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IRCAM Cursus, year 2018/2019

Practical Training in Composition & Music Technology

Oct. 9, 2017 - Nov. 7, 2017
Organized by Ircam

Application call from October 9 to November 7, 2017

For Cursus Academic year 2018/2019. Beginning of the courses : September 2018. End of Cursus and concert: June 2019

Public concerned: composers of “mixed music” (instrument plus electronics) or electronic music

IRCAM’s Cursus program provides ten young composers with the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the theoretical and compositional issues involved in computer music. The long-term objective of this intensive, 10-month program is to provide young composers with the technical autonomy necessary to express their musical ideas.
Throughout the program, 8 mini projects will be required of each composer, enabling them to learn new computer tools (created by IRCAM or elsewhere) and to put in practice the knowledge and new computer tools learned, while preparing their final work.
The Cursus includes classes on theory and IRCAM software (Max, Max for Live, OpenMusic, Modalys, AudioSculpt, Spat, etc.), hands-on exercises in the studio, composition and improvisation workshops with electronics, meetings with IRCAM’s research teams and guest composers, and individualized supervision of students by the educational team (Éric Daubresse, Marco Liuni, Jean Lochard, Grégoire Lorieux, Mikhail Malt) and the composer associated with the Cursus, Thierry De Mey. At every step, the students present mini projects that prepare and lead them, from month to month, to the realization of their final compositions.
The production of a short sketch, presented to the public during a concert as part of IRCAM’s ManiFeste festival in June 2019, serves as a focal point for each student’s training. Cursus program also provides the opportunity for a few composers to produce a work for electronics or a work for electronics and solo performer (instrument or dancer).
So, the final work can be either a “mixed music” work for solo instrument and electronics performed by a musician from the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris (Paris Conservatory) or an electronic performance.
Finally, the life of the institute, its research and creation seminars, concerts, and symposiums all serve as a stimulus for writing electronics and provide a complement to the training program, giving composers a complete vision of the uses of new technologies in music.
A partnership established between the Paris Conservatory and the Haute école de musique de Genève (Switzerland) enables the students enrolled in these two establishments to validate their first year of their Master’s degree by following the Cursus program at IRCAM, if selected by the reading panel.

Admission requirements
The competition is opened to composers under 35 years old.
Places available for 10 composers

Candidates must complete their application on the Ulysses Platform from October 9 to November 7, 2017.

The application file must include the following documents (in French or in English):
- A detailed curriculum vitae, a list of professional experiences, and awards received
- A copy of a valid ID or passport
- For the non-French applicants: a document proving your good oral comprehension of the French language. 
 The applicants for whom French is not the native language must be able to justify an appropriate level of French or give a proof of TEF results (level B2) or an equivalent diploma, or a document certifying a proper level of oral comprehension of French.
The non-French-applicants who have studied or lived for several years in a French speaking country and can prove it, do not need to present a French Evaluation Level Test.
- A letter explaining the candidate’s motivations
- One or more letters of recommendation written by well-known figures in the musical world
- 3 recent works, at least 1 of which with electronics, accompanied by scores (pdf) recordings (wav or aiff) and/or video (mov). The electronics works can be linked with visual arts, dance, installation, multimedia…
For the piece(s) with electronics, please submit at least 1 Max patch, OpenMusic maquette or other tools that you used for the electronics part. Please indicate the link where the patch can be downloaded in the notes part dedicated to the work you submit).

Selection process schedule
October 9, 2017: Applications can be submitted
November 7, 2017: Application deadline
November-December, 2017: Selection process
Mid-December: Announcement by mail of selection results

The jury will be made up of IRCAM director, IRCAM Education and Cultural Outreach Department instructors and director, composers and musicians.
Following the jury’s decision, the candidates that have been pre-selected may possibly be contacted the first fortnight of December to set up a skype interview with the teaching team in order to assess each candidate’s motivation and level of knowledge.

Further information about the IRCAM Cursus competition can be found here

Any requests concerning this competition can be made by e-mail to:

This competition is now open for applications.