Composition Department

There are many opportunities for CIM composition students throughout the neighboring communities, as well. Both the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra and the Canton Symphony regularly commission CIM students to write works for their orchestras. Other recent student commissions have included works for local dance organizations and for the Museum of Natural History; you can hear those pieces in the audio section of our Archives.

Every composition major at CIM receives a weekly individual lesson. Additionally, students are required to attend the weekly seminar, where faculty and students present their own music, meet with visiting composers, explore career options, and discuss virtually any and every topic related to being a composer in the 21st century.

A wide variety of composers with differing styles and ideas regularly visit CIM, meeting with us in seminar, talking about their music in pre-concert discussions, answering questions, and in many cases, looking at individual student works in master classes. Composers who have visited in recent years include John Adams, Christopher Rouse, Mario Davidovsky, John Corigliano, Joan Tower, Melinda Wagner, Aaron Kernis, John Harbison, Tania León, David Lang, Claude Baker, and David Rakowski, among many others.

Student Successes

CIM students consistently are among the nation's most honored young composers. Their awards include the prestigious BMI Student Composers Competition (three times in the past four years); the Kronos String Quartet Under 30 commission; first prizes in the ASCAP Foundation - Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, the National Association of Composers USA Competition, the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Composition Prize, the Leo Kaplan Prize, the National Federation of Music Clubs competition, and the Ohio Federation of Music Clubs Composition Competition.

Our students have received commissions from SCI, ASCAP, the BMI Foundation, and the New York Youth Symphony, and have been chosen for the Minnesota Orchestra Composer Readings.

Additionally, CIM students have been in residence at the Copland House, Camargo (Cassis, France), the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the Aspen Summer Music Festival, the Free University Berlin Institute, Bowdoin Summer Music Festival, and Brevard Summer Music.

  • Back to the main Composition page
  • Meet the CIM Composition Faculty.
  • Learn about our Electronic Music Studio.
  • Read about the New Music Ensemble
  • See some of our Distinguished Alumni.
  • See CIM Faculty over the years.

Composition Division

Composition Department

Keith Fitch

Vincent K. and Edith H. Smith Chair


Conservatory Studies

Adrian Daly

Dean of the Conservatory

216.791.5000 ext. 204

Caryn Reynolds

Administrative Assistant to the Dean

216.791.5000 ext. 273


For a complete list of our Conservatory departments, please see our Departments page.

Conservatory Faculty

For a complete list of faculty members and bios, please see our Faculty page.

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