Program Overview


Our Composition Program trains aspiring composers to hone their skills at presenting their musical ideas as clearly and efficiently as possible through written notation, and to expand their creativity by examining a wide variety of music and embracing all eras. Student composer works are performed on formal student recitals, by the conservatory's large ensembles, as well as in self-designed settings around campus.

Professor points at text on a whiteboard
Professor and Chair of Composition Stephen Hartke discusses his piece "Meanwhile," for which he won a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Classical Composition in 2013.
Photo credit: Yvette Chen ’16

Program Facts

Program Director

Stephen Hartke,
Professor of Composition


Jeanne Rosecrans, Administrative Assistant
(440) 775-8297
student concert
The conservatory provides opportunities for composition majors like Matthew Chamberlain ’13, MM ’14 to present their original works with a performance ensemble.
Photo credit: Yevhen Gulenko

Student Composers Concerts

Composition students have many opportunities to share their original works via competitions, recitals, student composers concerts, and with such student ensembles as the Oberlin Chamber Orchestra. Some students may even take the baton, guiding a performance ensemble through one of their original compositions.

Performance Ensembles

Upcoming Composition Events

Composition News

Semester Ends with a Packed Performance Calendar

December 8, 2023

Oberlin Conservatory’s student and faculty performers have been filling most concert venues throughout the campus over the last week. During these final five bustling days before students head into reading period and then exams, this explosion of activity feels something akin to the thrilling finale of a fireworks display on New Year's Eve. So, join in—even from a distance. All of these concerts are free and open to the public, and all but one of them can be streamed live at concert time at
Musical Union with Oberlin Orchestra