Tokyo-based Japanese composer Yu Kuwabara (b. 1984) makes music to ask herself who she is. She has been researching and studying traditional Japanese arts and music to go as far back as possible to her origins and to confirm her own sense of being. She has collaborated with numerous artists who use traditional Japanese art forms, including Noh performers, a Rakugo performer, a Japanese Buddhist chant group, and also performers of traditional Japanese instruments.
Yu Kuwabara was commissioned by important festivals, concerts, and ensembles such as Festival 20/21 Transit, International Ensemble Modern Academy in the context of CRESC... Biennale für Aktuelle Musik Frankfurt Rhein-Main, National Theatre of Japan, Shizuoka AOI, Yokohama Minato-Mirai Hall Just Composed 2020, Kanagawa Kenritsu Ongakudo, Kanagawa Kenmin Hall, Riot Ensemble in the context of Zeitgeist Commissions, Divertimento Ensemble, Ensemble Proton Bern, neuverBand, AsianArt Ensemble, loadbang, Shomyo no Kai - Voice of A Thousand Years, among others. Her works have been performed at numerous international festivals (Darmstädter Ferienkurse, CRESC... Biennale für Aktuelle Musik Frankfurt Rhein-Main, Ultraschall Berlin, Mostra Sonora Sueca, EXPO Milano 2015, Music From Japan, Tongyeong International Music Festival, Takefu International Music Festival, and others) and in many other concerts around the world with various ensembles and performers (Enno Poppe and Ensemble Modern, Trio Accanto, soloists from Ensemble Intercontemporain, Talea Ensemble, Klangforum Wien, mdi ensemble, Sentieri selvaggi, Ensemble Mise-en, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Nicolas Hodges, William Lang, Claire Chase, Rebekah Heller, Stefan Hussong, Camilla Hoitenga, Toshiya Suzuki, Kosei Murata, Hidejiro Honjoh, and others).
She completed her master’s degree at the Tokyo University of the Arts and has taken part in prestigious academies, including Lucerne Festival Academy Composer Seminar, Academy Voix Nouvelles Foundation Royaumont, Delian Academy for new music, IMPULS, and Akademie Schloss Solitude, among others.
She is a composer of Awai-Za, a chamber ensemble mixed with new music and Japanese Edo culture.