Richard Karpen (born 1957, New York), is a composer and researcher in multiple areas of music and the arts. His compositions for traditional and experimental media are widely known, recorded, and performed internationally. Over the last 30 years he has also been one of the leaders in the development of computer applications for music composition, interactive performance and sonic arts. He has recently returned to the stage as a pianist.
Karpen 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 in 1989, and was associated with the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA). He also studied composition with Gheorghe Costinescu and Charles Dodge. He has composed works for many prominent international performers and along with frequent concert 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, Capstone, and RareNoise.
Currently, Richard Karpen is serving as Director of the School of Music at the University of Washington where he is also a Professor of Music Composition. He previously served at the UW as Associate Dean for Research in the College of Arts and Sciences and as Founding Director of the Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media (DXARTS).