Berlin Prize in Music Composition Fellow - Class of Fall 2010, Class of Spring 2011
Assistant Professor of Music, University of California at Berkeley
Composer/vocalist Ken Ueno has been commissioned twice by the Fromm Music Foundation for orchestral works and was recipient of the Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome in 2006–07. As a vocalist specializing in extended techniques (overtones, multiphonics, extreme extended registers, circular breathing), he performs with the experimental improvisation group Onda and the noise/avant-rock group Blood Money. Ensembles and performers who have played Ken’s music include Kim Kashkashian and Robyn Schulkowsky, Mayumi Miyata, Teodoro Anzellotti, the Nieuw Ensemble, the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Frances-Marie Uitti, and the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. Ueno’s piece for the Hilliard Ensemble, Shiroi Ishi, continues to be featured in their repertoire, recently being performed at Queen Elizabeth Hall in England, the Vienna Konzerthaus, and aired on Italian national radio, RAI 3. Another work, Pharmakon, was performed dozens of times nationally by Eighth Blackbird during their 2001-2003 seasons. Recently, he performed as soloist in the premieres of his concerto for overtone singer and orchestra with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project to wide acclaim in Boston and New York. A portrait CD of three concertos was released on the Bmop/sound label. More details on Ueno’s body of work are available on his website,
American Academy Project
Two New Compositions
During his full-year fellowship at the American Academy in Berlin, Ueno is working on several new compositions. He recently completed a twenty-minute work for the Stony Brook Contemporary Chamber Players and will spend the winter completing a commission for Alarm Will Sound to be premiered in New York in April. In the spring, Ueno will work on a solo percussion work for Dame Evelyn Glennie.
On December 14, American composer and vocalist Ken Ueno discussed his recent work and ongoing interest in sounds that have been overlooked – qualities such as beatings, overtones, and the artifacts of production noise. As a vocalist, Ueno specializes in extended techniques (overtones, throat-singing, multiphonics, extreme registers, circular singing). His compositions, like his singing, push the boundaries of perception. »