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Asmara, Michael

is one of the leading Indonesian contemporary music composers. He studied music at the AMI Music Academy in Yogyakarta in 1980–83, but began his career as a primarily self-taught composer. In 1981 he wrote his first piece for choir, guitar, organ and violin, Illusi untuk Hidup for the IKI Festival in Surakarta. He has composed music for both Western instruments and Javanese gamelan. His works are performed at numerous festivals across Indonesia and abroad. Pelangi for gamelan has been recorded on CD by Margaari Gamelan Osaka and Piece for Piano no. 10 and Little Piece for Piano have been recorded by Steffen Schleiermacher.
His accolades include the 1st Prize at the Humorous Dance Festival in Jakarta (1986, for Clapping Dance). His music has been performed in the United States, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Vietnam, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Taiwan, and Thailand, including three time at the Asian Music Festival (2003, 2005, 2011), International Composition Symposium, Timbre of Hue in Vietnam, 2007 Art Summit Indonesia, and many others. He has received commissions from the Izumi Hall in Osaka, Shin Nakagawa Marga Sari Gamelan in Osaka, pianist Kees Wieringa, bassist Allan von Schenkel, Ensemble Omega Germany, Trio To Be Sung, Rieko Suzuki, Eduard van Beinum Foundation through Dutch Chamber Music Company, and the Asian Contemporary Music Ensemble. He founded the Yogyakarta Contemporary Music Festival in 2003 of which he remains the artistic director, and the Yogyakarta Contemporary Music Ensemble of which he is artistic director and manager.

Major works: Illusion no. 2 for choir, guitar, violin and organ (1983), The Drunken Waltzer for piano (1984), Floods, stage work (1984), For an Orphan in the Battle (1986), Clapping Dance, stage work (1986), The River (1986), Love, stage work (1987), The Resistance of Substance, multimedia work (1988), Quintet, multimedia work (1989), Mantra for the Opening for choir, gendèr, demung, three vibraphones, three xylophones and two marimbas (1990), Prelude, multimedia work (1991), Symphony no. 1 (1992), Piece for Playing, stage work (1994), String Quartet no. 7 (1996), Thinking of You for children voices and Indonesian instruments (1996), Moving for piano (1996), After the Dreams for piano (1997), Lamentation for Maya Devi for piano (1997), Homecoming for any 13 instruments and voices (1997), Dream After Dreaming for cello (1997), String Quartet no. 2 (1998), Fantasia for string quartet (1999), Interaction, stage work (1999), Little Piece for Piano (2000), Little Piece for Piano no. 2 (2001), Short Piece for Piano no. 2 (2001), Night Music for Marzenka for three gendèrs (2002), Piece for 15 rebabs (2002), Music for String Quartet, Rebab and Wind Trio (2002), Asobu Playing for children’s choir and gamelan orchestra (2003), Niji Rainbow, stage work (2003), Cooking Music, stage work (2004), For an Orphan in the Battle no. 2 for ensemble (2004), The Evening Sleeps So Peacefully for trombone, stones and public (2004), Statue for mezzo-soprano, flute, harp and viola (2004), When the Clouds Move to Cover the Stars for Indonesian instruments and public (2004), Piece for Piano no. 10 (2003), Two Short Pieces for Piano no. 5 (2005), Solo III for cello (2005), Gending Bonang (2006), Short Piece for Double Bass (2006), Duo for Violin and Piano (2006), Three Pieces for Violin (2008), Plumeria Acuminata for violin, double bass, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, trombone and percussion (2011), Volcano for piano (2011), Etude for Orchestra (2012).