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From Line - Lee Ufan (1974)

Ben Rieke (b. 2000) is a composer and pianist from Naperville, Illinois. He recently graduated from Indiana University with BM's in music composition and piano performance, as well as a B.S. in computer science. He studied composition with P.Q. Phan, David Dzubay, Claude Baker and Don Freund as well as piano with Roberto Plano. He has previously won awards from Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, ASCAP, Tribeca New Music and NYC's Metropolitan Youth Orchestra, and has participated in masterclasses with Georg Friedrich Haas, Du Yun, and David Ludwig. Ensembles and musicians that have performed Ben's work include JACK quartet, Wet Ink Ensemble, Bent Frequency, the Resonance Collective, Brightwork Ensemble, the Indiana University Concert Orchestra, and Irvine Arditti. The Juilliard Orchestra will play his piece "Projections" in Alice Tully Hall this Spring as one of the winners of the Juilliard Orchestra Composition Competition. Festivals attended include New Music on the Point, Red Note Composition Workshop, and in St. Petersburg, Russia. He is currently enrolled in Juilliard's MM composition program, studying with Andrew Norman.


My general social experience is one of extreme privilege, being a member of the most ubiquitous demographic in American places of power as well as new music spaces (i.e. straight, white, male). Insofar as comparative advantage in artistic expression comes from the ability to convey unique perspectives and original thoughts, the most interesting aspect of my uninteresting background IS my choice in pursuing art. As such, my work usually explores varying degrees of self-reference, questioning how contemporary classical music (for all that the term means) is able to provide significant artistic value from its extremely marginal position in relation to the broader cultural landscape.


Piece to piece, this sometimes results in...

  • processes or dialogues that are easily visible on the music's surface—the immediate experience as the primary level of communication

  • a desire to meaningfully speak to the listener through whatever set of experiences or expectations they bring to the table

  • the treatment of style as a parameter


My own musical idiosyncrasies on the level of craft and choice of material are secondary.

(longer resume)

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