Chancellor Fellow & Senior Composer in Residence Chinary Ung was born in Cambodia in 1942 and has lived and worked in the United States since 1964, when he arrived in New York City–speaking virtually no English–to study clarinet at the Manhattan School of Music. His compositions are testament to an ear that is remarkably open, and an imagination capable of drawing together the seemingly disparate sounds and attitudes of contemporary concert music and Southeast Asian traditional music.
Dr. Ung received his DMA from Columbia University, where his principal mentor was Chou Wen-Chung. His work has been commissioned by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Asian Cultural Council, the Meet the Composer/Reader’s Digest Commissioning Program, Mutable Music, and the Ford, Rockefeller, Koussevitzky, Joyce, Jebediah, and Barlow Foundations. For his work, Inner Voices, he was given the Grawemeyer Award, perhaps the most prestigious prize in music composition. Most recently the Asian Cultural Council has named Chinary recipient of the John D. Rockefeller Award for 2014.
Chinary’s music is featured on numerous recordings released on Atoll, Naxos, Ein Klang, and Bridge records. His compositions are published exclusively by C.F. Peters Corporation and they are registered under BMI. Dr. Ung is currently a Distinguished Professor at the University of California, San Diego.
Chinary works in conjunction with the composition faculty in the Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music where he presents lectures and works independently with composition students.