Composer/vocalist experienced with electronic music.


A recipient of the Rome Prize and the Berlin Prize, Ken Ueno, is a composer/vocalist/sound artist who is currently an Associate Professor at UC Berkeley. Ensembles and performers who have played Ken’s music include Kim Kashkashian and Robyn Schulkowsky, Mayumi Miyata, Teodoro Anzellotti, Aki Takahashi, Wendy Richman, Greg Oakes, BMOP, Alarm Will Sound, Steve Schick and the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, the Nieuw Ensemble, and Frances-Marie Uitti. His music has been performed at such venues as Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, MusikTriennale Köln Festival, the Muziekgebouw, Ars Musica, Warsaw Autumn, Other Minds, the Hopkins Center, Spoleto USA, Steim, and at the Norfolk Music Festival. Ken’s piece for the Hilliard Ensemble, Shiroi Ishi, was featured in their repertoire for over ten years, with performances at such venues as Queen Elizabeth Hall in England, the Vienna Konzerthaus, and was aired on Italian national radio, RAI 3. Another work, Pharmakon, was performed dozens of times nationally by Eighth Blackbird during their 2001-2003 seasons. A portrait concert of Ken’s was featured on MaerzMusik in Berlin in 2011. In 2012, he was a featured artist on Other Minds 17. In 2014, Frances-Mairie Uitti and the Boston Modern Orchestra premiered his concerto for two-bow cello and orchestra, and Guerilla Opera premiered a run of his chamber opera, Gallo, to critical acclaim. He has performed as soloist in his vocal concerto with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project in New York and Boston, the Warsaw Philharmonic, the Lithuanian National Symphony, the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra, and with orchestras in North Carolina and California. . Ken holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University. A monograph CD of three orchestral concertos was released on the Bmop/sound label. His bio appears in The Grove Dictionary of American Music.

Additional info

Recent Works:

Gallo - a fable in music in one act (2014) 90min(soprano, countertenor, clarinets (Bohlen Pierce, bass, and contrabass), alto sax, cello)Premiere: May22, 2014. The Zack Box Theater, Boston Conservatory, Boston, MA
Hapax Legomenon (2014) 20min
Concerto for two-bow cellist & orchestra
(Solo cellist, 2 flutes, 2 clarinets, alto sax, tenor sax, 2 horns, 2 trombones, 2perc, strings –
Premiere: January 17, 2014. Jordan Hall, Boston, MA. Boston Modern Orchestra Project. Commissioned by the Harvard Musical Association. Premiered by and for Frances-Marie Uitti.
On a Sufficient Condition for the Existence of Most Specific Hypothesis (2008) 18minconcerto for overtone singer & orchestra(Vocal soloist w/amplification + boombox, 2.2. - 2.2.2.(bass trombones), 2perc, strings April 29, 2008. Jordan Hall, Boston, MA. Boston Modern Orchestra Project.This piece was made possible by a grant from the Jebediah Foundation: New Music Commissions.
Fanfares for the Apocalypse(2015) 15min
(trumpet solo, 3 fls, 2 cls, 4 horns, 2 trmb, 3 perc) Premiere: September 26, 2015. Gusman Concert Hall, Frost School of Music, Miami, FL. Commissioned by The Henry Mancini Institute for Philippe Brunet. Philippe Brunet, trumpet, Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra.
The Four Contemplations (2015) 60min
(6 vlns solo, 2 vlas, 2 cllos, + extended vocalist + 22 portable mp3 players) Premiere: March 26, 2015. RISD Museum, Providence Rhode Island. Commissioned by Community MusicWorks with support from the MAP Fund.
Zetsu (2015) 20min
(vln solo, 2 cls (doubling hookah sax), 2 perc, 2 celli, 2 bs) Premiere: February 22, 2015. Cal Performances, Hertz Hall, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA. San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. Commissioned by a grant from the TenFourteen LLC, an arm of the Jebediah Foundation.
Peradam 20minCommissioned by Other Minds for the Del Sol String Quartet For amplified string quartet Premiered: March 3, 2012. Kanbar Hall, Other Minds Festival 17, Jewish Cultural Center of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
for three blindfolded players playing bass drums and screaming 8min
Premiered: May 9, 2015. Ken Ueno + Living Earth Show (Composers Inc., First Congregational Church, Berkeley, CA)
for flutes (deconstructed contrabass, C flute, Kingma system C flute w/glissando headjoint) and percussion 21min Commissioned by the A/B duo Premiered TBD
Secret Meridian
for lyric soprano w/8-channel loop station, electric guitar, and kit drums ~6min
For Amy X Neuberg and Paul Dresher
Premiered December 5, 2014. Paul Dresher Ensemble (Cal Performances, Zellerbach Playhousel, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA)
Stars Like Sibilants Speak
for clarinet and sho (doubling cl) + Max/MSP (2013) 30min
for Duo X
Premiered April 11, 2013. Duo X (University of Chicago, Chicago, IL)