Richard Karpen
Richard Karpen, Director of the School of Music and Professor of Music Composition

At the University of Washington School of Music, we are committed to studying and performing the greatest music of all time and to pioneering new directions in creating the music of today.

We are collaborative, working in partnership with individuals, groups, and organizations to advance artistic excellence in our region and in our world. We are leaders and innovators, improvisers and inventors, composers and scholars, curators of the musical past, engineers of the present and future. 

At the UW School of Music we explore a diverse anthology of musical opportunities. Our work in scholarship and performance advances and broadens the educational mission of this outstanding public university. We share with our students, our audiences and our communities the enriching properties that are the hallmark of all great art. We do this in the way we know best—by making and enjoying great music.

From the Director

The School of Music is a vital part of the artistic and scholarly life of the University of Washington and plays a prominent role in the Seattle and greater Pacific Northwest music and art communities. With well over 100 concerts each year of music spanning more than a millennium of time and extending across the cultural globe, with daily seminars and lectures covering the same spans of time and place, the School of Music and its faculty and students are central to fabric of the University.

The School's mission is multifaceted, represented by faculty and students from all walks of life and from many different genres of performance, composition, and scholarship. We are, however, unified by our abiding belief in the universal power of musical experience and a steadfast passion for conveying all that is musical to each of our students, be they music majors or current and future members of the audience.

Our mission is a continuum from the curatorial preservation of music already in existence to the creation of the most experimental new music. This continuum is in evidence through performances by our faculty and students in venues around the world, through the research discoveries that are published in major books and articles, and in the highly esteemed recordings of music played by our performers and created by our composers.

As you navigate around our web site, you’ll see many examples of the above. Take a look at our concert calendar, our faculty biographies, and the activities of our current students. You’ll find a School emanating a deep enthusiasm for music, for learning, and for service world-wide.

Richard Karpen
Director, School of Music
Professor of Music Composition