Among former students and UCLA alumni are many leaders in their fields.

Cristian Amigo – composer, guitarist, ethnomusicologist and former Guggenheim fellow

Brian Asawa – countertenor

Angel Blue – operatic soprano, classical crossover artist

Carol Burnett – actor, comedian, singer

India Carney – singer, songwriter, arranger

Don Davis – film composer (The Matrix franchise)

Gila Flam – director Music Library at the National Library of Israel

Martha Gonzales – lead singer for the Grammy-winning Chicana band Quetzal

Ara Guzelimian – dean and provost of the Julliard School

Jake Heggie – classical composer (Dead Man Walking, Moby-Dick)

James Horner – film composer (Avatar, Titanic, A Beautiful Mind)

Laura Kuhn – executive director of the John Cage Trust

Akin Euba – Mellon professor, emeritus in Music at the University of Pittsburgh and founder of the Center for Intercultural Music at Cambridge University

Cristina Magaldi – musicologist and award-winning author

Randy Newman – composer and performer

Dan Sheehy – director of Folkways Recordings at the Smithsonian Institution

Leonard Stein – pianist

Bonnie Wade – former chair of the department of music at UC Berkeley

Kamasi Washington – jazz saxophonist and composer

I Nyoman Wenten – chair of the world music program at the California Institute of the Arts

John Williams – Academy Award-winning composer (Star Wars, Jaws, E.T.)

Nora Yeh – archivist with the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress

LaMonte Young – avant-garde composer and musician