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Meet the Composition Faculty

Composition at Ohio State image of musical score


The Ohio State University Composition Studio is a collection of artist/scholars that pursue creativity, curiosity and community through the study of music composition. Our pedagogy centers around developing an understanding and control of the craft of composing by studying and applying both historical and current compositional trends and techniques through extensive listening, discussion, debate and diligent work.

At Ohio State, the programs of study in composition are truly multi-faceted. For decades our goal has been to offer students a wide range of options in diverse areas of concentration supported by an active faculty whose interests are both varied and comprehensive. This strategy has successfully prepared our students for present-day careers that require not only specialized expertise but also the broad background needed to capitalize on opportunities. We are committed to advocacy for our students and their careers. Our students are active in promoting their music locally, regionally, nationally and internationally, winning competitions and grants and having their music performed at national and international venues.

Program Description

The Composition area offers three degrees — Bachelor of Music, Master of Music, and Doctor of Musical Arts. Coursework in Composition includes applied composition lessons and related courses including composition studio class, composers’ workshop, counterpoint, orchestration, electronic music, and special-topics courses such as spectral music and film scoring.

Frequently Asked Questions


  • Each semester the composition studio produces the student-run Composers’ Workshop concert featuring the music of Ohio State composition students, performed by School of Music instrumentalists and vocalists. The composition students participate in marketing, stage planning, rehearsal preparation, program development, and all other arts administrative roles involved in producing this event.
  • The composer-in-residence program with the Ohio State Symphony Orchestra enables a composer, selected in a competitive process, to collaborate with the ensemble to write a new orchestral work.
  • The Composition Studio often collaborates on multi-media projects with other arts disciplines including the Ohio State departments of art, animation and theater.
  • Students have composed for many of the performing ensembles in the School of Music including the symphony orchestra, wind symphony, symphonic band, collegiate winds, show band, jazz ensemble, percussion ensemble and various chamber ensembles.
  • Several School of Music events present tremendous opportunities for composition students such as the Ohio State Contemporary Music Festival.
  • Our composers regularly benefit from visits and master classes by noted composers. Past visits have included John Corigliano, Joshua Fineberg, Osvaldo Golijov, Jennifer Higdon, David Lang, Krzysztof Penderecki, Augusta Read Thomas, Julia Wolfe, Catherine Likhuta and others.
  • Students can participate in our new-music ensemble, the New Music Collective, which presents one student-run contemporary music concert per semester, and is also a registered student organization.
  • The Sound Synthesis Studios offer a full complement of software and hardware that can be applied to all aspects of sound design.

Application Process

The application process for study in composition includes a composition portfolio, an interview and for undergraduate applications, a written personal statement, and an instrumental or vocal audition.

Contact Professor Torres, area coordinator, with questions about application content.

Winners of the Ohio State Symphony Orchestra Composer-in-Residence

  • 2024 Ila Sharma
  • 2023 Justin Monroe
  • 2022 Cooper Wood
  • 2021 Linda Kernohan
  • 2020 Cooper Wood
  • 2019 Binshan Zhao
  • 2018 Shuo Shen
  • 2017 James Tickel
  • 2016 James D. MacDonald
  • 2015 Russell Nagy
  • 2014 Chih-Liang Lin
  • 2013 Joseph Sferra
  • 2012 EunSeok Park
  • 2010 Anthony Vine
  • 2009 Benjamin Williams

Want to learn more?

Future undergraduate and graduate students, explore our degree programs, application and audition details and more, in the navigation menu.

High school students, learn about outreach programs, admissions visit days, request an appointment with our admissions coordinator, and more at Undergraduate Admissions.


  • Future undergraduate students — contact Tanya Sparks, admissions coordinator, at sparks.348@osu.edu.
  • Future graduate students — contact Graduate Studies at mus-grad@osu.edu.