Ben Rieke (b. 2000) is a composer and pianist from Naperville, Illinois. He recently graduated from Indiana University with BM's in music composition, studying with P.Q. Phan, David Dzubay, Claude Baker and Don Freund, and piano performance, studying with Roberto Plano. At IU, he also obtained a BS in computer science. He has previously won awards from the SNM NY Federation of Music Clubs, 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, the Indiana University Concert Orchestra, the Juilliard Orchestra, and Irvine Arditti. He is currently enrolled in Juilliard's MM composition program, studying with Andrew Norman. Among other interests are a lasting passion for rock music and a morbid fascination with artificial intelligence, his specialization during computer science studies.
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.
From Line - Lee Ufan (1974)