Contemporary Performance Program

CPP students work with living classical composers, develop new works, and perform 20th- and 21st-century masterpieces in the critically-acclaimed ensemble, Tactus.

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An advanced graduate program at the forefront of contemporary classical music that prepares students to innovate as artists and entrepreneurs.

Degree Offered

  • Master of Music (MM)

Contemporary Performance Majors


Double Bass




Program Details

The Contemporary Performance Program (CPP) is an advanced graduate program dedicated to preparing musicians to thrive as artists working on the forefront of contemporary classical music.

The CPP season performances present highly-crafted performances of 20th- and 21st–century masterpieces. Concerts feature both newly written works and collaborations with established and emerging living composers as well as core 20th-century repertoire by composers such as Webern, Schoenberg, Ives, Varèse, Cage and Ligeti. The program collaborates regularly with MSM faculty composers and the Composition department to develop and premiere new works.

The Contemporary Performance Program is lead by Artistic Director and Chair Margaret Kampmeier.

10th Anniversary Alumni Showcase: Celebrating 10 years of graduates from MSM's Contemporary Performance Program

“The deepest, grandest noise of the musical season so far”

From a review of Tactus, the CPP Ensemble

Audition & Prescreening Information

Prescreening & Audition Procedures

Handbook for Current Students

Contemporary Performance Handbook

Plan of Study & Course Descriptions

MSM Course Catalog
(A plan of study may also be found at the bottom of this page.)

Contemporary Performance Administration

Margaret Kampmeier, Artistic Director and Chair


NOTE: Curriculum is subject to change. In case of a discrepancy, the MSM Course Catalog is the authoritative source of requirements. View the Course Catalog here.

Sample Schedule for Master of Music / Contemporary Performance Major

Total Program Hours: 54-57

  • Major Instrument Seminar (CT6000)
    8 cr
  • Composer/Reading Workshop (CT1999)
    2 cr
  • Contemporary Ensemble (CT1071)
    4 cr
  • Contemporary Musicianship (CT2200)
    4 cr
  • Performing with Electronics (CT2700)
    2 cr
  • Contemporary Music Survey (CT1960-1961)
    6 cr
  • Concert Attendance (CA1000)
    0 cr
  • Jury
    0 cr
Total Credits for Year 1:
26 cr
  • Major Instrument Seminar (CT6000)
    8 cr
  • Composer Reading/Workshop (CT1999)
    2 cr
  • Contemporary Ensemble (CT1071)
    4 cr
  • Composer/Performer Project (CT1700)
    2 cr
  • Advanced Practicum (ME2001)
    2 cr
  • Independent Study (IS1999)
    2 cr
  • Graduate Electives
    6 cr
  • Graduate Theory Electives (TH2000-2999)
    2 cr
  • 5 Setting the Stage Workshops (ME1000)
    0 cr
  • Jury
    0 cr
  • Graduation Recital/Lecture Presentation
    0 cr
Total Credits for Year 2:
28 cr

Members of MSM's critically-praised Tactus ensemble

Success Stories

See All
  • Jan 20, 2021 Composition
    MSM alumnus’s composition performed at Presidential Inauguration
  • Jan 2, 2021 Musical Theatre
    Musical Theatre students and alumni to perform in original play by Samantha Hahn
  • Dec 29, 2020 Musical Theatre
    Sarah Thorn nominated for BroadwayWorld Regional Award

Ford Forqurean (clarinet) MM '18. Tactus performs multiple times throughout the academic year. 

“One of the huge benefits of MSM is its location in NYC, home to the richest and most saturated scene in contemporary classic, jazz and other genres.”

Viola, Contemporary Performance (MM '16)

 MSM's critically-praised Tactus ensemble following a Soundpainting performance led by CPP faculty Todd Reynolds (front, right).