For Cursus Academic Year 2022.2023
Beginning of the courses: October 10, 2022
End of Cursus: September 29, 2023

Public concerned: composers under 35 years old (born after January 1, 1987)

Cursus Program on Composition and Computer music

Teaching in French and English.

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. Iannota, P. Jodlowski, M. Lanza, B. Mantovani, Y. Maresz, B. Pauset, Hèctor Parra, Y. Robin, L. Ronchetti, G. Spiropoulos, C. Trapani, F. Verunelli…) have enhanced their musical thought through the technological tools made available in the Cursus program where the philosophy is that technology is not an end it itself but a tool at the service of musical artistic and creation idea.

For 12 months (from October to September of the following year),a special program will be implemented so students can acquire genuine technical autonomy and fluency in a number of computer programs.

Included in the activities at the heart of our institute, composers are trained in the use of IRCAM software for music composition (Max, OpenMusic, Modalys, TS2, Spat, etc.) in a wide-ranging and productive environment based on exchanges and encounters with researchers, programmers, sound engineers, computer-music designers, and composers working in our labs and studios. Training features hands-on work in the studios and workshops led by the composer associated with the Cursus, Pierre Jodlowski on different themes, such as dance, video/film, text, improvisation and electronics including guest artist seminars.

Students present mini projects at the end of each unit throughout the program. This validates their skills and prepares them for the production of their final project presented to the public during the IRCAM season program in September 2023.

IRCAM focuses on a constant renewal and is open to changes. As a result, this final project can now be expressed using a multitude of forms: a piece of music, a sonic installation, an electronic or electroacoustic work including other media such as dance, images, text, poetry, etc. Forms and formats are very open.

Through a partnership with the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris (Cnsmdp), 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 (CNSMDL) and the Pôle supérieur d’enseignement artistique Paris Boulogne-Billancourt (PSPBB) students signed up in a Master’s degree in composition in one of these establishments can take their first year of their degree in IRCAM’s Cursus if selected by the Cursus jury.

Registration fees: 2,000€

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.

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.

Admission requirements

The competition is opened to composers under 35 years old.
10 Places are available.

Candidates must complete their application on the Ulysses Platform from October 5 to November 8, 2021.

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 several letters of recommendation
– 3 recent works, at least 1 of which with electronics, accompanied by scores (pdf) recordings (MP3) and/or video (link YouTube). 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). Remember to give a permanent URL that does not require a password.

Selection process schedule
October 5, 2021: Applications can be submitted
November 8, 2021: Application deadline, 12:00pm French Hour
November-December, 2021: Selection process
End of January, 2022: Announcement by mail of selection results

Further information about the IRCAM Cursus competition can be found here


Deadline 16 December 2021



November 8


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