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Composition as an artistic subject

Composition is taught as an artistic subject. Every student, whether in the preparatory (Nachwuchsförderklasse), bachelor, master or post-master (Meisterklasse) program should develop their own style or aesthetic orientation. A school is decidedly not imposed. All students receive individual one-to-one lessons.


Composition seminar

The composition seminar is the central collective place for students and anyone interested in contemporary music. In the seminar there is full freedom of expression.



Responsible are the two W3 professors for composition, Prof. Dr. Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf (since 2005, at the same time head of the Center for Contemporary Music) and Prof. Dr. Fabien Lévy (since 2017). Furthermore, the Academy of music has hundreds of specialists in all sorts of disciplines (including music theory, music analysis, orchestration / instrumentation, electroacoustic music, cross-media art, ear training, conducting, philosophy, etc.).


Composition and music

Composition is also taught in connection with the music of the whole Western tradition and of other cultures.


Composition is far more than interdisciplinary

Composition knows no subject boundaries and is therefore taught in connection with aesthetic reflection. References to other arts, philosophy, literature, science, but also to current political events are deliberately included. Openness to other genres and means of production such as the latest technologies, music theater, sound installation and performance are encouraged. The events organized by the Center for Contemporary Music (ZfGM) always cross disciplinary boundaries.


International study subject

Composition is taught on an international level. Global knowledge, international exchange, the high proportion of foreign students, international guests and a good contact with foreign colleagues guarantee a productive studying atmosphere.


Composition and practice

Composition is practiced in collaboration with the entire house (instrumental and vocal fields, conducting) and in concerts. The concert series "Musik & Gegenwart" is an important venue for this event, including concerts with compositions of the students and guest recitals, as well as concerts organized by the students themselves.



Prof. Dr. Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf

Prof. Dr. Fabien Lévy