Guest Composer, Composers Forum, Rice University, Houston, 2-3:30, January 19
Gardner Read Fellowship, MacDowell Colony, NH, January 24 to February 26
Director of International Programs, Burapha's Music and Performing Arts Festival 2018, Burapha University, Thailand, March 18 to 30
World Premiere (1st lullaby), "Three Lullabies" from the chamber opera "Spiritual Forest," guitarist Aaron Larget-Caplan, A Program of Music influenced by Indian and Japanese music and aesthetics, Department of Music, Bowdoin College, Studzinski Recital Hall, Maine, May 5
US Premiere, "Worldscape IV" for piano and pre-recorded sounds, pianist Chen-Hui Jen and sound technician Jacob Sudol, Music at Noon Concert, Recital Hall, Santa Clara University, CA, May 9
Performance of "Worldscape IV" for piano and pre-recorded sounds, pianist Chen-Hui Jen and sound technician Jacob Sudol, School of Music, San Francisco State University, CA, May 11
Music Instructor, International Transdisciplinary Collaboration for Awareness Program sponsored by the EnviroLab Asia for the students from Claremont Colleges, Yale-NUS College and Burapha University, Chanthaburi, Thailand, May 20-26
Guest Composer, Composition Seminars and Mater Classes, Talented Music Program, Taichung Municipal Chingchuei Senior High School, Taichung, Taiwan, June 4-5
Guest Composer, Lecture on Cross-cultural Compositions rooted in Asian Traditional Aesthetics, Department of Traditional Music, Taipei National University of the Arts, June 11
World Premiere, "Three Lullabies" from the chamber opera "Spiritual Forest," commissioned by Aaron Larget-Caplan's New Lullaby Project for guitar, Green Festival Center, International Festival of Arts & Ideas, New Haven, CT, June 14
"Three Lullabies" from the chamber opera "Spiritual Forest," guitarist Aaron Larget-Caplan, Eastport Arts Center, ME, August 10
"Three Lullabies" from the chamber opera "Spiritual Forest," guitarist Aaron Larget-Caplan, Jacob Edwards Library, Southbridge, MA,, August 16
World Premiere, "Spring Breathes VI" - The version for flute and piano, Sounds Modern series, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas, September 8
Guest Composer, Creative Mind Series sponsored by Asian Cultural Center, Eric Hotung Studio, HK Arts Center, September 22
World Premiere, "Spring Breathes VII" for Korean, Japanese, Chinese and Western instruments with new choreographed Thai dance, Hong Kong Crossroads Ensemble, commissioned by Hong Kong Asian Young Musicians' Connection, Y Studio, Chai Wan YMCA Centre, Hong Kong, September 25
Guest Composer, Composition Class, Education University of Hong Kong, 15:30-18:30, September 27
Guest Composer, lecture on my music, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, September 25-28
World Premiere (revised version), "Spring Breathes" for Korean traditional wind instruments and Japanese traditional flutes, Recital Hall, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, September 28
Guest Composer, lecture/demonstration on Japanese traditional music and aesthetics with Kohei Nishikawa, Asia Society Hong Kong Center, 7pm, September 29
Recipient of 2018 ASCAP Plus Award, ASCAP, NYC, USA
Composer in Residence, Brush Creek Foundation of the Arts, Wyoming, January 30 to February 24
Panelist, Paper Presentation on Living Composition: A New Approach to Asian Music, Culture and Spirituality, Round Table "Interculturality in East Asian Music: Education, Theory, Practice and Composition" with Dr. Hee Sook Oh, Seoul National University; Dr. Christopher Hasty; and Dr. Nancy Yunhwa Rao, Rutgers University, 20th Quinquennial Congress of the International Musicological Society (IMS), Tokyo University of the Arts, Japan, March 20
Guest Composer, Two Lectures on my music, Pai Chai University, Daejeon, South Korea, 1-3pm, April 11 and 12
Guest Composer, Lecture entitled Creative Approaches to Contemporary Asian Music Performance, Department of Korean Music, 6:00-7:20pm, Seoul National University, South Korea, April 13
World Premiere, "Spring Breathes V" for saenghwang, piri, taepyeongso and string quartet, Gamin and Arz Ensemble, National Gugak Center, Seoul Korea, April 14
Guest Composer, Jeju National University, Jeju Island, Seoul Korea, 7-9pm, April 17
Guest Composer, Lecture entitled Collaboration with Nature and the Environment, 2017 China-ASEAN Music Week Summit, Guangxi National Palace Concert Hall, Nanning, China, 9:30am-12pm, May 28
World Premiere, "Spring Breathes"- Double Concerto for two Thai classical musicians and Chinese orchestra, conductor Liu Chun, Chinese Orchestra of Guangxi Arts University, Closing Concert, 2017 China-ASEAN New Music Week, Guangxi National Palace Concert Hall, Nanning, China, May 31
