Niko Yamamoto (1995) works with integrated systems of sound and action to augment experiences of body and environment. As a composer, his work encompasses an array of performance practices, primarily of music and theatre. His work explores processes of impulse and feedback to guide development and deterioration. 

He has been commissioned by Musiqa and New Downbeat and has received performances at the FSU Festival for New Music, the Contemporary Arts Museum of Houston, and the Etchings Festival. He has previously collaborated with artists and organizations such as the Arditti Quartet, Dan Gelok, Nunc, Ecce, the Experimental Music Studios at the University of Illinois, the National Center for Super-Computing Applications, and the Rice Electroacoustic Music Labs.

He is a doctoral student at Brandeis University and a graduate of the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a student of Erin Gee, Kurt Stallmann, Anthony Brandt, and Scott Wyatt. Additional studies with Pierre Jalbert, Karim Al-Zand, Reynold Tharp, Guy Garnett, and Eli Fieldsteel. He has participated in masterclasses with Philippe Hurel, Hans Tutschku and Melinda Wagner. 

Teaching is an important component to Niko’s practice. As a Brown Fellow at Rice University, he worked with Rachel Buchman leading experiential music classes based on Dalcroze philosophy to study experiences of sound in space and time. The classroom environment engages with play to experiment with sound practices in observation and creation.

Yamamoto - 2018 Headshot.jpg


Guerrilla Opera (Boston, MA)
Emerging Composer Fellowship, 2019-20.

New Downbeat (Cincinnati, OH)
February 2020.

Musiqa (Houston, TX)
Emerging Composer Fellowship, 2018-19.


Delores Dlesk Scholarship (2017)
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Finalist, ASCAP Young Composer’s Award (2017)
on view of clouds (2016)

Theodore Presser Award (2016)
School of Music, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Division Achievement Award for Composition/Theory (2014)
School of Music, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Brandeis University
Ph.D. in Music Composition and Theory, in-progress.

Rice University
M.Mus in Composition, May 2019.
Brown Foundation Fellow, Michael P. Hammond Preparatory Program.
Member of the Rice Electroacoustic Music Labs (REMLabs).

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
B.Mus in Composition-Theory, May 2017.
Applied studies in Electroacoustic Music, Bassoon Performance, Wind Band Conducting, and Music Education.
Former Director of Musicals & Drama of the Illini Union Board.
Member of the Experimental Music Studios (EMS).
Composition Division Representative for the School of Music Student Advisory Board.


Florida State University Biennial Festival for New Music 2019
Performance of Fixed Objects on a Moving Plane (2017) for quadraphonic fixed media.

Etchings Festival 2018
Composition Fellow
Teaching Faculty: Philippe Hurel, Erin Gee, Martin Brody, John Aylward. With Ecce (East Coast Contemporary Ensemble).

Upcoming Engagements