Univ.-Prof. for Composition
In the master's program in composition, aspiring composers acquire all the technical and professional skills they need to define and sharpen their musical identity. The focus is on the essential approaches and strategies for developing and realizing compositional ideas. Aesthetics, computer music, aural education, and music informatics are also part of the program.
Study & Occupational Fields
The study programme is oriented both to the current state of development and development of the arts and to the state of research in the sciences involved. The aim of the Master's programme is to deepen and complement the scientific and artistic professional training on the basis of the Bachelor's programmes in the respective subject. The artistic study programme is the basis for the professional practice of the following fields which are open to students:
- Teacher of composition
- Arrangement and applied composition, stage music and performance
- Supervision of interpreters of contemporary music
- Performer as conductor
- Performer as performing musician
- Sound and recording studio, music production
The degree programme serves to qualify students for professional activities in all institutions relevant to music: Festivals, radio and television stations, the recording industry, artists' agencies, music management, publishing houses, trade journals, etc., in which the application of artistic and scientific knowledge and methods is required. In addition, the degree programme contributes to the personal development and development of social skills of the students. Students are enabled to perceive and help shape artistic and societal developments.
Guest lecturers include Helmut Lachenmann, Steve Reich, Manfred Trojan, Marc André, Agata Zubel, Michael Maierhof, Mauro Lanza, Jean-Luc Hervé, Yann Robin, Curtis Roads, Barry Truax and many more.
General study information
The aim of the study programme is to bring students to the best possible development of their creative or reflective abilities and to impart a confident handling of musical material in all genres (instrumental, vocal and electronic music). The composition programme at the Mozarteum University is characterised by the fact that, in addition to the legally prescribed free electives, students take electives that form an individual focus during their studies.
Obvious specialisations for the study of composition are, for example, Electronic Music and Audiovisual Media, Musicology, Early Music, New Music, Conducting, Jazz and Popular Music and Applied Composition. Students can choose from the courses offered by various institutes of the Mozarteum University and the Paris Lodron University Salzburg.
The curriculum is competence-oriented. The following key qualifications are required:
- Above-average creativity, general and musical intelligence and communicative, social and linguistic competence.
- Ability and willingness to reflect as well as to engage in dialogue about one's own artistic works and views.
Upon completion of the programme, students should be able to:
- be proficient in the creation of a wide variety of works of contemporary composition, both aesthetically and technically
- be free and independent in their artistic work
- critically engage with artistic and scientific issues
- have acquired comprehensive knowledge of music theory and musicology and are able to apply it practically
- have mastered the basics of academic work and are able to analyse, interpret and write up artistic content in a well-founded manner
- be able to use new media effectively
- develop their individual interests in the sense of lifelong learning beyond their own subject area through targeted in-depth study within the framework of (free) elective
The four-semester Master's program in Composition is modular in structure. A module is the combination of teaching and learning content into thematically and didactically meaningful units of study. The designations and content descriptions (study objectives) of the individual modules as well as the number of ECTS credits to be achieved for each module and the type of performance assessment are specified in the curriculum. The module descriptions refer to the corresponding learning outcomes and competencies. The Master's Program in Composition is a face-to-face program and cannot be offered - not even in parts - as a distance learning program.
The courses from the Central Artistic Subject (ZKF) as well as the other Individual Artistic Lessons (KE) are designed to build on each other. The prerequisite for enrollment in courses from the ZKF or KE in each semester - with the exception of the first - is a positive evaluation of the previous semester.
In addition to the compulsory courses in music theory, musicology and electroacoustic composition, the program includes a large number of free electives in which students are given the opportunity to freely choose the content of their studies and to study these both at the Mozarteum and at the University of Salzburg as well as the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences. For the performances of composition students, the Mozarteum University has a number of venues of different sizes and technical equipment for chamber, ensemble and orchestral music, opera, music theater, drama and performance. Details at: Service & Support
Admission to the Master's program in Composition requires the completion of an eligible Bachelor's degree (BA) or another equivalent degree at a recognized Austrian or foreign post-secondary educational institution (e.g. university, college) (§ 64 Abs. 3 UG 2002). Admission with a pedagogical degree such as teaching or instrumental & vocal pedagogy is NOT possible.
In addition, a prerequisite for admission to the program is the successful completion of the admission examination. For this, an online application is first required, during which the necessary documents are checked. An invitation to the admission examination will only be issued after the documents submitted have been checked in full.
- The examination of the documents of the preliminary studies can take up to 4 weeks! Early application is therefore recommended.
- You can only apply for studies for which you have not yet obtained a degree!
Required documents for online registration
- BA certificate or degree certificate of a relevant degree programme, if the degree programme has already been completed.
- Current confirmation of enrolment if the degree programme has not yet been completed (the certificate must be submitted by the time of enrolment!)
- overview of subjects and grades (Transcript of Records) of the BA degree programme
- Official confirmation of the main subject/instrument, if this is not evident from the other documents (e.g. "Bachelor of Music" is not sufficient!)
