The composition faculty at the NAFA School of Music focuses on training composition students to create a wide range of works by providing them with a firm foundation in music theory and history.

Composition students often collaborate with other art groups within and beyond NAFA to create original works for film, dance, and theatre. Working with these groups will enhance their employability and widen their composition portfolio that includes industrial-based co-creation. They will also enjoy opportunities for their compositions to be read and performed by members of the NAFA Orchestra as well as visiting professional musicians on a regular basis.

Students are encouraged to study non-Western musical traditions and aesthetics, and fuse them with the latest developments of compositional techniques they will acquire as part of their studies. Relevant initiatives include collaborations and composition workshops with ensembles under NAFA’s Chinese Instrumental Studies, the Gamelan Ensemble, as well as percussionists well-versed with the mridangam, rebana and other traditional / ethnic instruments.

The valuable experience of studying with international composers, including visiting artists and professors from our degree partner, the Royal College of Music, London, will continue to expand students’ musical horizons and equip them with a holistic and well-rounded education. Apart from one-to-one Principal Study lessons each week, students will discuss compositional processes and analyze contemporary ensemble and orchestral compositions during the weekly Composers’ Seminar.

Recent visiting composers to NAFA include Ken Ueno, William Mival, Chichun Lee and Michael Sidney Timpson, while visiting artists and ensembles who have read and performed NAFA composers’ works include the H2 Saxophone Quartet, the Keuris Quartet, Ding Yi Music Company and Siong Leng Musical Association.