Kenji Bunch has emerged as one of the most engaging, influential, and prolific American composers of his generation. Hailed by the New York Times as “A Composer To Watch” and cited by Alex Ross in his seminal book “The Rest Is Noise,” Mr. Bunch’s unique blend of wit, exuberance, lyricism, unpredictable stylistic infusions, and exquisite craftsmanship has brought acclaim from audiences, performers, and critics alike. Mr. Bunch’s symphonic music has been performed by over forty orchestras, and his genre-defying chamber works have been performed in premiere venues on six continents. His music is regularly broadcast on national radio, including NPR, BBC, and NHK, and has been recorded on labels including Sony/BMG, EMI Classics, Koch, Kleos Classics, RCA, Naxos, Pony Canyon, GENUIN, Capstone, MSR Classics, Innova, ARS, and Crystal.
As a composer, his residencies include Mobile Symphony (Meet The Composer Music Alive), Spoleto USA, Bravo! Vail, Sound Encounters, the Chintimini Chamber Music Festival, and the Craftsbury Chamber Players. He also served for two years as the composer in residence for Young Concert Artists, Inc. His collaborations with renowned choreographers David Parsons, Nai-Ni Chen, and Darrell Grand Moultrie have received great acclaim.
In 2010, concerts devoted to his chamber music were given at the Stamford Music Festival in England, and at the Perpignan Conservatory in the south of France. Upcoming projects include the world premiere of his Piano Concerto in May 2011 with pianist Monica Ohuchi and the Colorado Symphony. In October, 2011, he will appear as the soloist with the American Composers Orchestra in the world premiere of his viola concerto “The Devil’s Box” in Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall.
Mr. Bunch maintains an active career as a violist, and is widely recognized for performing his own groundbreaking works for viola. A founding member of the Flux Quartet (1996-2002) and Ne(x)tworks (2003-present), Mr. Bunch is a veteran of the New York new music world. A versatile musician with a deep interest in vernacular American music and improvisation, he also plays bluegrass fiddle and sings with the band Citigrass, and is a frequent guest performer, recording artist, and arranger with many prominent rock, jazz, folk, and alternative/ experimental artists. In the spring of 2011, he will release a recording of his complete works for solo viola on Bulging Disc Records.
A native of Portland, Oregon, Mr. Bunch studied at the Juilliard School, receiving his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in viola with Toby Appel, and in composition with Robert Beaser. Other composing mentors include Eric Ewazen and Stanley Wolfe.
Now a dedicated teacher himself, Mr. Bunch has developed and conducted residencies, workshops, and master classes across the country in composition, viola performance, improvisation, music appreciation, and arts education to students ranging in age from kindergarten to adult professionals. He teaches at the Juilliard Pre-College, and lives in Brooklyn with his wife Monica and rescued pit bull Coffee.