The Department hosts two residencies each year, one with an eminent composer and one with a leading contemporary music ensemble. Composers give private lessons, master classes, and seminars. Our visiting composers have included Samuel Adler, William Bolcom, Donald Crockett, George Crumb, Mario Davidovsky, John Harbison, Stephen Jaffe, George Lewis, Steven Mackey, Krzysztof Penderecki, Shulamit Ran, Bernard Rands, George Rochberg, Steven Stucky, Augusta Read Thomas, Joan Tower, Chen Yi, Melinda Wagner and Yehudi Wyner.
The visiting ensemble presents a concert of music from its repertory and then reads and records student music written especially for them. Our Resident Ensembles have included Prism Saxophone Quartet, Speculum Musicae, New York New Music Ensemble, Nunc, California EAR Unit, Relâche, Zeitgeist, and the Arditti, Enso and Flux String Quartets. In addition, acclaimed instrumentalists are frequent guests to the school and many, such as the Chiara Quartet, Daniel Druckman, Curtis Macomber, Ursula Oppens, and David Starobin, present master classes and seminars of direct interest to composers.