Matsushita Isao obtained both his undergraduate and graduate degrees at Tokyo University of the Arts and Hochshule der Kuenste Berlin.
Matsushita has participated in several music festivals. His Opera “Shinano-no-Kuni Zenkoji-Story” was premiered as Cultural Program of Winter Olympic game 1998 in Nagano. In 2000 his Japanese Drum Concerto “Hi-Ten-u” was performed with Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. Matsushita served as the Chairman of the Asian Composers League from 1999 to 2004, and from 2014 to now. He is also a President of the Japan Federation of Composers Inc.,a Vice-president of the Tokyo University of the Arts and a professor of Performing Arts Center of the Tokyo University of the Arts.
Prof. Isao Matsushita
Chinary Ung is often associated with that group of Asian-born composers whose music incorporates aspects of eastern musical characteristics into a western classical music setting. Aside from specific cultural and generational distinctions, the principal difference between Ung’s work and theirs is that for many years he was prevented from engaging directly with the source of his cultural heritage as his native country was being torn apart by the scourge of the Khmer Rouge. Indeed, as the people and culture of Cambodia were being systematically destroyed, Ung took it upon himself to rescue some facet of the traditional music he had known as a child, reconstituting Cambodian musical traditions through his performances on the roneat-ek – the Cambodian xylophone. This project reflects the qualities of responsibility and of hopefulness that are so strongly a part of Ung’s personality.
Over the past forty years Chinary Ung has developed a musical language that indicates an open ear toward the sounds of the East—Southeast Asia and his native Cambodia in particular—as well as the textures and instrumental practices of contemporary Western concert music. From the solo ‘cello piece Khse Buon, to the Grawemeyer Award-winning Inner Voices, to the epic Aura, Ung’s music is characterized by a vivid sound world with an intense emotional trajectory.
Ung’s extensive orchestral catalog has been commissioned and performed by major orchestras throughout the United States and abroad, including those in Philadelphia, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Tokyo, Sydney, Basel, as well as the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the American Composers Orchestra. Boston Modern Orchestra Project released a recording of Ung’s orchestral music in 2015. His work has been commissioned by the Meet the Composer/Reader’s Digest Commissioning Program, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Ford, Koussevitsky, Joyce, and Barlow Foundations. In 2014 he was given the John D. Rockefeller 3rd Award by the New York- based Asian Cultural Council.
An astonishingly prolific composer, Ung’s focus is rarely turned inward. His activities as a cultural leader demonstrate a profound sense of responsibility to a broader cultural and societal context. Ung has worked with numerous institutions and individuals who share his dedication toward preserving Cambodian culture and forging cultural exchanges between Asia and the West. As an educator, Ung has taught courses in Southeast Asian music and he has instructed generations of young composers at several institutions in the United States and now, through a series of residencies, in Asia as well. He holds appointments at University of California, San Diego, where he is Distinguished Professor of Music, and at Chapman University, where he is a Presidential Fellow and Senior Composer in Residence. He and his wife Susan direct the Nirmita Composers Institute each summer, with the goal of providing compositional direction and opportunity to musicians from Southeast Asia.
Chinary Ung’s compositions are published exclusively by C.F. Peters Corporation and they are registered under BMI. His growing catalog of recordings can be found on Bridge, CRI, New World, Argo, CAMBRIA, Atoll, NAXOS, and oodiscs.
