Dynamic and adventurous, we provide a playground for the creative mind. If you have the ambition and potential to advance and transform 21st century music-making, you’ll thrive in our vibrant and experimental community. We welcome students with diverse musical backgrounds, and celebrate those prepared to challenge the boundaries of our art-form as we know it today.
You will develop sophisticated compositional techniques and become a superb orchestrator, understanding how the 20th and 21st centuries have drawn all available sounds into music and exploring where classical traditions meet contemporary rebellions. You will be asked to embrace the challenges of writing for the best professionals, fellow students, enthusiastic amateurs and your local community, whilst developing your skills in seeking commissions and meeting your audience’s needs and expectations.
Artistic success comes from a combination of hard work and experimentation. Our department is a community of experimenters, whom we encourage to have fun with the serious business of becoming a composer.
With some of the UK’s leading composers amongst our faculty, you will join a team who look beyond music alone for their artistic influence and means of expression. They are highly experienced collaborators in dance, film, theatre, installation and other visual arts. In addition to individual and small group Principal Study lessons, you will undertake a range of Departmental classes which are specially designed to develop your technical skills and repertoire knowledge.
You are encouraged to continue your studies as an instrumentalist/ singer alongside your composition work, through additional Principal Study Enhancement one-to-one lessons.
We recognise the value of other art forms – that’s why the Department comes together every week for a session led by a guest artist, sometimes a contemporary composer, other times a chef, an author or even a mixologist!
Our composition department is located at the Faculty of Music within the stunning location of King Charles Court.
You will have access to a range of performance and practice facilities as well as:
- our dedicated Composition Suite and Keyboard Laboratory, which provides networked Mac workstations with full size weighted-action electronic pianos equipped with Logic Audio, Sibelius and Auralia software.
- Also available is the industry-standard Recording Studio, which is available for you to realise your acoustic and electro-acoustic works.
With a large body of some of today’s finest young performers at your disposal, you will write for individuals, chamber ensembles and larger performing groups, and hear your ideas in both workshop and performance contexts. Trinity Laban’s Contemporary Music Group is closely linked to the Department, and student commissions form a regular part of all our orchestral, choral and other ensembles’ concerts.
You are also encouraged to demonstrate your own creativity and initiative, for example through our regular ‘Rude Health’ concerts, which will give you the chance to showcase your work in evenings curated entirely by students.
A highlight of my time at Trinity Laban has been the frequency of how often my works have been performed and recorded. Every piece that I have written at Trinity Laban has been recorded, including two orchestra pieces.
James Layton, BMus Composition
Collaborative skills are central to our ethos, and you will have many opportunities to undertake project work, often in conjunction with external partners as well as with other musicians and dancers. You will be able to create projects with dance, theatre, film and more in concert halls, galleries, museums and clubs. There are no boundaries to the places you can take your art.
Our graduates thrive in every corner of the composition world:
Ed Henderson and Tim Cape run experimental /underground events in London as the collective, Bastard Assignments.
Theo Jamieson and Oliver Payne are developing careers writing/directing musicals.
Jeff Wayne wrote The Musical Version of The War of the Worlds.
Laura Harrison is the Music Director at Soho Music.
Cassie Kinoshi was selected for The Old Vic Theatre’s year long professional development programme, the “Old Vic 12” for 2016/17. She was selected for LSO’s Panufnik Composers Scheme 2018 and was created Cameron Mackintosh Composer in Residence for 2019. She also performs and tours with her own ensemble, ‘Seed Ensemble’. As well as this, the all female band, ‘Nerija’, that she is part of, won Best Newcomer in the Parliamentary Jazz Awards 2017.
Cimeon Ellerton is Chief Operating Officer at The Audience Agency, which helps cultural organisations and policymakers plan and deliver audience strategies.
Soumik Datta is one of the world’s finest sarod players, collaborating with many different artists including Beyoncé and Anoushka Shankar.
Julian Hepple is a Grammy nominated sound engineer and music producer, working with artists such as Prince, One Direction and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
John K Miles composes for TV and film and leads on a huge variety of creative projects and workshops with different organisations.
Numerous others are creating work for concert hall, stage, film and TV, or work in engineering, programming, producing, arranging and directing.
To view the impressive organisations that our alumni have worked with, visit Alumni Destinations.
For more information on the successes of Trinity Laban Composition graduates and what they have to say about the course, visit Alumni Profiles.
Composition at Trinity Laban
Head of Composition and Music Technology
A cup of tea with...
Composition at Trinity Laban
Our community of experimenters are trained for the realities and diversity of professional life in the global village. Explore what studying Composition at Trinity Laban is like in our gallery.
- 1 - Parallax: Trinity Laban Contemporary Music Ensemble
- 2 - The Daryl Runswick Competition
- 3 - Rude Health: A Festival of New Music
- 4 - King Charles Court, Faculty of Music © Peter Smith
- 5 - Rude Health: A Festival of New Music