The Chicago Center for Contemporary Composition offers an annual yearlong position to an exceptionally promising composer writing contemporary classical music.

CCCC provides Researchers with facilities and resources to develop new works for performance by the ensembles-in-residence. Researchers will also participate in CCCC’s workshops and colloquia; coach musicians on contemporary music performance; and teach one class each year in the University’s College Core curriculum. This singular opportunity will allow a composer in the early stages of his or her career to gain unprecedented exposure and intellectual engagement in the dynamic setting of the University of Chicago's prestigious music composition program.

Apply now for the 2020-21 Postdoctoral Researcher position!

2019-20 Postdoctoral Researcher

The CCCC is pleased to announce the appointment of Ashkan Behzadi as the 2019-20 Postdoctoral Researcher at the rank of Instructor in the Division of the Humanities. Behzadi will develop new works to be performed by the CCCC’s resident Grossman Ensemble, as well as other guest artists during the upcoming season. He will also teach an undergraduate course, provide music lessons, and participate in the Center’s workshops and events.

“Ashkan is an imaginative composer of energetic, colorful music, which is refined, original, and compelling. His use of microtonal pitch and extended techniques for the instruments is thoroughly considered and carefully notated. Some of his music explores connections with philosophy,” said Augusta Read Thomas, Founder and Director of the CCCC. “We look forward to welcoming him to the Center, where he will contribute to the open-minded, receptive, and supportive culture of our thriving composition community."

“There are moments in the life of every composer that she/he might think, ‘This is it! This is, if not the ideal, almost the ideal situation that every composer should be able to work in: to reflect, research, experiment, and to make music surrounded by a vibrant collective of composers and in a close productive relationship with our musician colleagues,’” said Behzadi. “I am truly honored that next year I will be part of the vivid community of the Department of Music at the University of Chicago and will have the opportunity to closely work with the versatile musicians of the Grossman Ensemble. I cannot wait to be in the city of Chicago this fall, and to contribute to the rich contemporary music scene in an exhilarating year of critical reflection, exploration, and composition.”

Behzadi will compose two new works including a piece for the Grossman Ensemble premiering on Friday, March 13, 2020. Behzadi will serve as the third Postdoctoral Researcher of the Chicago Center for Contemporary Composition. The current Researcher, Tonia Ko, will complete her fellowship in June.

Postdoctoral Researchers

2017-2018 - Aaron Helgeson
2018-2019 - Tonia Ko
2019-2020 - Ashkan Behzadi


Founder and Director

Augusta Read Thomas

Advisory Board

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


Reba Cafarelli

Director of Communications
Margo Strebig

About CCCC's creative team »


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

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