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Ken Ueno

Ken Ueno (born January 11, 1970 in Bronxville, New York) is an American composer.


He studied at the United States Military Academy. He graduated from Berklee College of Music with a B.M. in Film Scoring/Composition Summa Cum Laude, from Boston University with a M.M., from Yale School of Music with a M.M.A., and from Harvard University with a PhD.[citation needed]

He taught at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. He teaches at the University of California, Berkeley.[1][2] He is co-director of Minimum Security Composers Collective.[3]


He has composed orchestral works, for jazz big band and woodwind quintet, and two dance pieces for the Boston Conservatory.[4] He performed at the Flea, New York City.[5] Ueno is a recipient of the 2010/2011 Berlin Prize Fellowship from the American Academy in Berlin.

Ueno has collaborated with violist Kim Kashkashian and percussionist Robyn Schulkowsky on the works Hypnomelodiamachia for viola, percussion, and electronics (2007), and Two Hands, a Kashkashian commission, for viola and percussion (2009). A monograph compact disc of three works for soloist(s) and orchestra, Talus for viola and orchestra, On a Sufficient Condition for the Existence of Most Specific Hypothesis for solo throat-singer and orchestra, and Kaze-no-Oka for biwa, shakuhachi, and orchestra, was released by the Boston Modern Orchestra Project in 2010. Ueno has also written for such ensembles as the So Percussion Group, Bang on a Can All-Stars, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players and eighth blackbird.

Ueno's compositional approach frequently involves extra-musical modeling, including using images, cultural phenomena, or architecture as the basis for structural decisions, somewhat analogous to the use of architectural proportions in Renaissance music. Kaze-no-Oka, for example, reflects in part the structure of the Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki's like-named project[dead link].[6] His Talus is, in a manner of speaking, a biography of a traumatic event in the life of its soloist, violist Wendy Richman, who shattered her ankle in a ten-foot fall.[7] He is keenly interested in the process of exploring unique, in some sense irreproducible, sonic events linked to the performers for which his music is written.

As a performer, Ueno is active as a throat-singing vocalist and performing with live electronics. He is an accomplished guitarist.

In 2010, he is the recipient of the Berlin Prize in Music Composition at the American Academy in Berlin.[8]



  • "Ken Ueno: Talus", BMOP/sound, BMOP1014 [11]
  • "I screamed at the sea until nodes swelled up, then my voice became the resonant noise of the sea", in New Dialects, Centaur CRC 3038, Gregory Oakes, 2009 [12]
  • "Synchronism Six-Zero", in One Minute More, Transatlantic Foundation for Music and Art B001J54A8S, Guy Livingston, 2008 [13]
  • "Scrapyard Exotica," by Del Sol String Quartet, Sono Luminus (2015) (featuring "Peradam" (2012)


  1. ^ "New Faculty Profile: Composer Ken Ueno Seeks Balance, Passion" Archived 2010-06-20 at the Wayback Machine, University of California, Berkeley, Kate Rix
  2. ^ Molly Sheridan (July 21, 2008). "Decoding Ken Ueno". New Music Box. Retrieved July 17, 2010.
  4. ^ "American Composers Orchestra - June 4, 1999 - Whitaker New Music Reading Sessions". Retrieved 2010-07-20.
  5. ^ "Ken Ueno & Du Yun at the Flea". Sequenza 21. May 1, 2010. Retrieved July 17, 2010.
  6. ^ From Ueno's performance notes,
  7. ^ From Ueno's performance notes,
  8. ^ "Berlin Prize in Music Composition Fellow - Class of Fall 2010, Class of Spring 2011". American Academy in Berlin. Retrieved March 20, 2012.
  9. ^ "The American Academy Names 2010 - 2011 Berlin Prize Recipients" Archived 2011-07-18 at the Wayback Machine, The American Academy in Berlin
  10. ^ "Ken Ueno". Boston Music Orchestra Project. Retrieved July 17, 2010.[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ "Ken Ueno: Talus", DRAM
  12. ^ "recordings". gregory oakes. 2002-12-29. Retrieved 2010-07-20.
  13. ^ "Downloads: One Minute More". Archived from the original on 2009-12-17. Retrieved 2010-07-20.

External links