Peabody composition alumni are regular winners of prestigious fellowships and competitions, and the new low-residency master’s program in composition adds a 21st-century twist to Peabody’s long-held reputation as one of the world’s elite training grounds for composers. Students in this program can expect to work with faculty who are among the most honored composers working today, rotating between studios to gain a variety of perspectives.

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Highlights of the low-residency master’s program in composition include:

  • June intensives combining academic study with the community, rich schedule, and immersive environment of a summer music festival.
  • Summer term private lessons beginning in-person in Baltimore and continuing remotely in July and August.
  • Composers will study with two or more different faculty members and experience a variety of approaches while building close mentoring relationships.
  • Students attend and participate in master classes, seminar presentations, and performances with esteemed guest composers and performers
  • Low-residency MM students may submit works to the same on-campus performance opportunities provided to fully resident students, such as composition recitals and ensemble readings.
  • Composers will have works performed by professional ensembles.
  • Students may enroll in elective minor lessons at the same rates and regulations as all Peabody students.

Applications are now open for Summer 2024 enrollment in the low-residency program in composition. The enrollment deadline is January 15. Audition and TOEFL requirements are the same as those for the traditional residential program.

Learn More


The Peabody Composition faculty will work collaboratively to present classes, workshops, and seminars in the low-residency master’s program. Over the course of the low-residency program, students can expect to take private lessons with more than one, but not all, of the faculty listed below. Student preferences are balanced with several other factors in making studio assignments.

Oscar Bettison

Described as possessing “an unconventional lyricism and a menacing beauty" and a “unique voice,” British/American composer Oscar Bettison's work demonstrates a willingness to work within and outside the confines of concert music.

Du Yun

Pulitzer Prize-winner Du Yun, born and raised in Shanghai, China and currently based in New York City, is a composer, performer, activist, and curator for new music, who works at the intersection of orchestral, opera, chamber music, theatre, cabaret, musical theater, oral tradition, public performances, sound installation, electronics, visual arts, and noise.

Michael Hersch

Widely considered “one of the most fertile musical minds to emerge in the U.S. over the past generation,” (The Financial Times of London), Michael Hersch continues to compose music of tremendous power and invention.

Felipe Lara

Praised by the New York Times as "a gifted Brazilian-American modernist" whose works are “brilliantly realized”, “technically formidable, wildly varied”, and possess “voluptuous, elemental lyricism”, Felipe Lara’s work — which includes orchestral, chamber, vocal, film, electroacoustic, and popular music—engages in producing new musical contexts.

Sky Macklay

The music of composer, oboist, and installation artist Sky Macklay is conceptual yet expressive, exploring extreme contrasts, surreal tonality, audible processes, humor, and the physicality of sound. Some of her pieces incorporate intermedia and extramusical narratives, addressing topics ranging from commuting times to the side effects of contraceptive and assisted reproductive technology.

Kevin Puts

Winner of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for his debut opera Silent Night, Kevin Puts has been hailed as one of the most important composers of his generation. Critically acclaimed for his distinctive and richly colored musical voice, his works have been commissioned, performed, and recorded by leading orchestras, ensembles and soloists.

Sample Curriculum

The low-residency master’s degree in composition is a full-time program that will be completed in 13 months. The summer sessions require in-person attendance while the courses in the fall and spring are done through remote learning platforms.

Summer 2022 Fall 2022 Spring 2023 Summer 2023
Course Credits Course Credits Course Credits Course Credits
Summer Lessons 3 Lesson 4 Lesson 4 Summer Lessons 3
Lesson Extension 1 Department Seminar 1 Department Seminar 1 Summer Seminar 2
Summer Seminar 2 Elective 1 Elective 1 Portfolio 2
Elective 1 Musicology Seminar 3 Theory Seminar 3 Pitching Your Creative Idea 2
Elective 1 Theory Seminar 3 Musicology Seminar 3    
Building Your Brand 2            
Total 10 Total 12 Total 12 Total 9