Guest Composer, Lecture entitled Discussion of My Recent Works: Tracing Asian Cultural Legacies and Traditional Sensibilities in “Time Song V: Mandala” and “Imagined Sceneries,” Department of Composition, Taipei National University of the Arts, Taiwan, 1:30-3:00pm, June 2
Guest Composer, Lecture entitled Towards the Preservation and Development of Traditional Music of Various Countries-From the Angle of World Music Development, Department of Chinese Music, National Taiwan University of Arts, New Taipei City, Taiwan, 10:10 to 12:00, June 6
Guest Composer, Talented Music Program, Taichung Municipal Chingchuei Senior High School, Taichung, Taiwan, June 6-7
World Premiere, "Spring Breathes IV" for Chinese musical instruments, Little Giant Chamber Chinese Orchestra, MUPA-Taiwan Concert, National Recital Hall, Taipei, Taiwan, June 8
General Manager/Composition Faculty Member, Nirmita Composers Workshop, Silpakorn University, Bangkok, July 13-20
"Worldscape IV" for piano and pre-recorded sounds, pianist Shannon Wettstein Sadler, Nirmita Faculty Concert, Chulalongkorn Art Centre, Bangkok, July 19
Guest Composer, a series of lectures and workshops, School of Humanities and Communication Arts, Western Sydney University, Australia, July 29 to August 12
World Premiere, "Spring Breathes VI" for daegeum and percussion, Creativity Unlimited Music Festival 2017, Hyelim Kim (daegeum) and Claire Edwards (marimba), Playhouse Theatre, Western Sydney University, Australia, August 11
Guest Composer, Malaysia Premiere of "After the Gentle Wind..." for solo flute by Daisuke Kino-Shita, SoundBridge Contemporary Music Festival 2017, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, October 6
Guest Speaker, panel discussion on "The Trend of Cross-Media in Contemporary Music III," SoundBridge Contemporary Music Festival 2017, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, October 7
Panelist, Symposium on Chinary Ung Celebration 75, Conrad Prebys Music Center, Recital Hall 127, University of California at San Diego, 4pm, November 14
Moderated by Amy Cimini
Dr. Yayoi Uno Everett
Buddhism and Reflexive Globalization in Chinary Ung’s
Dr. Adam Greene
Chinary Ung’s “Singing Inside Aura” Project: Variation,
Recontextualization, and Recomposition in Three Recent Scores
Dr. Koji Nakano
Tracing Cultural Legacies and Traditional Sensibilities in the "Futuristic Folk Music" of Chinary Ung
Guest Composer, Undergraduate Composition Seminar, University of California, San Diego, 2-5pm, November 15
Paper Presentation on Living Composition: The Creative Practice and Performance, International Symposium on Practice-as-Research, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, 9am, December 6
Guest Composer, Talented Music Program, Taichung Municipal Chingchuei Senior High Schoo1, Taichung, Taiwan, December 11-12
Radio Interview by Ma-li Liu, IC Broadcast (website: www.ic975.com), 23:00-24:00, December 20
Guest Composer, Lecture and Panel Discussion, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan, 1:20-3pm, December 21
World Premiere, "Spiritual Forest" commissioned by Taipei Chamber Singers, Music Unlimited Program, National Recital Hall, Taipei, Taiwan, 7:30pm, December 22
Recipient of 2017 ASCAP Plus Award, ASCAP, USA
Award-winning composer Koji Nakano’s music reflects the relationship between beauty, form and imperfection through the formality of music. In 2008, Dr. Nakano became the first composer to receive the S&R Washington Award Grand Prize from the S&R Foundation for his contributions to U.S.-Japanese relations through his musical activities. Since then, he has been recognized as one of the major voices among Asian composers of his generation. His portrait concert has been presented at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, at Tenri Cultural Institute of New York, at Northern Illinois University, at Georgia State University as part of the College Music Society’s Fifty-First National Conference, at Musicasa in Tokyo, at Seoul National University in South Korea, and at Burapha University in Thailand.
Dr. Nakano has composed more than seventy works, including solo pieces, chamber works, symphonic movements, operas, concerti for piano and violin and various cross-cultural compositions. His works have been premiered in USA, Canada, Australia, Europe and Asia, and performed at such venues as John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, Asia Society, Smithsonian Museum, Jordan Hall, ISCM World Music Days, Tanglewood Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Pacific Rim Music Festival, International Festival of Arts & Idea, ACL Composers Festival & Conference, Shanghai New Music Week, China-ASEAN Music, National Gugak Center in South Korea, Tokyo Wonder Site, National Recital Hall in Taiwan, SoundBridge Contemporary Music Festival in Malaysia, and Yogyakarta Contemporary Music Festival in Indonesia.
