The individual teaching is complemented by weekly Composers’ Workshops which include demonstration of instrumental, vocal and electronic techniques, workshop performances of student compositions, and presentations from visiting composers. In recent months the Workshops have included talks from distinguished composers such as George Benjamin, Julian Anderson, Trevor Wishart, Jeremy Dale Roberts, Alexander Goehr, Cheryl Frances-Hoad and Robin Holloway, and forthcoming visitors include Sir Harrison Birtwistle.
The Faculty hosts an annual workshop with members of the Britten Sinfonia where student composers hear their works performed and receive feedback from the conductor, players and a specially-invited guest composer. In recent years these have included Oliver Knussen, James Macmillan, Colin Matthews, John Woolrich, Nico Muhly and Luke Bedford. Following this workshop, one student is commissioned to write a new piece which is often broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and toured nationwide by the orchestra.
The Cambridge University New Music Ensemble offers a termly showcase of world premières by current Cambridge students, and the Faculty also enjoys a strong relationship with Kettle’s Yard, the principal modern-art gallery in Cambridge, which has a long tradition of promoting new composition by students and offering opportunities for new work to be presented to the public. An exciting recent development is Chapel Lates, a late-night, new-music series organised at King’s College by Richard Causton.