Carnegie Mellon University

School of Music

Where artistry and innovation share center stage

Sarana Chou

Dr. Sarana Chou

Class Instructor, Music Theory

5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


Dr. Sarana Chou received her degrees in music composition from The Juilliard School (B.M.), University of Chicago (M.A.), and Eastman School of Music (D.M.A).  Described by The New York Times as "modern and thorny," her music is known for its distinct expressiveness and intense musical language. The Birmingham News praised her as "a composer with a convincing point of view and the facility to get her ideas across." Dr. Chou has received numerous composition awards since her student years including first prize at ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards. Her music has been performed at such venue as Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, Chan Centre for the Performing Arts in Vancouver, Canada, and Akademie der Künste in Berlin, Germany. 

Dr. Chou currently teaches music theory for the Preparatory School at Carnegie Mellon University School of Music. She was Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Graduate Studies at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama from 2008-2013, and taught composition and music theory at West Virginia University School of Music from 2014-2018.