The flourishing music scene in Cambridge provides numerous opportunities for composers to hear their work performed at the highest level. Free Composition features as an option in each year of the Music Tripos and is taught by means of one-to-one supervisions with composers on the Faculty’s staff; these include Richard Causton, Jeremy Thurlow and John Hopkins. Teaching centres on the acquisition of skills and a sound compositional technique; it incorporates learning how to score, structure pieces and develop ideas.
Students benefit from access to a recording studio comprising a state-of-the-art control room and an acoustically treated recording room. A range of music production software is available, including Digidesign Pro Tools and Sadie 5. Introductory sessions on studio techniques are held periodically for anyone who wants to learn, and everyone has the opportunity to record their performance in the West Road Concert Hall.
The Faculty also has a thriving Javanese gamelan group which regularly performs contemporary music, including new pieces composed by students.
Composers who prefer to work in more traditional idioms have ample opportunity to pursue their interests throughout the Music Tripos. Papers involving stylistic composition are offered in each of the three years, and composers can also take options in orchestration and film-score composition. All in all, this adds up to a very rich range of choices.