Richard Karpen

Title: Professor (Director, School of Music)
Web Site: Extended Profile


Richard Karpen (b. 1957) is one of the leading composers and researchers of electroacoustic music internationally. He is known not only for his pioneering compositions for live and electronic media, but also for developing computer applications for composition, live/interactive performance, and sound design.

Karpen is currently Director of the School of Music at the University of Washington after previously serving at the UW as Founding Director of the Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media (DXARTS) and Divisional Dean for Research in the College of Arts and Sciences. He is a Professor of Music Composition. He has been the recipient of many awards, grants and prizes including those from the National Endowment for the Arts, the ASCAP Foundation, the Bourges Contest in France, and the Luigi Russolo Foundation in Italy. Fellowships and grants for work outside of the U.S. include a Fulbright to Italy, a residency at IRCAM in France, and a Leverhulme Visiting Fellowship to the United Kingdom. He received his doctorate in composition from Stanford University, where he also worked at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). Karpen is a native of New York, where he studied composition with Charles Dodge and Gheorghe Costinescu.

Karpen's works are widely performed in the U.S. and internationally. While he is primarily known for his work in electronic media, Karpen has also composed symphonic and chamber works for a wide variety of ensembles. Furthermore, he has composed works for many leading international soloists such as soprano Judith Bettina, violist Garth Knox, trombonist Stuart Dempster, flutists Laura Chislett and Jos Zwaanenberg, guitarist, Stefan Östersjö, and oboist Alex Klein. Along with numerous concert and radio performances, his works have been set to dance by groups such as the Royal Danish Ballet and the Guandong Dance Company of China. Karpen's compositions have been recorded on a variety of labels including Wergo, Centaur, Neuma, Le Chant du Monde, DIFFUSION i MeDIA, Fleur du Son, and Capstone.