Dr. Chinary Ung
Venezuelan-born, currently Professor and Chair of Music Composition at Michigan State University College of Music. Between 1999 and 2003 he worked as Composer-in-Residence of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Armonia Musicians Residency Program and as Associate Director of the Indiana University Latin American Music Center between 2003 and 2005. Lorenz’s orchestral compositions have been performed in the U.S. by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, American Composers Orchestra, New World Symphony, among many others and by orchestras in Venezuela, Germany, Spain, Mexico, Brazil, Sweden, Canada, Israel, and the Czech Republic. He has received awards and commissions from American Bandmasters Association/University of Florida Commissioning Project, National Endowment for the Arts, MacDowell Colony, National Flute Association, Civitella Ranieri Foundation, Meet-the-Composer Midwest, MetLife Creative Connections, Barlow Endowment for Music Composition, Concert Artists Guild, Ravinia Festival, and The University of Chicago. He has served as Composition Faculty of the Wintergreen Summer Music Academy (Virginia) and as Composer-in-Residence of Music in the Loft (Chicago), Sewanee Summer Music Festival (Tennessee), the Billings Symphony Orchestra (Montana), and the Pan and Young-Nam International music festivals in South Korea. Ricardo Lorenz’s compositions are published by Lauren Keiser Music and by Boosey & Hawkes. They can be heard on the following record labels: ECM, Naxos, Albany Records, Arabesque Recordings, Navona Records, Cedille Records, GIA Publications, as well as labels in Turkey, Mexico, Venezuela, and the U.K.
Dr. Ricardo Lorenz
In addition to teaching music composition at Michigan State University, Ricardo Lorenz is also founder and co-director of the College of Music Latin is America Series, created to broaden the appreciation of Hispanic and Latin American performing arts as they are inextricably woven into the cultural fabric of the United States.
Lorenz holds a Ph.D. degree in composition from The University of Chicago and a MM degree from Indiana University. He studied composition with Juan Orrego-Salas, Shulamit Ran, and Donald Erb and previously taught at Indiana University, The University of Chicago, and City Colleges of Chicago.
Dr. Ricardo Lorenz
National Artist for Music (2014)
Ramon Pagayon Santos, composer, conductor and musicologist, is currently the country’s foremost exponent of contemporary Filipino music. A prime figure in the second generation of Filipino composers in the modern idiom, Santos has contributed greatly to the quest for new directions in music, taking as basis non-Western traditions in the Philippines and Southeast Asia.
He graduated in 1965 from the UP College of Music with a Teacher’s Diploma and a Bachelor of Music degree in both Composition and Conducting. Higher studies in the United States under a Fulbright Scholarship at Indiana University (for a Master’s degree, 1968) and at the State University of New York at Buffalo (for a Doctorate, 1972) exposed him to the world of contemporary and avant-garde musical idioms: the rigorous processes of serialism, electronic and contemporary music, indeterminacy, and new vocal and improvisational techniques. He received further training in New Music in Darmstadt, Germany and in Utrecht, the Netherlands. His initial interest in Mahler and Debussy while still a student at UP waned as his compositional style shifted to Neo Classicism and finally to a distinct merging of the varied influences that he had assimilated abroad.
His return to the Philippines marked a new path in his style. After immersing himself in indigenous Philippine and Asian (Javanese music and dance, Chinese nan kuan music), he became more interested in open-ended structures of time and space, function as a compositional concept, environmental works, non-conventional instruments, the dialectics of control and non-control, and the incorporation of natural forces in the execution of sound-creating tasks. All these would lead to the forging of a new alternative musical language founded on a profound understanding and a thriving and sensitive awareness of Asian music aesthetics and culture.
Simultaneous with this was a reverting back to more orthodox performance modes: chamber works and multimedia works for dance and theatre. Panaghoy (1984), for reader, voices, gongs and bass drum, on the poetry of Benigno Aquino, Jr. was a powerful musical discourse on the fallen leader’s assassination in 1983, which subsequently brought on the victorious People Power uprising in 1986.
An active musicologist, Santos’ interest in traditional music cultures was heretofore realized in 1976 by embarking on fieldwork to collect and document music from folk religious groups in Quezon. He has also done research and fieldwork among the Ibaloi of Northern Luzon. His ethnomusicological orientation has but richly enhanced his compositional outlook. Embedded in the works of this period are the people-specific concepts central to the ethnomusicological discipline, the translation of indigenous musical systems into modern musical discourse, and the marriage of Western and non-Western sound.
An intense and avid pedagogue, Santos, as Chair of the Department of Compositiion and Theory (and formerly, as Dean) of the College of Music, UP, has remained instrumental in espousing a modern Philippine music rooted in old Asian practices and life concepts. With generation upon generation of students and teachers that have come under his wing, he continues to shape a legacy of modernity anchored on the values of traditional Asian music.