- If further previous studies are available, a complete overview of subjects and grades (Transcript of Records) of all artistic and pedagogical Master's and diploma studies must also be uploaded.
Form of the documents
- The documents can be uploaded as PDF files in the application form.
- If the documents mentioned are not available in German or English, an official translation must be submitted.
- An application portfolio (see Partial Examination A) must be submitted as a PDF file via the upload link after the invitation has been issued.
The entrance examination
If you have received an invitation to the admission examination on the basis of the documents you have submitted, you will have to take the following partial examinations:
A - Portfolio examination & online interview to determine artistic aptitude.
The oral examination in the ZKF Composition, lasting approx. 20 minutes, takes place via ZOOM and consists of two parts (portfolio and interview).
Applicants present their own works created prior to their studies (e.g. solo, chamber music, ensemble, orchestral, electro-acoustic or media works in the form of sketches, scores, recordings, films, etc.) and discuss their content and aesthetics with the examination board. Links to their own works are to be included in the portfolio (= PDF file of all works). In addition, there will be a discussion on motivation, background, previous studies, expectations or professional perspectives.
The portfolio must be submitted to the ACOnet Filesender after registration. You will receive an upload link from the relevant department secretariat as part of the invitation to the entrance examination. A coherent PDF must be created and uploaded as soon as you receive the invitation or the upload link. Please ensure that you are available with a good internet connection at the specified time of the online interview (probably mid-April); a PC/laptop with camera/microphone is also necessary.
After passing Partial Examination A, you will be admitted to Partial Examination B.
B - German language skills
- Required language level: at least A2 (Common European Framework of Reference CEFR 2001)
- Information on the German examination and the recognised certificates can be found HERE
Dates & timetable
The dates of the entrance examination as well as important deadlines can be found in the current schedule.
- Examination registration during the application period online via the registration portal for university applicants
(ATTENTION: Registration only possible if documents are complete, including video!)
- If the application video is positive: Invitation to the on-site entrance examination
- Participation in the on-site admission test in May/June
- if you pass the admission test: invitation to enrol for the degree programme
- Enrolment during the general admission period
Different examination method
Please note that the University Mozarteum Salzburg offers various support options for the admission examination and during your studies if you have a disability or a chronic illness.
Students of the Master's programme are recommended to complete a semester abroad. Semesters 2 and 3 of the degree programme are particularly suitable for this. In addition to the subject-specific competences, the following qualifications can be acquired through a study period abroad:
- Acquisition and deepening of subject-specific foreign language skills
- Acquisition and deepening of general language skills (language comprehension, conversation, etc.)
- Acquisition and deepening of organisational skills through independent planning of everyday study life in international administrative and university structures
- Getting to know and studying in international study systems as well as broadening one's own subject perspective
- Acquisition and deepening of intercultural competences
The recognition of examinations taken during studies abroad as compulsory subjects, elective subjects or free elective subjects is carried out by the Director of Studies. The documents required for the assessment are to be submitted by the applicant immediately after the stay abroad.
Details at International Affairs.
In addition to individual lessons in composition, a central content of the programme is practical work with renowned ensembles such as the oenm . österreichisches ensembles für neue musik, Kairos Quartett, Ensemble Recherche, Ensemble Phorminx, Ensemble Integrales, Ensemble Handwerk, Ensemble Mosaik, among others, who are invited to the Mozarteum University for a work phase followed by a concert. In addition, students are offered a variety of individual cooperation opportunities with other areas of the university, such as the Thomas Bernhard Institute or with the Departments of Scenography, Opera & Music Theatre and Fine Arts & Design.
The Studio for Electronic Music offers composition students exclusive opportunities to work in the field of electronic, electroacoustic and computer-assisted composition. A wide variety of multi-channel productions can be realised in two digital and one analogue studio.
Composition training at the Mozarteum University is networked in many ways with the cultural infrastructure of the city of Salzburg. There are cooperations with various venues, and the Mozarteum is also closely connected with the city's renowned contemporary music festivals. Works by Mozarteum composition students are regularly performed at the Aspekte Festival, the stART Festival and the Pocket Opera Festival.
The Institute for New Music organises all activities in the field of New Music that are relevant to the study programme and go beyond it, from the supervision of individual students to cooperations between several classes, departments and other internal and external institutions. Special importance is attached to the cooperation between the instrumental and composition classes. The Institute for New Music thus offers students and teachers the opportunity to experience the entire spectrum of contemporary music across all studies:
- The Ensemble for New Music of the Mozarteum University works with students on the programmes of the "Doppler" concert series.
- Renowned interpreters of New Music enrich the concert programme at the Mozarteum University with exclusive programmes.
- Selected composers from Austria and abroad complement the educational programme with presentations and seminars.
In addition, the institute organises the annual Crossroads Festival. Young composition students from all over Europe can apply for one of up to 15 world premieres, which are performed by various international ensembles of new music during the festival at the Mozarteum.