"I really enjoy being at Juilliard for composition because you’re essentially surrounded by the most phenomenal fellow musicians and educators to work with. New York is so immersive in terms of its arts culture that it’s really wonderful with the breadth of opportunities available to you." — Anne Qian Wang, BM '17, MM '19
At the heart of Juilliard’s composition department is its renowned faculty, composers whose music is heard around the world in concert halls and opera houses, in theaters, in film, and on recordings. The department remains especially notable for the diversity of styles represented by its teachers and alumni.
There are ample opportunities for composers to have their work performed, including annual concerts by both the Juilliard Orchestra and New Juilliard Ensemble devoted to works by department competition winners, and to collaborate with choreographers, actors, and some of the best young instrumentalists in the world.
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Composer Profile: Matthew Liu
Third-year composer and big-time musical theater fan Matthew Liu was a violinist and pianist before taking up composition in high school. He describes a typical, busy day as a composition student.
A Day in the Life
Performing before a live audience is an essential part of the Juilliard experience. Whether you are an instrumentalist, singer, or composer, you will have frequent opportunities to share your art with the public. Most performances take place in one of Juilliard's superb auditoriums, but you will also have occasion to appear elsewhere at Lincoln Center, including David Geffen and Alice Tully halls, homes of the New York Philharmonic and the Chamber Music Society; at other venues in New York City, such as Carnegie Hall, where the Juilliard Orchestra performs annually, the Blue Note Jazz Club, where Jazz students enjoy regular gigs, and the Museum of Modern Art, where the New Juilliard Ensemble appears in the Summergarden series; or on national and international tours.
The Music Division’s main areas of classroom instruction—Ear Training, Music Theory and Analysis, Music History, and Keyboard Studies—complement your private lessons and performance experiences to broaden your understanding of the foundations of music and to provide a context for the music literature you study and perform. Juilliard’s Center for Innovation in the Arts equips students with skills to compose and perform music using new technology, and offers hands-on experience with state of the art equipment.
Whatever your discipline, your development as an artist will be deepened by a foundation in the liberal arts, which provides the humanistic, ethical, social, critical, and aesthetic background essential to personal development and professional excellence. All undergraduate degree students take classes in literature, philosophy, history, social sciences, arts, and languages – studies that will help you develop a deeper understanding of yourself and the complex world in which you live. Through your coursework in liberal arts, you will refine your skills in reading, writing, speaking, and critical thinking, and learn to communicate with greater clarity and effectiveness.
In the changing cultural landscape, performers must think more creatively about their careers than ever. While some pursue positions in traditional settings, others are exploring new ways to create opportunities that are both creatively satisfying and financially sustainable. The Alan D. Marks Center for Career Services and Entrepreneurship encourages leadership, initiative, and entrepreneurial thinking, enabling young performing artists to develop a more expansive view of success in the 21st century. It teaches students the skills essential for success in today’s entrepreneurial environment, with workshops in public speaking and business planning, panel discussions with industry leaders, and entrepreneurship residencies. It also facilitates more than 450 freelance performance opportunities for Juilliard students.