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Head of Composition Philip Cashian DMus, BMus, Hon ARAM


‘A rewarding and highly individual composer’ ( The Observer), his music has been performed and broadcast worldwide — recently including Ojai Festival (California), Musikmonat (Basle), St Paul Chamber Orchestra, Esprit Orchestra (Toronto), Aldeburgh, Spitalfields and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festivals and BBC Proms amongst many others. Recordings are available on the NMC, Usk, Riverrun and BGS labels. He has also devised and led numerous projects with children and amateur musicians.


Composition at the Academy has an international reputation centred on intensive project-based undergraduate (four-year BMus) and postgraduate (two-year MMus, one-year MA and three-year PhD) programmes.


All work is rehearsed and recorded in regular workshops with instrumental and vocal students. Many opportunities arise for student compositions to be played by ensembles and orchestras, and commissions are offered to write for a large number of events with professional performers both within and outside the Academy.


A seminar series underpins all studies and features guest composers such as Brian Eno, Hans Abrahamsen, Jonathan Harvey, Gerald Barry, Simon Holt, Beat Furrer and Johannes Maria Staud.


Undergraduate BMus The four-year BMus in Composition is designed to reflect the opportunities and challenges faced by today’s music creator. It uniquely integrates the traditionally distinct areas of ‘media’ and ‘concert’ composition.


The undergraduate curriculum includes individual tutorials, orchestral workshops, weekly composition and analysis seminars, orchestration classes, Media Music Ensemble, electronic techniques, Writing to Picture and education workshops.


Postgraduate MMus The MMus in Composition is an intensive two-year programme with a demanding schedule of project-work.The aim is for students to consolidate their technical skills and to gather experience of composing in as wide a range of professional contexts as possible, whilst stimulating the development of their particular compositional personalities.


Critical reflection is conceived as vital to this balance of internal and external stimuli, so all postgraduate composers engage in academic project-work: either a Research Project or Concert Project (the organisation and presentation of a concert built around the composer’s own music).


Postgraduate composers are expected to become involved in concerts and different kinds of collaborative work, and to make the most of the Academy’s thriving environment.


The Teachers Christopher Austin BA, Hon ARAM


Professor Simon Bainbridge FRCM, Hon RAM (Senior Professor of Composition)


Timothy Bowers BMus, DPhil, FRAM, ARCM Gary Carpenter LRAM, ARCM


Dr Philip Cashian DMus, BMus Hon ARAM (Head of Composition)


Brian Elias Dr Patrick Nunn BA, ACC (WCMD), PhD, LRAM Paul Patterson FRAM, FRSA (Manson Chair of Composition) David Sawer BA, DPhil


Visiting Professors Craig Armstrong FRAM Professor Sir Peter Maxwell Davies Hon ARAM Tod Machover James Newton Howard Hon ARAM Professor Bent Sørensen


Paul Morley (Music and Contemporary Culture) Peiman Khosravi MMus (Creative Technology) Kirsten Cowie BMus, Hon ARAM (Recording Engineer)


Illustrious Past Students Craig Armstrong; Sir Richard Rodney Bennett; Sir Harrison Birtwistle; Ruth Byrchmore; Cornelius Cardew; Brian Ferneyhough; Nicholas Maw; Michael Nyman; Paul Patterson; Sir John Tavener; Augusta Read Thomas; and many recent graduates, including Luke Bedford, Nimrod Borenstein, James Brett, Joe Duddell, Adam Gorb, Elena Langer, Alwynne Pritchard, James Radford, Luis Tinoco and Philip Venables.


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Recent Highlights Workshops or performances of all music composed over the year, a total of more than 80 works Workshops and concert of student work with Exaudi Collaborative project with London Sinfonietta, resulting in performances of student works at the Southbank Centre Performances of student works at


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Spitalfields Music, Soundwaves and Aldeburgh Festivals Orchestral showcase concert Concerts, discussions and composition classes with visiting composers Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Judith Weir, Betsy Jolas, Beat Furrer and Bryn Harrison Undergraduate recording sessions with a Studio Orchestra, Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Manson Ensemble Performances of student works at Kings Place, Sounds New Festival, the Blouin Institute and by theYouth Orchestra of the Middle East in Dubai Regular workshops with Sir Peter Maxwell Davies Workshops and concert of student work with CHROMA Orchestral project and concerts with the Southbank Sinfonia Projects with Bristol School of Animation Collaborative project with choreographers at Roehampton University Student performances by the Esbjerg Ensemble in Denmark Electroacoustic works performed as part of ‘Nonclassical’ club night


‘At the Academy I was soon mixing with teachers and pupils constantly engaged with the problems serious music faces in a frivolous age’ Paul Morley, The Observer


Senior Administrator: Helen Wills BA, Hon ARAM Telephone 020 7873 7479 Email composition@ram.ac.uk Open Day: 22nd September 2011


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