music Department graduate and undergraduate students, alumni, and faculty had an incredible year in 2015! Below is a partial listing of some of the highlights of the year. 


Congratulations to everyone!






Nili Belkind (PhD, Ethnomusicology, 2014)  was appointed to a two-year Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities-Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the Humanities, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Eric Chasalow (Composition DMA alumnus) is Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Brandeis University


Alessandra Ciucci (GS alumna and former Mellon postdoctoral fellow in Music) has been appointed Assistant Professor of Ethnomusicology at Columbia.


Congratulations to our 2015 Graduates!

The Department of Music warmly congratulates our Class of 2015 Graduates! We wish you all every success on the road ahead!


Music Majors:
Ziyad Abdelfattah
Stephan Adamow
Amy Garvey
Samuel Karlinski
Yeana Lee (Departmental Honors)
Robert Lyman
Miles Oliva
Joseph Quintas
Andrew Rodriguez
Mitchell Veith (Departmental Honors)

Music Concentrators: 
Kevin Chen
Devon Mehring
Sonall Mehta
Emma Riley

Audrey Amsellem (Departmental Honors)
Benjamin Loya
Josephine Tang

Courtney Craig (Ethnomusicology)
Katherine Huet
Sophie Lewis (Ethnomusicology)
Isabella Livorni 
Rachel Susser 
Zeynep Toraman
Cecile Urmenyhazi (Ethnomusicology)

Shannon Garland
Melissa Gonzalez
David Gutkin
Jonathan "Toby" King
Ashley Nail
Martha Newland
Alexander Rothe

DMA in Composition
Sophia "Zosha" di Castri
Geoffrey Holbrook
Yoshiaki Onishi


Vilde Aaslid and Matthew Goodheart Appointed as Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows

The Department has appointed Vilde Aaslid and Matthew Goodheart as Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows for 2015-17. 
Vilde Aaslid is an interdisciplinary music scholar with interests in text and improvisation. She completed her PhD in Critical and Comparative Studies in Music at the University of Virginia in 2014, supported by a Jefferson Scholars Foundation fellowship. Her current book project examines the cultural and aesthetic interrelation of improvised music and poetry, building on her dissertation on jazz poetry intersection. Her work on Charles Mingus recently appeared in the Journal of the Society for American Music. She is also an active performer of the Norwegian hardanger fiddle and practitioner of traditional Norwegian singing and dancing.
Matthew Goodheart is a composer, improviser, and sound artist who completed a Ph.D. at the University of California at Berkeley in 2013. Following an early career as a free-jazz pianist, he has developed a wide body of work that explores the relationships between performer, instrument, and listener. His diverse creations range from large-scale microtonal compositions to open improvisations to immersive sound installations - all unified by the analytic techniques and performative methodologies that bring forth the unique and subtle acoustic properties of individual musical instruments. Goodheart's approach results in a "generative foundation" for exploring issues of perception, technology, cultural ritual, and the psycho-physical impact of acoustic phenomena. He has won numerous awards and honors, including the 2014 Berlin Prize, and a 2013-14 Fulbright Grant to the Czech Republic where he worked with the historic quartertone pianos designed by Alois Haba.

Nina Young Wins Rome Prize in Composition!


The Department of Music warmly congratulates Nina Young, DMA student in Composition, who has just been awarded the Frederic A. Juilliard/Walter Damrosch Rome Prize in Musical Composition!  

For a century the Rome Prize, awarded by the American Academy in Rome, has been one of the greatest honors in the world of composition.  The winners of these prizes represent "the leading edge of contemporary American scholarship and creativity" as Academy President Mark Robbins notes.

Magdalena Stern-Baczewska SF Symphony Solo Debut


Magdalena Stern-Baczewska made her San Francisco Symphony solo debut on April 25, 2015, stepping in last-minute for a sold-out performance of Tan Dun's Banquet Concerto at the Davies Symphony Hall, with maestro Damian Ioro conducting.


George Lewis Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences!

George Lewis, Case Professor of American Music, has been elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Among the members are some of the world's most accomplished scholars, scientists, writers, artists, and civic, corporate, and philanthropic leaders: see the complete list of 2015 Fellows here and the press release here.

DMA Alumna Wang Lu Appointed Assistant Professor at Brown University

The Department of Music warmly congratulates Wang Lu (DMA 2012) who has been appointed Assistant Professor in Composition and Theory at Brown University.

You can read more about Wang Lu's work and accomplishments on her website.