His music has been premiered and performed by the Tapestry New Opera Works, Lithuanian State Symphony Orchestra, Guangxi Symphony Orchestra, Taipei Chinese Orchestra, Taipei Chamber Singers, Little Giant Chinese Chamber Orchestra, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Del Sol String Quartet, Anermet String Quartet, Borealis String Quartet, Ensemble Offspring, Helikon Ensemble, ARZ Ensemble, Ensemble Reconsil Vienna, Hong Kong New Music Ensemble, Calliope Duo, among others.
Dr. Nakano is the first recipient of the Toru Takemitsu Award in Composition from the Japan Society of Boston in 1997. In 2008, he became the first composer to receive the S&R Washington Award Grand Prize. He is the recipient of the 2010 White Flowers Residency Fellowship from the Corporation of Yaddo, the 2015 Bessie Schönberg Memorial Endowed Fellowship from the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, and the 2018 Gardner Read Fellowship from MacDowell Colony. He has also received composition awards, grants and fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Asian Cultural Council, Japan Society of Boston, Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs, National Gugak Center in South Korea, Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Taiwan National Science Council, Tanglewood Music Center, Meet The Composer, ASCAP, American Music Center, University of California at San Diego, California State University at San Bernardino, New England Conservatory, New School University, Composers Conference at Wellesley College, Ernest Bloch Music Festival, as well as fellowships for residency from the Bellagio Center (Rockefeller Foundation), MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Millay Colony for the Arts, Djerassi Resident Artists Program, Ucross Foundation, Ragdale Foundation, Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, and Atlantic Center for the Arts.
Dr. Nakano has guest lectured at the University of California at Berkeley, the University of California at San Diego, the University of California at Davis, the University of Texas at Austin, Rutgers University (the State University of New Jersey), Rice University, Claremont Colleges, California State University at San Bernardino, Chapman University, Creighton University, Sheridan College, the University of Western Sydney, Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Seoul National University, Korean National University of the Arts, Ehwa Womans University, Sangmyung University, Pai Chai University, Jeju National University in South Korea, Shanghai Conservatory of Music in China, Taipei National University of the Arts, Taiwan Normal University, National Taiwan University of Arts, Taipei Municipal University of Education (now the University of Taipei), National Chiao Tung University, Soochow University, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Hong Kong Institute of Education, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music in Singapore, SEGi College in Malaysia, and Royal University of Fine Arts in Cambodia, as well as at Chulalongkorn, Mahidol, Srinakharinwirot, Rangsit, Silpakorn, and Payap Universities in Thailand.
Dr. Nakano has been a Guest Composer for KOFOMI (“Composers Forum in Mittersill”) in Austria, the Common Practice 21C: Classical, Contemporary, and Cross-Cultural Music Festival at Rice University, ISCM New Music Miami Festival, the Unlimited Music Festival at Western Sydney University in Australia, the 1st Music and Performing Arts Festival of Asia Culture Center in South Korea, the Shanghai New Music Week, the China-ASEAN Music Festival in China, the Taipei International New Music Festival in Taiwan, the SoundBridge Contemporary Music Festival in Malaysia, the Asian Composers League Festival and Conference in the Philippines, as well as the Thailand International Composition Festival and Burapha’s Music and Performing Arts Festival in Thailand. In 2012, he was the featured composer for "The Arts Converge - Contemporary Art and Asian Musical Traditions” at Northern Illinois University, where his portrait concert was presented at the School of Music Recital Hall.
In 2015, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players gave the world premiere of "Time Song V: Mandala" commissioned by the Jebediah Foundation New Music Commissions as part of the final concert of Project TenFourteen at Hertz Hall. In the same year, he was also a guest composer for the University of California at Berkeley (Composition Colloquium), the University of California at Davis (Valente Lecture), Rice University (Common Practice 21C: Classical, Contemporary, and Cross-Cultural Music), Guangxi Art Institute (China-ASEAN Music Week), Shanghai New Music Wee and Shanghai Conservatory of Music in China, and the 33rd ACL International Festival & Conference in the Philippines.
In 2016, “Imagined Sceneries” for two sopranos, koto, chamber ensemble and pre-recorded tracks was premiered at Scripps Clark Humanities Museum in USA, and “Spring Breathes III” premiered by two Thai classical musicians and Hong Kong New Music Ensemble for the closing concert of the Music and Performing Arts Festival to celebrate the 1st Anniversary of Asia Culture Center in Gwangju, South Korea.
