The Bachelor of Arts in Composition is specifically interested in welcoming composers who demonstrate extraordinary intellectual curiosity and whose primary goal is to communicate with others on a profoundly human level. The program emphasizes the collaborative relationship between composers and performers in such a way that a simulated professional experience is achieved. The school’s renowned composition faculty expect students to acquire and master basic skills, which involves an intensive study of: music theory (written and oral), counterpoint, orchestration, analysis, technology, performance, the traditional Western canon and its history, in tandem with the study of popular, jazz, rock, folk, and non-Western traditions. Students who successfully complete the B.A. at UCLA are prepared to enter the professional world as practicing artists, film composers, or to continue with graduate studies at the highest level.
Bachelor of Arts
Jake Heggie ’84, M.A. ’05
B.A. Composition ’84, M.A. Composition ’05
Jake Heggie is an American composer of opera, vocal, orchestral and chamber music. He is best known for his operas and art songs, as well as for his collaborations with internationally-renowned performers and writers. Hailed by the Associated Press as “one of the pre-eminent contemporary opera composers,” Heggie is most known for his contributions to the American operatic repertoire, which includes “Dead Man Walking,” “Moby-Dick,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and “Three Decembers,” among others. His work has been produced on five continents at some of the world’s greatest opera houses and concert halls. In September 2021, “Dead Man Walking” received its 71st production at the Norwegian National Opera & Ballet in Oslo, Norway, making it the most widely performed American opera of the 21st century.
Read more to learn about his experiences at UCLA, the silver linings of challenges throughout his career and advice for young musical artists.