Composing is creating, exploring and developing your own musical language. Central to this creative process is your unique personality, which, through knowledge, craftsmanship, insight and an open, inquisitive mind, is able to shape your creativity and originality into new music. In doing so, attention is paid to constantly changing social structures, diversity and inclusion.
The composition class is led by a team of experienced composers and teachers (Alain Craens, Bram Van Camp, Steven Prengels and Mathias Coppens) who work in the spirit of Wim Henderickx. As a student you will have two teachers who will each guide you from their expertise in the search for your musical identity and provide you with the necessary compositional tools: on the one hand with respect for tradition, but on the other hand also with a drive for innovation.
The composition class is the beating heart of the Conservatoire through its intense collaboration with all departments: instrument, vocal studies, dance and interdisciplinary projects (including with the Academy of Fine Arts).
The students form a close-knit group with its own concert organization ("This is not a concert hall"), and can experiment to their heart's content within a stimulating environment. The Ensemble XXI creates new compositions on final exams.
The department also collaborates with external partners for specific projects: HERMESensemble (Times Academy), Antwerp Symphony Orchestra (Soundmine) and Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen (SOV Composers Academy).
Bachelor students are intensively guided in the development of a strong analytical insight and inquisitive attitude. General musical knowledge and professional skills support your quest for your own creative personality. In addition to Composition, the program also provides for Music Writing and Instrumental Theory/Orchestration, so that creativity is founded by a strong basic knowledge. Artistic research, general cultural education and thorough analysis are also important components of your curriculum. Electronic Music Composition, Instrument, Practical Harmony and Improvisation or Interdisciplinary Project may be included as electives.
The two-year master's program focuses specifically on refining and expanding your personal musical language and offers a range of (interdisciplinary) projects, concerts,
collaborations and master classes. In addition to a limited number of fixed course units, the program contains much room for personal interpretation. This broad and open approach, combined with coaching by several composition teachers, forms an ideal breeding ground for developing your own language and writing style. Each new idea is treated with great respect in an open environment from different points of view and always guided in consultation.
Profiles within the master's program
Because there are a wide variety of styles, genres and formats in which composers are active, you can orient yourself within one of four profiles:
Composer - Composer
Composer - Performer
Composer - Educator
Composer - Composer for Media
These profiles are not always strictly defined and are rather meant to be exploratory. In consultation with your teachers you compose your own curriculum based on an elective package of 18 credits, which you fill in with a selection from specific course units.