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15 Recording Sessions

Bring your music to life and master the art of writing for live musicians via 15 studio recording sessions of your music with the European Recording Orchestra (ERO) on the MFA in Music for Motion Pictures and Contemporary Media degree program. This professional ensemble, composed of exceptional musicians from Sofia, Bulgaria, specializes in studio recordings for film, TV and more. By partnering with them, we provide you with an invaluable opportunity to enrich your portfolio and showcase your musical prowess.

How do the recording sessions work?

Masters composers participate in the recording process from start to finish. You’ll conceive of your music in the DAW, orchestrate it in Dorico, then score and parts prep everything the same way they do in London or LA. You’ll gain experience serving as librarian, facilitating scores and parts in recording order and distributing them to musicians. When recording time comes, you’ll be in the booth with our faculty, as well as ERO score supervisors and engineers, providing feedback on the way the ensemble is performing your music.

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How much music can you record on a session?

Throughout the one-year Masters experience, you will be allocated 20-minute recording slots during each session. This time frame allows you to record music up to 2 minutes in length, giving you the chance to fully realize your creative vision with a professional ensemble.

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Why put so much focus on recording sessions?

Our focus on recording sessions extends beyond the obvious portfolio-building benefits. We also equip you with invaluable skills in writing music for studio musicians and effective time management in the studio. Delivering outstanding results in the recording studio with live musicians is the gold standard in music for screen entertainment. By honing these skills, we ensure you're prepared to thrive in the industry and compete at the highest level.

What will you receive for your portfolio?

High fidelity audio is not the only thing our composers take away from each session. You will also receive multicam HD videos of your sessions. These videos serve as a visual representation of your music being recorded in the studio, enabling you to create professional videos that capture the essence of the session itself. It's the perfect tool to curate a portfolio that truly represents your unique talent.

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What will you record in each session?

Masters composers are exposed to a full gamut of ensembles, ensuring they have the opportunity to build a well-rounded portfolio that will enable them to experience success in the industry. These instrumentations change from year to year, but here's a pretty good look at what a year might look like for our Masters composers in the studio:

  • Solo Piano (2x)

  • String Quintet + 2 Woodwinds

  • 9-piece variety ensemble

  • 15-piece chamber orchestra

  • 25-piece strings & Bulgarian folk ensemble

  • 38-piece symphony orchestra

  • 41-piece string / woodwind ensemble

  • Hybrid Stem Session 1: Brass

  • Hybrid Stem Session 2: Woodwinds

  • Hybrid Stem Session 3: Strings

  • Hybrid Stem Session 4: Percussion

  • 64-piece symphony orchestra

  • 84-piece symphony orchestra + epic choir

  • 38-piece Major Project orchestra


Interested in more information?

Fill out the form below to receive personalized answers to your questions and more information about the Master of Fine Arts program. Don't forget to check your Junk folder.

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Students from the United States qualify for FAFSA Federal Student Aid
  • Explanation of Educational Hierarchy
    European Academy of Fine Arts, Sofia is an Instructional Site of Irish American University, oferring a 1) Master of Fine Arts in Music for Motion Pictures and Contemporary Media at the Film Scoring Academy of Europe and 2) MFA in Piano Performance, Recording and Contemporary Career Development at The Piano Academy.
  • What's the difference between an MFA and MA?
    An MFA (Master of Fine Arts), alongside a PhD, is considered to be a terminal degree (especially in the United States) whereas an MA (Master of Arts) is considered to be a stepping stone to doctoral study. A substantial portion of an MFA programme is comprised of applied, practice-based activities and production, whereas an MA will usually give greater weight to traditional academic study and research. Many universities accept an MFA as a qualifier comparable to a PhD for professorship and tenure.
  • There are so many Masters programs in Film Scoring out there these days. Why choose the Film Scoring Academy of Europe?
    Simply put, we offer the most comprehensive recording portfolio opportunities of any of the world's film scoring masters degree programs. Our faculty have an extensive history in education and industry practice. Living expenses in Sofia are a fraction of the cost of other cities such as Valencia, Los Angeles, Boston, London, or New York City.
  • When is the application deadline?
    The Admissions Board will review applications and issue admissions decisions every month. The application portal will close as soon as the MFA programme has reached capacity with accepted and enrolled candidates. There is no application deadline, but composers are advised to submit an application as soon as they are able, in order to avoid the risk of losing an opportunity to be selected for the 2020 MFA class.
  • Does the European Academy of Fine Arts provide financial aid?
    At the moment, the European Academy of Fine Arts does not provide institutional financial aid, but grants four (4) merit-based scholarships of €5,000 to deserving students as determined by the admissions board, two (2) merit-based scholarships of €2,500 to deserving students who participate in the Film Scoring Summer Program and wish to transition into the MFA Programme, and one (1) merit-based scholarship of €2,500 to one of the Top 10 Finalists of the Oticons Faculty International Film Music Competition. In order to be eligible to be considered for a scholarship, you must pay your tuition deposit on or before the advertised date, as listed in the Scholarships section on the MFA page. For United States students, Financial Aid is available! Please inquire at
  • Do I need a Visa to participate in an MFA at the European Academy of Fine Arts?
    Students coming from within the EU will not need a student Visa. They'll simply enter the country and apply for a residence permit after they arrive. Students coming from outside the EU will need a student Visa. Student visas will be coordinated with the Visa department at NATFA.
  • Who are the musicians that play on the recording sessions?
    The European Academy of Fine Arts partners with the European Recording Orchestra (ERO) for all recording sessions. The European Recording Orchestra (ERO) is a contemporary orchestra based in Sofia, Bulgaria specializing in studio recording for film, TV, and other contemporary mediums and styles. Comprised of some of the finest orchestral session musicians from approximately one dozen countries across Eastern Europe, the European Recording Orchestra (ERO) regularly records at Bulgarian National Radio Studio 1, Doli Media Studio, and the Sofia Session Studio.
  • I'm from the USA; how can I apply for Financial Aid through FAFSA?
    Accepted students from the United States will be given individual support on how to apply for financial aid via the FAFSA. If you have an immediate question on this subject, please email us at
  • Do I need to stay in Sofia for Semester 3 (Major Project), or can I go home?"
    Student presence in the coursework Semesters 1 and 2 is required, but not required for Semester 3, which means you can go home (or anywhere!) to complete your Major Project. All submissions for the Major Project can be sent remotely. You do have the option of staying in Sofia for Semester 3, if you wish.
  • Is Sofia a nice place to live?
    Sofia is a beautiful place to live! The cuisine is lovely, it is home to an incredible amount of culture, and its proximity to other countries and wonderful cities throughout Eastern Europe is a major plus. If you are not familiar with the Bulgarian traditions in music, you should definitely do some research! We're proud to call this lovely city our home.
  • What is the Film Scoring Summer Program?
    The Film Scoring Summer Program is a 3.5 week film scoring summer course with 4 recording sessions, 4-star hotel accommodation, and 5 days with Christopher Young, all in the beach town of Varna, Bulgaria. 2 scholarship opportunities are available to alumni of the Film Scoring Summer Program who are accepted onto the MFA programme at the Film Scoring Academy of Europe. More information at the Film Scoring Summer Program website.
  • How do I prove Music Theory Proficiency?
    Simply submit copies of all degrees and/or certifications in music that you have achieved with your application, and detail their level of study in Music Theory. If applicable, attached proof of additional study in Music Theory.
  • If I'm accepted, do I need to apply for the Scholarships?"
    No. All accepted students (who meet the deposit requirements for each scholarship) are automatically considered by the Admissions Board for the scholarships. No extra applications are necessary.
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