Kay Rhie
Assistant Professor, Composition

Kay Kyurim Rhie is a composer of contemporary classical music of a wide-ranging palette of inspiration. Born in South Korea, she grew up in Los Angeles and trained in both the West and the East Coast. Her musical influences include film and jazz music, European avant-gardes as well as various literary traditions. In her choral work Tears for Te Wano, a 19th-century Maori chant and a 16th-century Renaissance motet are fused together while highlighting each distinct chant tradition. Her Three Miniatures for Piano uses a Korean folk tune as a descant, shrouds it in blues-infused harmony.

Rhie’s music in which “vehemence and reticence, intimacy and plainness co-exist” (American Academy of Arts and Letter) has found increasing audience across the country and abroad. Her music has been performed by such diverse groups as the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, Aspen Summer Music Festival and Schools, the BBC Singers, Winsor Music, Ensemble X, Ardesco String Quartet, In Flux, the New Spectrum Ensemble, In Mulieribus, Seattle Promusica, Andrew/Gail Jennings Duo, Los Angeles Chamber Singers, California EAR Unit, Cornell University Glee Club and Cornell University Chorus, and Ithaca College Contemporary Ensemble. Some of her upcoming commissions include a chamber orchestra piece for Seoul Philarmonic’s New Music Series, Ars Nova for its 2017/18 season and a large ensemble piece for Ensemble X.

A recipient of the Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Rhie was the Rieman and Baketel Music Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study at Harvard University (2008-09). During her year at the Radcliffe Institute, she explored the relationship between vowel formants of two different languages and their harmonic realizations in her commission for the renowned violinist Andrew Jennings.

Rhie has enjoyed honors and residencies from the Ojai Music Festival, London Festival of American Music, the Tanglewood Music Center (Otto Eckstein Composition Fellow) where she was the winner of the Geffen-Solomon New Music Commission, Seal Bay Chamber Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival and School, the Banff Centre for the Arts, Seal Bay Chamber Music Festival, and the Chamber Music Conference and Composers’ Forum of the East among others.

Originally from Seoul, she began playing the piano at age seven and continued her musical studies in Los Angeles. She studied piano performance and composition at the University of California at Los Angeles. She then received her Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in composition at Cornell University. Her composition teachers include Steven Stucky, Roberto Sierra, Paul Chihara, Ian Krouse, David Lefkowitz, John Harbison, Samuel Adler, Stephen Hartke and Colin Matthews. She studied piano performance with Xak Bjerken, Malcolm Bilson, and Ick-Choo Moon.

Rhie has taught music theory and orchestration as Visiting Lecturer at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York and Ewha Womans University in Seoul, South Korea. In 2016, she also worked as a researcher, overseeing an implementation of a pilot program of training young composers in their early teens in Korea.

Department of Music to Welcome New Faculty in Fall 2017
  The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music is delighted to announce that three exceptional artists have accepted the offer of an appointment in the Department of Music: Denis Bouriakov,
Related Members
See All Music Faculty
Neal Stulberg
Professor
Antonio Lysy
Professor
Rakefet Hak
Lecturer
Chris Hanulik
Adjunct Professor
James Bass
Professor
James Newton
Distinguished Professor
Che-Yen Chen
Professor
Juliana Gondek
Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity & Inclusion; Professor
Gloria Cheng
Adjunct Professor
Gary Gray
Professor Emeritus
Frank Heuser
Professor; Department Vice Chair
Douglas Masek
Adjunct Professor
Christoph Bull
Adjunct Professor
Ian Krouse
Professor
Gordon Henderson
Professor; Department Vice Chair
Ji Young An
Lecturer
Iris Malkin
Lecturer
Mark Kligman
Chair of Ethnomusicology; Professor
Joshua Ranz
Lecturer
Michael Dean
Professor
James Lent
Lecturer
Wayne Shorter
Adjunct Professor
Travis J. Cross
Chair of Music; Professor
Robert Winter
Distinguished Professor
Peter Yates
Adjunct Professor
Jocelyn Ho
Assistant Professor
Peter Golub
Lecturer
Amy Sanchez
Lecturer
Elisabeth Le Guin
Chair of Musicology; Professor
Hitomi Oba
Lecturer
Mildred Yi
Lecturer
Herbie Hancock
Adjunct Professor
Paul Floyd
Lecturer
Peter Kazaras
Professor
Daniel Szabo
Adjunct Associate Professor
Lucy Yates
Lecturer
Noah Meites
Lecturer
Inna Faliks
Professor
Explore Other Degrees
Composition
Mentorship in the creation and realization of music for concerts, opera, and visual media
Conducting
Graduate study and training in choral, orchestral, or wind conducting
Ethnomusicology
The study of global musical traditions through performance training, research, and field work
Global Jazz Studies
Jazz performance and musicianship courses are paired with African American Studies
BA
Music Education
Preparation for music educators leading to a B.A. and teaching credential in just four years
BA
Music Industry
Industry professionals and UCLA faculty prepare students for music-related careers
Musicology
The scholarly study of the histories, cultures, and critical interpretations of music and music-making
Music Performance
Study and training towards professional performance careers in Western classical music
Music Performance Jazz
A highly selective M.M. program in partnership with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz
MM