This invention is directed to a method and apparatus for growing a multi-component single crystal boules that provides high quality and growth rate by growing the crystal from a multi-component melt, such as a ternary, quaternary or higher order melt. In the past, only binary compounds such as GaAs) could be commercially produced by directional solidification from melts, while compounds with more than two components resulted in a high density of defects. This new method provides a fast, cheap, and reliable way to grow III-V and II-VI compound semiconductors, which have numerous electronic and optoelectronic applications.