1. Undergraduate applicants to City, University of London
  2. Music at City

Music at City

Situated at the heart of one of the world's greatest musical cities, the Music Department at City, University of London offers exceptional teaching in performance, composition and musicology. Find out more about the department.

We provide students with an inspiring environment to make music, with outstanding facilities and performance opportunities, as well as £2,000 performance scholarships, sandwich year, study abroad and placement options, and excellent graduate prospects.

Our flourishing performance culture is sustained through the provision of private performance lessons from visiting professional musicians and an exceptionally wide range of classical and world music ensembles. We offer some of the best facilities in the country for performance, sound recording and composition, and have a longstanding international reputation for creative work in music, media and technology. For composers there are many opportunities to have their works performed by leading visiting professional ensembles.

In 2017, we were first in the UK for Music with 100% overall student satisfaction with the course.

Here’s a quick overview of a few of our Music staff who may teach you. If you attend one of our Applicant Days you’ll get to meet even more of them.

Dr Laudan Nooshin

Dr Laudan Nooshin - Head of Department

An exciting place that you have played in?

In 2012, I performed with a group of City students on the stage of the Royal Festival Hall with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, as part of a joint education outreach project between City and the LPO. It was an amazing experience for all of us, and definitely the highlight of my performing career!

Best/Most memorable concert that you have attended?

In 2000, I attended one of the first concerts given by the Iranian pop diva Googoosh, after she was permitted to leave Iran and not having been allowed to perform in public for 20 years. It was an historic moment in the history of Iranian popular music and I was glad to be there to experience it. Wembley Arena was absolutely heaving and it was a very emotional concert for all.

Another memorable concert was the very first all-night Indian music prom concert at the Royal Albert Hall in the summer of 1981. I had just finished ‘A’ Levels and had been working on an archaeological dig, of all things. I was on my way home after several weeks away, so had my sleeping bag with me and it was surprisingly comfortable on the floor of the Albert Hall arena, lulled by Indian music playing all night!

Highlight of Music teaching career so far?

Taking a group of City students on an educational trip to Iran in 2008. The students fell in love with the country and the people - the whole experience was so different from what they had expected, given Western media representations of Iran. As well as travelling to historical sites and cities like Shiraz and Esfahan, we visited music schools and studios and attended concerts.

The highlight for me was visiting the Music Department at Tehran University, meeting music students and staff there, and for our students to appreciate how much they share with their counterpart music students in Iran. I would love to repeat the experience when political circumstances allow.

If you could give one piece of advice for Music students? 

As Paddington Bear once said, ‘Life is like a marmalade sandwich: the more you put in, the more you get out’. University life is the same: it’s about experiencing new ideas, meeting new people, opening up horizons and discovering things that you never even knew existed. As well as the many activities – workshops, concerts, ensembles, visiting speakers - happening in the department, we’re also totally spoilt by being situated at the heart of one of the world’s greatest cultural and musical capitals. We have some of the best cultural centres and libraries in the world within walking distance.

So my advice would be: work hard and play hard, and take advantage of the many opportunities that the department and London as a city has to offer.

  The best thing about YOUR course?

So many things …. firstly, we’re a fairly small department so there’s a strong sense of community and students get plenty of individual attention. We have excellent teaching staff, as shown by our 100% student satisfaction rating in 2017. The course is very flexible, with a wide range of options, so students can focus on a particular area or experience a breath of options. We have some of the best studio facilities of any music department in the country. And students also have the option of taking a work placement module or a year abroad or in industry.

Professor Stephen Cotrell

Professor Stephen Cotrell 

An exciting country/place that you have played in?

I once played with my quartet in Uzbekistan, supported by the British Council. We gave concerts in Tashkent and also in the Fergana Valley. This was in 2001, and we were the first Western group to play in Fergana for many, many years, possibly ever!

Best/Most memorable concert that you have attended? 

I attended a performance of part of the operatic cycle Licht by Stockhausen, directed by the composer himself at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music festival. His son, Markus, was playing trumpet in this music-theatre performance. Because Stockhausen was overseeing everything, it all seemed to have a much stronger impact.

On a different occasion, I also remember standing alongside Steve Reich while he performed Clapping Music (Greg Rose took the other part) sometime in London way back when. This happened on the street outside what used to be called the British Music Information Centre.

If you could give one piece of advice for Music students? 

Nobody gets anywhere in music without a great deal of hard work and a lot of sacrifices. If that’s not for you, find something else to do!

Dr Shay Loya

Dr Shay Loya - Lecturer in Music

One of the nicest piece of feedback I got over the years was 'music theory is boring, but Shay makes it interesting'. What I liked about it is not the direct compliment (OK, I liked it a little bit), but what I read between the lines, was: 'I actually like music theory, now that I know what it really is'. My work is done! That is the best compliment.

My advice to new students is to keep an open mind. You never know what you will end up liking.

Ian Pace

Ian Pace - Lecturer in Music

An exciting country/place that you have played in?

The best places for me have been in Argentina and the Ukraine.

Best/Most memorable concert that you have attended?

Too many to say: New London Chamber Choir singing Xenakis at Bath Festival 1997 would be just one.

Highlight of Music teaching career so far?

Reading through and marking a really spectacular range of first-year essays in 2012, which looked critically at a diverse range of Western music from 1848 to 2001 and the extent and nature of such music’s’ relationship to its historical, social, political context.

If you could give one piece of advice for Music students?

Listen, listen, listen carefully and attentively to lots of music of all types. The most important things you learn will be through your ears.

The best thing about YOUR course?

The interaction between practical music-making and academic study.

Dr Claudia Molitor

Dr Claudia Molitor - Lecturer

An exciting country/place that you have played in?

About six years ago, in Denmark, we took over a tiny basement staircase where we built a small performance space for 3 audience members at a time… not exactly glamorous, but so unusual we still look back fondly.

If you could give one piece of advice for Music students?

Go to as many concerts, talks, exhibitions, workshops as you possibly can- where we are in London is perfect for accessing many free events.

The best thing about YOUR course?

Surely eating chocolate as a part of exploring the relationship between taste and sound!