Conservatoire Composition Cluster

2 students in a music room using digital equipmentResearch within the Conservatoire Composition Cluster, headed jointly by Professor Joe Cutler and Prof Michael Wolters, covers a wide aesthetic and performative spectrum, from score-based and improvisational work through to advanced computer-based research into the live interaction of digital technologies with human performers.

Although the research underpinning compositional practice is individual and personalised and the Conservatoire’s composition staff positively celebrate and encourage diversity of expression, the cluster nevertheless enjoys a strongly bond of artistic endeavour. Staff share a desire to challenge traditional institutional preconceptions regarding the nature, content and presentation of new music, especially with respect to experimental venues, non-elite content, mixed-media creativity and the cultivation of new audiences. Rather, they explore, examine and document the potential, difference and impact of work which is realised through alternative and more independently mediated creative processes.

Key research concerns and issues include:

  • Alternatives to the traditional concert hall
  • Collaborative and interdisciplinary approaches
  • Composer-led collectives
  • The composer as performer
  • Composition with minimal means
  • Control of dissemination of our works, for example, through our own label: Birmingham Record Company
  • Community engagement as artistic practice
  • Queering classical music tradition
  • Queerness in contemporary performance
  • Conceptual and experimental music
  • Music as a visual performance art form

Key Staff

For other composition staff, see the Composition Department

PhD Students and Awards (2014-)

  • Ivan Cancialosi
  • Bobbie-Jane Gardner
  • Andrea Granitzio
  • Patrick Guigère
  • Andy Ingamells
  • Patricia Kelly (Trish Clowes)
  • Christopher Long
  • Melinda Maxwell
  • Mel Moore
  • Paul Norman
  • Percy Pursglove
  • Susannah Self
  • Sayyid Shafiee
  • Richard Stenton
  • Paul Taylor
  • Andrew Toovey
  • Maya Verlaak
  • Riaan Vosloo
  • Graham Waterhouse
  • Soul (Yfat) Zisso
  • Simon Cummings (2017)
  • Edmund Hunt (2017)
  • Fang Fang (2016)
  • Hans Koller (2016)
  • Joanna Lee (2015)
  • Susan Cannon (2015)
  • Tim Perkins (2014)
  • Andrew Thomas (2014)