The University of Chicago's home for the creation, performance, and study of contemporary classical music


The Chicago Center for Contemporary Composition at the University of Chicago is a dynamic, collaborative, and interdisciplinary environment for the creation, performance and study of new music and for the advancement of the careers of emerging and established composers, performers, and scholars.

Distinguished by its formation within an uncompromising, relentlessly searching, and ceaselessly innovative scholarly environment that celebrates excellence and presents new possibilities for intellectual dialogue, the Chicago Center for Contemporary Composition is comprised of ten integrated entities: Contempo, CHIME, resident and visiting ensembles, distinguished guest composers, performances, recordings, research, graduate student-led projects, workshops, and postdoctoral fellowships.


There are many creative, passionate people whose teamwork and artistry infuse the Chicago Center for Contemporary Composition with collaborative, nimble-minded, and open-spirited vitality. Read more »


CCCC sponsors a signature postdoctoral fellowship program for composers, providing one year of specialized mentoring as they prepare to launch their careers. Fellows develop new works for performance by ensembles-in-residence, participate in workshops and colloquia, coach students on the performance of contemporary music, and teach one class in the University’s College Core curriculum. The exposure and intellectual engagement offered through this program is unparalleled in the field of contemporary music. Read more »


Dedicated exclusively to the performance of new music, Contempo is one of the United States' most successful contemporary classical music ensembles. Read more »

Contempo Co-Directors

Anthony Cheung
Sam Pluta
Augusta Read Thomas


The CHIME Studio (Chicago Integrated Media Experimental Studio) is a vital creative space in the University of Chicago's Department of Music. Directed by composer, improviser, and sound artist Sam Pluta, the studio is focused on creativity in the many realms of electronic music and its integration with other media. Read more »

Sam Pluta, Director


CCCC invites internationally acclaimed ensembles to engage directly with students and give public performances of new works. Read more »


CCCC invites an annual distinguished composer in residence to enhance current pedagogical offerings through the teaching of composition lessons and courses, participation in workshops and colloquia, programming of public performances, participation in campus-wide initiatives, and partnerships with institutions city-wide. Read more »


CCCC champions the performance of contemporary music through a dynamic mix of programming by graduate student-, faculty-, and visiting guest composers. Each season, CCCC brings contemporary music to the forefront of musical life on campus and throughout the city. Read more »


Through a fund specifically dedicated to recording, CCCC makes possible the dissemination of works by a variety of CCCC’s composers and ensembles, from senior luminaries in the field of new music to emerging student composers. The facilitation of high-quality recordings, performed by exceptional musicians, ensures that music created at CCCC becomes part of the international canon of new music. Read more »


Numerous faculty in the University of Chicago Department of Music, working in Ethnomusicology and Music History and Theory, research 20th- and 21st century music. Their work engages performers, composers, scholars, and audiences in stimulating dialogue concerning a diversity of recent music. Read more »


Composition students are encouraged to propose and develop special projects sponsored by CCCC. In addition to enriching their own area of study, students gain indispensible organizational, management, and budgeting skills through the execution of their projects. Read more »


A series of dynamic workshops led by leading composers, scholars, and performers from the new music field complements and enhances the work of CCCC in a lively, interactive setting.


1010 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637

Founder and Director

Augusta Read Thomas

Advisory Board

Seth Brodsky
Anthony Cheung
Jennifer Iverson
Amy Iwano
Travis Jackson
Sam Pluta
Barbara Schubert


Reba Cafarelli

The Chicago Center for Contemporary Composition is supported in part by generous gifts from Kay Bucksbaum and Gay Stanek.

Related Links