Yu Kuwabara profile  photo, 桑原ゆう写真

to Yu Kuwabara biography in Japanese


Yu Kuwabara (b.1984, Chiba) is a composer, a researcher of Japanese traditional arts, living in Tokyo. She has made music to ask herself who she is. For several years, she has been researching and studying traditional Japanese music, arts and thought to extend as far back as possible to her origins, in order to confirm her own standing. She has collaborated with numerous artists of Japanese art forms including a Rakugo Performer Kokontei Shinsuke (Japanese traditional verbal entertainment), Koto performers’ groups TsuguKaji-KOTO and 4plus (Japanese zither), and Japanese Buddhist chant group Shomyo no Kai, Voice of Thousand Years to have investigated her own musical gestures and forms between the past and the present, and also between Japan and the world. She founded the creator collective Awai-Za with instrumentalists of the same generation as her.

She has studied composition with Shin Sato and Toshihiko Hisayuki, and completed her master degree at Tokyo University of the Arts (TUA). She has taken part in renowned festivals, academies and programs for composers including Akademie Schloss Solitude (2007), impuls (2013), International Summer Course for New Music Darmstadt (2014), Academy Voix Nouvelles Foundation Royaumont (2016), Divertimento Ensemble International Workshop for Young Composers (2017), Lucerne Festival Academy Composer Seminar (2017) etc. and received guidance from Liza Lim, Hanspeter Kyburz, Chaya Czernowin, Steven Kazuo Takasugi, Frédéric Durieux, Pierluigi Billone, Raphaël Cendo, Stefano Gervasoni, Franck Bedrossian, Wolfgang Rihm, Dieter Ammann, and among others.

Her work has been performed by Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Ensemble SurPlus, Ensemble Phorminx, Ensemble Mise-en, Ensemble Talea, Divertimento Ensemble, Lucerne Festival Alumni, Stefan Hussong, Toshiya Suzuki, Camilla Hoitenga, Claire Chase, Kosei Murata, Denis Patkovic, Hidejiro Honjoh, and others at major venues in Asia, Europe and U.S. such as Music Competition of Japan (2005, 06 and 09, Tokyo), reading session at Implus Academy by Enno Poppe and Klangforum Wien (2013, Graz) and EXPO Milano 2015 (Italian pavilion) by Sentieri selvaggi as a finalist of Feeding Music International Composition Competition. She has also awarded Tokyo Arts and Space (former Tokyo Wonder Site) Aoyama Creator-in-Residence (2009-10).

Her scores “Doll-Blind” for tenor recorder and accordion and “Doll-Blind b” for flute and accordion have been published from EDITION WUNN, Germany.

She is also active to collavorate with other art forms including radio drama by NHK Radio center, a contemporary dancer Koharu Sugawara, and a designer Michiko Suzuki. She was a lecturer at Toho Gakuen University of Music, and now she is teaching at jonior composition courses at Yamaha Music Foundation etc.

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