Message from the Chair

Welcome to the pages of the Music Department at the University of Chicago! Whether you’re considering applying to a program, browsing for interesting talks or concerts, wondering about curricular requirements, or looking for opportunities to play music, these pages will help you find answers.

All of us, faculty and students, strive continually to renew the traditions of original scholarship and composition that have characterized the Department for many years, and to complement these with performance. We place particular emphasis on the University's tradition of interdisciplinary study in the Humanities Division of which we are a part, but also in social and physical sciences.

We offer graduate degrees in Composition, Ethnomusicology, and Music History & Theory, and an undergraduate Bachelor of Arts degree in Music. We value highly the mutual interaction of these subdisciplines, both in the overall training of new cohorts of scholars and composers, and in faculty research. Graduates of the Department work throughout the world, ranging from professorships to post-docs in places such as Berkeley, Cambridge, the University of Michigan, the Eastman School of Music, and the University of Pennsylvania. Others are active in music publishing and editing, arts management, consulting, librarianship, urban education, and academic administration.

Beyond the classroom, the Music Department hosts a thriving performance program encompassing four choirs, two orchestras, two jazz ensembles, a South Asian Vocal ensemble, a Middle East music ensemble, an early music ensemble, a wind ensemble, and programs in chamber music, piano and voice.

The Department also has in residence several professional groups, including Contempo, now in its 52nd season, plus three ensembles-in-residence, which contribute variously to undergraduate and graduate student life and study: the newly-appointed Imani Winds, Spektral Quartet, and early music ensemble The Newberry Consort. In scholarship, composition, and performance we aim also to contribute to the cultural life of the University and of the city.

Thomas Christensen
Department Chair