The Conservatorium van Amsterdam offers a broad, multidisciplinary course in Composition which helps students to fully develop their qualities as composers. The programme centers on the work of the composition student. This can range from electronic music to works for orchestra, from ambient to theater music, from songwriting to film music, from world music to audiovisual music, from musical to chamber music. In short, all musical styles are welcome.
The programme consists of a diverse curriculum in music production, harmony and counterpoint, musical texture, live electronics, advanced rhythm, instrumentation, organology, electronic music, sound synthesis and entrepreneurship. There are also joint projects, seminars and classes in composition, songwriting, film music, opera and music production with students from the classical, jazz, pop and electronic music departments. Every year the composition department invites guest teachers from home and abroad to give individual and group lessons, seminars and workshops on composition or specific topics such as mixing/mastering, sound walks or inclusive composing.
In addition to the classes, students will work on various composition projects. Many of these are organized by the CvA, such as producing for immersive audio, writing and arranging for orchestra, creating a musical or opera, composing for ensemble with live electronics and working on a dance performance. Students can collaborate, for example, with the CvA Symphony Orchestra or the ensemble for contemporary music Score Collective, but also with other courses of the AHK, such as the Amsterdam School of Drama & Contemporary Music Theatre, the School for New Dance Development and the Netherlands Film Academy. Additionally, the Composition Department collaborates with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, the Opera Forward Festival and the National Opera Amsterdam.
The weekly Composers Forum is the heart of the programme. Here, artists, producers, composers and other specialists give lectures and presentations, and there is an opportunity for students and faculty to exchange ideas.
New Music Arena and Composers' Festival
During the academic year, the composition department organizes New Music Arena: concerts where compositions by students are performed.
In May, the Composition Department organizes the three-day Composers' Festival, for bachelor en maser students to present their work on stages inside and outside the conservatoire.
Head of Composition
Jorrit Tamminga section representative, principal subject & electronic composition
Meriç Artaç principal subject
Richard Ayres principal subject
Willem Jeths principal subject, instrumentation
Maya Verlaak principal subject
Jacob Slagter ensemble conducting
Rafael Reina Advanced Rhythm
Jos Zwaanenburg live-electronics, Advanced Rhythm
Davo van Peursen entrepreneurship
Marcel Wierckx live electronics
Anna Korsun regular guest teacher