Yu Kuwabara profile  photo, 桑原ゆう写真

to Yu Kuwabara biography in Japanese


Yu Kuwabara (b.1984, Chiba) is a Japanese composer, a researcher of Japanese traditional arts, living in Tokyo. She makes music to ask herself who she is. For several years, she has been researching and learning traditional Japanese music, arts, and thought to extend as far back as possible to her origins and to confirm her own sense of being. She has collaborated with numerous artists who use traditional Japanese art forms, including Noh performers, a Rakugo Performer Kokontei Shinsuke (Japanese traditional verbal entertainment), the Japanese Buddhist chant group Shomyo no Kai, Voice of a Thousand Years, and many performers of traditional Japanese instruments to have investigated her own musical language between the past and the present, and also between Japan and the rest of 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 prestigious festivals, academies and programs for composers 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, Michael Finissy, Dimitri Papageorgiou and among others.

Her work has been performed internationally by Ensemble Modern, Trio Accanto, soloists from Ensemble Intercontemporain, Talea Ensemble, Divertimento Ensemble, Enno Poppe and Klangforum Wien, Lucerne Festival Alumni Ensemble, Ensemble Proton Bern, neuverBand, AsianArt Ensemble, Ensemble Phorminx, Ensemble SurPlus, mdi ensemble, Sentieri selvaggi, Ensemble Mise-en, Ensemble TIMF, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, William Lang, Claire Chase, Rebekah Heller, Stefan Hussong, Camilla Hoitenga, Toshiya Suzuki, Kosei Murata, Hidejiro Honjoh, and others at major venues in Asia, Europe, and the United States such as Darmstädter Ferienkurse, Delian Academy For New Music, Tongyeong International Music Festival, Divertimento Ensemble Rondò, Lucerne Festival Academy, Academy Voix Nouvelles Foundation Royaumont, EXPO Milano 2015, impuls, Takefu International Music Festival, and Akademie Schloss Solitude etc.

She received numerous prizes and rewards such as the winning prize of the international composition contest 'Breaking Music' (2019, Milan), the winning prize of the 5th edition of Divertimento Ensemble’s ‘Franco Donatoni’ International Meeting for Young Composers (2018, Milan), the winning prize of the 2017-18 edition of neuverBand's Construct-Radiate International Composition Competition (2018, Basel), the finaliste in the Japan Music Competition (2005, 2006 & 2009, Japan), and 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 are 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 for some composition courses at Yamaha Music Foundation etc.

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