Longy composers work in an artistic environment dedicated to public performance and supportive of new music. Composition students benefit from experienced mentoring and a collective commitment to high standards and academic inquiry.

Above all, close collaboration with instrumentalists, singers, and pianists serves as the driving force behind the creation of new music at Longy.

Programs Available

Program Highlights

Studio Lessons: Individual instruction with a faculty mentor is the cornerstone of conservatory education at Longy. Esteemed faculty members address the aesthetic and professional goals of each student composer while enlarging the scope of each student’s technique and artistic insight.

Master Classes and Seminars: Weekly seminars with Longy faculty and distinguished guests offer insight and professional guidance by combining analytical workshops, discussions, faculty and student presentations, group composition lessons, and consideration of career issues.

Collaborative Environment: Creative projects designed in partnership with Longy's performance departments are an integral component of the program.  Common projects include art song composition with the voice department, improvisation based projects with the Jazz and Contemporary Music department, and solo/chamber pieces composed for our instrumental departments.  Workshops and reading sessions foster the close collaboration between composer and performer.     

Computer Music Studio: Composers have the opportunity to create and perform electroacoustic and computer music in the school’s studio. Related coursework includes instruction in composition using digital synthesis, hard-disk recording and editing, signal processing, MIDI, and real-time interactive techniques. The studio equipment is centered around an Apple Mac Pro computer, Logic Studio Pro, multiple MIDI controllers, and 5.1 surround sound capabilities. Composers also work heavily with computer music programming languages such as Max, SuperCollider, and Csound.

Performance Opportunities

Composition students are fortunate to have many opportunities at Longy for reading and public performances of their works, including:

  • New Music by Longy Composers: The Composition Department presents three concerts per year of music composed in-residence at Longy.
  • New Music Marathon: A day long new music event featuring work by students, faculty, and alumni.
  • Longy Conservatory Orchestra Readings and Performance: Each year, the orchestra assists in the development of composers by reading student works and programming at least one work for performance.
  • Ensembles-in-residence and partnerships: Students receive readings and performances with professional ensembles including: Radius Ensemble, Horszowski Trio, Boston Opera Collaborative, Collage New Music, and many more.
  • MM Performance Requirement: MM students in the voice, strings, and winds/brass departments are required to perform one work by a Longy composer before they graduate.
  • LongyLab: Concerts dedicated to pushing the boundaries of musical expression.  

  • Honors Concert: Students can enter compositions to be performed at the year-end Honors Concert.


Jeremy Van Buskirk, acting chair, composition and theory

Peter Aldins

Paul Brust

Peter Evans

Jay Flood

Aaron Helgeson, ON LEAVE 2017-2018

Amy Beth Kirsten

John Morrison

Osnat Netzer

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A Day in the Life: Tianyi "Tony" Wang, Composition

Tianyi Wang.jpeg

Name: Tianyi Wang

Changchun, Jilin, China

Area of study: 

Degree program: Master of Music

Expected graduation date: Spring, 2017

Ideal Career: My career goal is to work in the film scoring industry, either as a composer, an orchestrator, or a conductor; at the same I wish to continue writing concert music in context with social concerns.

Why did you choose to attend Longy?
First, Boston is a fascinating and resourceful city for musicians, especially around Cambridge, where Longy is located. You can find all kinds of talents in every field of study. The great environment and people are reminders of who you are and where you want to be. Second, Longy has awesome faculty.

Read more about Tianyi's experience in the Longy Composition department.

  • Everything I learn at Longy has immediate practical relevance. As a composer, I’ve written for dozens of ensembles and visiting artists and have had the opportunity to work with some true musical greats inside and out of the classroom.
    Erica Glenn, M.M. composition '12