The recent premieres of his compositions include “Spring Breathes V” for saenghwang, piri and taepyunso and string quartet by Gamin Kang and ARZ Ensemble at National Gugak Center in Seoul, South Korea; “Spring Breathes” - Double Concerto for ranad ek, khlui/pi nai and Chinese orchestra for the closing concert of the 2017 China-ASEAN Music Week in Nanning, China; “Spring Breathes IV” for Chinese musical instruments for the Little Giant Chamber Chinese Orchestra at National Recital Hall in Taipei, Taiwan; “Spring Breathes VI” for daegeum and marimba for the Creativity Unlimited Music Festival 2017 at Western Sydney University in Australia; “Spiritual Forest” for mixed chorus commissioned by Taipei Chamber Singers; Three lullabies from the chamber opera “Spiritual Forest” for solo guitar commissioned by Aaron Larget-Caplan’s New Lullaby Project for the 2018 International Festival of Arts & Ideas; “Spring Breathes VI” - The version for flute and piano performed by Calliope Duo for the 2018 Sounds Modern series at Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth in Texas; “Spring Breathes VII” for the Hong Kong Crossroads Ensemble consisted of Japanese, Korea, Chinese and Western instruments with new choreographed Thai dance in Y Studio at the Chai Wan YMCA Centre in Hong Kong. In 2019, his second chamber opera “Spiritual Forest” commissioned by Dr. Stacey Fraser for the CSUSB Opera Theater was premiered at California State University, San Bernardino. Dr. Fraser also gave a lecture-recital entitled "Spiritual Forest: A Chamber Opera and a Confluence of Musical Cultures” with pianist Alastair Edmonstone at the 2019 CMS International Conference in Ghent, Belgium.
Recent performances of Dr. Nakano’s compositions include: "Spring Breathes VI" for flute and piano by the Calliope Duo for the 2019 China-ASEAN Music Week in Nanning, China; "Scattered Clouds/Dramatic Sky" presented with newly choreographed dance “Whisper” by Visaka Saeui for the final presentation of the International Young Choreographer Project at Tsoying Senior High School in Kaohsiung, Taiwan; "Worldscape" for amplified pipa and pre-recorded sounds by Dr. Yun-Han Su at the National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts and at the National Taiwan University Center for the Arts in Taipei, Taiwan. In 2020, "Worldscape IV" for amplified piano and pre-recorded sounds was performed as part of the lecture-recital by Misty Shore Duo (Dr. Chen-Hui Jen and Dr. Jacob Sudol) during the 3rd International Symposium & Festival "Composition in Asia" at University of South Floria, and at the 2020 XXIII New Music Festival Miami ISCM Festival in USA.
Dr. Nakano obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in composition with distinction, and Master's Degree in composition with academic honors and distinction, Pi Kappa Lambda, from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where he studied with Lee Hyla and John Harbison as a scholarship student. From 2002 to 2003, he studied with Dutch composer Louis Andriessen in Amsterdam and at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague as the Japanese Government Overseas Study Program Artist. In 2006, he received his Ph.D. in composition from the University of California at San Diego, where he studied with Chinary Ung under the Gluck Composition Fellowship.
In 2009, Dr. Nakano was a committee member of the National Performing Arts Task Force on Diversity in the Performing Arts in 2009. From 2008 to 2012, he had been a Fellow Council Member of the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Dr. Nakano has also served as a music composition panelist for the Artist Fellowship of the Connecticut Office of Arts, and a composition jury for the artist residency programs including Millay Colony for the Arts, Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts, Ragdale Foundation and Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, among others. In 2019, he was invited to participate in the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center 60th Anniversary Homecoming in Bellagio, Italy.
Dr. Nakano has been a guest professor in composition at Taipei National University of the Arts, National Taiwan University of Arts, and Seoul National University. In the winter quarter of 2013, he was a visiting faculty member at the University of California at Santa Cruz, where he taught world music composition. In 2016, Dr. Nakano was named the Scripps Erma Taylor O’Brien Distinguished Visiting Professor at Scripps College in the U.S.
As a scholar of Asian traditional and contemporary music, his articles have been published through the Perspectives in Arts and Humanities Asia at Ateneo de Manila University in Philippines, the Kuandu Music Journal at Taipei National University of the Arts in Taiwan, and the Music and Performing Arts Journal at Burapha University.
From 2012 to 2021, Dr. Nakano taught composition as a full-time faculty member of the Faculty of Music and Performing Arts at Burapha University in Thailand, where he was the Head of International Affairs. At Burapha, he was also Director of International Programs for Burapha's Music and Performing Arts International Festival and directed the Experimental Thai MusicLaboratory for Young Composers.
Dr. Nakano has served as the Vice-Director (2016), General Manager (2015, 2017, 2020) and Composition Faculty (2015, 2016, 2017, 2020) of the Nirmita Composers Workshop for emerging composers from Southeast Asia and the U.S.
Co-founder of the Asian Young Musicians’ Connection (AYMC), Dr. Nakano commissions emerging composers to create music that is performed by worldwide professional musicians at AYMC’s regular concerts and workshops. He is the Resident Composer for the lotusflower new music project in USA and a member of ASCAP.