Kenji Bunch was chosen as Young Concert Artists’ Composer-in-Residence by a panel of distinguished YCA alumni in 1998. During his two-year tenure, he wrote two works specifically for members of the Young Concert Artists roster. His first commission, Suite for Viola and Piano, was written for violist Naoko Shimizu, who premiered the piece on her debut recitals in the Young Concert Artists Series at the 92nd Street Y in New York and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Mr. Bunch’s second commission, Paraphraseology, was premiered by marimbist Makoto Nakura and violinist Stefan Milenkovich at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, and was just released on a Kleos Classics CD.
The Phoenix Symphony commissioned Mr. Bunch’s work Chorus Mysticus, which was premiered during the Symphony’s Beethoven Festival in January, 2002. He has also been commissioned by the English Chamber Orchestra, the St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, the Ahn Trio, the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival, the Zoon! Festival of New Music, Collegium Nuvum-Zurich, the New Juilliard Ensemble and Windscape. His works have been performed at venues including London’s Barbican Hall, Tel Aviv’s Rubin Academy, and New York’s Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Concert Hall and Museum of Modern Art. The Naumburg Foundation has commissioned Mr. Bunch to write a work to be premiered in March, 2003 in Alice Tully Hall.
Three of Mr. Bunch’s works have been released on CD by EMI Classics: his Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra, performed by the English Chamber Orchestra and violinist Ittai Shapira, and his Concerto for Piano, Violin, Cello and Percussion and his Slow Dance for Piano Trio, both on the Ahn Trio’s “Ahn-Plugged” CD.
A native of Portland, Oregon, Kenji Bunch studied at the Juilliard School. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in viola as a student of Toby Appel, and was awarded a Master’s Degree in composition and viola, studying with Robert Beaser. He has also studied composition with Eric Ewazen and Stanley Wolfe. Mr. Bunch’s honors include the prestigious William Schuman Prize for Outstanding Leadership in Music and the Lillian Fuchs Prize for Viola and from the Juilliard School, grants from ASCAP (1999 and 2000), Meet The Composer (1999 and 2000), and the Leonard Bernstein Composers’ Fund (2000). Mr. Bunch performs regularly as a violist, and plays fiddle in bluegrass band Citigrass NYC.