Cursus Program on Composition and Computer Music
Serving the institute’s missions of research and creation, the Cursus program for composition and computer music is the flagship program in the broad range of IRCAM’s educational activities. Initiated in 1990 under Pierre Boulez, numerous composers (such as F. Baschet, F. Bedrossian, O. Bianchi, E. Campion, R. Cendo, F. Filidei, J. Fineberg, S. Gervasoni, C. Iannotta, P. Jodlowski, M. Lanza, B. Mantovani, Y. Maresz, B. Pauset, H. Parra, Y. Robin, L. Ronchetti, G. Spiropoulos, C. Trapani, F. Verunelli) have expanded their musical thinking thanks to the technological tools they have acquired through the Cursus program, the challenge being to consider that technology is not an end in itself but a means to serve musical and artistic thinking.
A progressive 12-month program (from October to September of the following year) allows students to acquire technical and computer autonomy.
Composers are trained on IRCAM software applied to music composition (Max, OpenMusic, Modalys, TS2, Spat...) in a stimulating environment full of encounters and exchanges with researchers, developers, sound engineers, computer music producers, and composers working in our labs and studios. Practical work in the studio, improvisation workshops with electronics, and seminars with guest artists complete the training.
The year is punctuated by week-long workshops (moving images, written poetry, dance, visual arts) that allow the students to become familiar with the challenges of interdisciplinarity projects.
At the end of each step in the program, students present "mini-projects" that demonstrate what they have learned and prepare them for the production of their final project, which will be shown to the public during IRCAM's concert season. The final performance takes place during a concert in IRCAM's concert hall—the Espace de Projection—scheduled to reopen after a long period of renovations.
In a constant effort to renew and expand the scope of the final projects, the final composition can now take several forms: a musical piece, an installation, a purely electronic or electroacoustic work integrating dance, image, text, poetry... The forms and formats remain very open.
The artists participating in the performance of the Cursus projects are young professionals chosen according to the students' projects.
Students enrolled in the Masters of Music program at the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris, the Haute École de musique de Genève, the Académie supérieure de musique de Strasbourg - HEAR, the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Lyon, and the Pôle supérieur d'enseignement artistique Paris Boulogne-Billancourt (PSPBB) can validate their 1st or 2nd year of the Master's program by following IRCAM’s Cursus.
IRCAM is a partner of the Cité internationale des arts for the residencies of the composers of the Cursus. Candidates selected for the Cursus have the possibility of having a studio at the Cité internationale des arts for the duration of their training, the monthly fees remaining at their expense.
Over the past 30 years, the Cursus program on composition and computer music has trained 350 composers from 50 different countries. 50 public Cursus performances have been held in our musical seasons.
Cursus Educational Team
Simone Conforti, Jean Lochard, Grégoire Lorieux, Sébastien Naves, Claudia Scroccaro
computer-music designers lecturers
Pierre Jodlowski composer associated with the Cursus
Philippe Langlois education department director
Murielle Ducas educational coordination manager
Public composers (under 35 years old)
Contact 01 44 78 48 17 | cursus (at) ircam.fr
The 2021.22 Class
Selected Composers for Cursus 2021.22
Apply to the Cursus Program
The call for applications for Cursus 2022.23 is closed.
Applicants must be under 35 years old.
There are no applications fees
General Terms and Conditions
The call for applications for Cursus 2022.23 is closed.
Your dossier must include:
- A copy of valid ID or passport
- A detailed curriculum vitae
- The list of professional experiences and awards
- A cover letter
- One or several letters of recommendation
- Three recent works, at least one with electronics (score, audio recording, video, etc.)
- The URL to download a patch for one of your compositions (Max or any other real-time software) from the platform of your choice. Remember to give a permanent URL that does not require a password.
For non-Francophone applicants: a copy of your TEF exam (level B2) or equivalent diploma or any other document proving an equivalent level of oral comprehension.
Conditions for Applicants and Selected Candidates
10 places are available
Registration fees: 2,000€ (includes the Premium Individuel membership to the IRCAM Forum for 2 years)
Applicants selected for the Cursus program must confirm their participation in writing and commit to take on any other professional engagements during the program. Classes are held at IRCAM from Monday through Friday, from 10am to 1pm and from 2:30 to 5:30pm. There are two weeks of vacation in December for the holidays.
IRCAM does not give out any scholarships or pay for any travel, but can assist you when looking for financial aid. The Cursus program is considered to be continued professional training.
Contact: cursus (@) ircam.fr
Applicants selected for the Cursus program have the possibility, upon request, to be housed at the Cité internationale des arts de Paris. They will have a studio/room throughout the program. Monthly housing fees are paid by the students.
Furthermore, applicants selected for the Cursus program signed up in the Sacem repertory are eligible for a scholarship. Contact the Sacem directly to request a dossier.
For more information about accessibility, please contact us at cursus ( at ) ircam.fr.
For any complaints, please contact IRCAM through our online complaint form.