Featuring Ken Ueno (Keynote Presenter) and Sidney Marquez Boquiren (Guest Composer)

June 15–16, 2018

Embedded within the 2018 Nief-Norf Summer Festival, the Research Summit will include performances by the fellows and faculty of the festival, with music by Ken Ueno, Sidney Marquez Boquiren, José Maceda, Christopher Adler, selected winners of the 2018 Calls for Scores, and much more. 


Nief-Norf Research Summit 2018: New Asia

Through the 20th century, composers of contemporary concert music drew upon Asian traditions, including pioneers like Toru Takemitsu, Jose Maceda, Isang Yun, Chou-wen Chung, and Lou Harrison, and those of a younger generation such as Tan Dun, Bright Sheng and Younghi Pagh-Paan. Emerging composer-ethnomusicologists in North America such as Michael Tenzer and Evan Ziporyn engaged in fieldwork, abroad and in diasporic communities leading to the creation of cross-cultural works rich in signification within multiple musical traditions. Their cross-cultural compositions have been framed by critical interrogations of colonial histories, cultural appropriation, Orientalism, representation, cosmopolitanism and globalization, as well as by more celebratory discourses of hybridity, multiculturalism, post-modern identity formation, intercultural exchange and community-building through music (Everett and Lau, 2004; Born and Hesmondhalgh, 2007).

As globalization accelerates, support for new music is increasingly decentralized and internationalized, and composers are increasingly cosmopolitan, producing and consuming within a diverse, multi-local, internet-mediated community of like-minded practitioners of contemporary concert music around the world. The classical music tradition has shifted towards Asia, with musicians of Asian heritage now comprising a significant faction of leading performers around the world, and classical music widely embraced and productive of new, locally-situated meanings in many Asian countries (Yang, 2014).

We seek to explore the geo-cultural conditions of new music as a musically-imagined community, a construction of identity experienced primarily through a collective musical imaginary in which music itself produces the affinities that engender community (Born & Hesmondhalgh, 2007), even as the tradition of new music is heterogeneous and perpetually in transformation.

We welcome submission of papers that address the following and related areas:

  • The place of Asia and Asian musical traditions in the tradition of new music composition and performance
  • The geo-cultural situation of new music as a musically imagined community
  • The application of discourses of colonialism, post-colonialism, decolonization, hybridity, inter- and cross-culturalism, globalization, identity, appropriation, representation, and Orientalism to new music, historically and in the present
  • New music in Asia today
  • The scope, history, present and future of new music / contemporary music / modern music

We invite proposals for individual papers or presentations (20 minutes + 10 minutes questions).

Abstracts should be no more than 300 words. In your submission email, include your name, affiliation, and any technical requirements. Please do not include your name in your abstract.

Submit abstracts as PDFs to by February 15, 2018. Notifications will be sent out in March.


Georgina Born and David Hesmondhalgh, Western Music and its Others: Difference, Representation and Appropriation in Music (Berkeley: University of California, 2007).

Yayoi Uno Everett and Frederick Lau, Locating East Asia in Western Art Music (Middletown: Wesleyan University, 2004).

Mina Yang, Planet Beethoven: Classical Music at the Turn of the Millennium (Middletown: Wesleyan, 2014).

Keynote PresenTer Ken Ueno

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, where he holds the Jerry and Evelyn Hemmings Chambers Distinguished Professor Chair in Music. 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, Pittsburgh, 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.