The music of American composer Mikel Kuehn (b. 1967) has been described as having “sensuous phrases... producing an effect of high abstraction turning into decadence,” by New York Times critic Paul Griffiths. A 2014 Guggenheim Fellow, he has received awards, grants, and residencies from ASCAP (Student Composer Awards), BMI (Student Composer Award), the Banff Centre, the Barlow Endowment, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (First Hearing Prizes), Composers, Inc. (Lee Ettelson Award), the Copland House (Copland Award), Eastman (Howard Hanson and McCurdy Prizes), the Fromm Foundation at Harvard, the League of Composers/ISCM, the MacDowell Colony, the Salvatore Martirano Memorial Composition Competition (honorable mention), the Ohio Arts Council (Individual Excellence Awards), the Luigi Russolo Competition (finalist), and Yaddo. His works have been commissioned by the Anubis Saxophone Quartet, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Ensemble 21, Ensemble Dal Niente, Flexible Music, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), violist John Graham, clarinetist Marianne Gythfeldt, cellist Craig Hultgren, guitarist Dan Lippel, Perspectives of New Music, pianist Marilyn Nonken, Selmer Paris, and the Spektral Quartet, among others.
Professor of Composition at Bowling Green State University, Kuehn was director of the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music (MACCM), the annual New Music Festival and the Music at the Forefront concert series from 2007 through 2010. He holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and the University of North Texas. In November of 2016, New Focus Recordings released Objet/Shadow, a portrait CD of Kuehn's music; other recordings of his works are available on ACA Digital, Centaur, Erol, ICMA, MSR Classics, and Perspectives of New Music/Open Space.