"Robert Bui, with equal merit as a composer and performer, creates and challenges new music at both the level of conceptualization and physical embodiment. Beyond music, some of his interests include social reform, his family’s cultural history, languages, and photography. The result yields musical products that mend multiple mediums, full of varied, diverse ranges of subject material. He graduated with a Bachelor’s in Composition from the New England Conservatory as a Presser Scholar and the Class of 2021 Commencement Speaker. His primary teachers included composer Stratis Minakakis and cellist Mickey Katz. Between 2018-2021, he served as the leading director of Tuesday Night New Music, a monthly series of student-composed new music concerts hosted at the New England Conservatory. Currently, he is a doctoral student in Contemporary Cello Performance at the University of California San Diego.
Some merits from his compositional career include winning the New England Conservatory’s Honors Ensemble Competition 2018, Orchestral Composition Competition 2019, and Contemporary Ensemble Competition 2020, all resulting in exceptional quality performances of his work in Jordan Hall. His prior chamber and orchestral work have led to awards and performances in venues such as the Musical Instrument Museum, the Orpheum Theatre, and the American String Teacher Association’s National Orchestra Festival.
As a new music specialist, Bui has been dedicated over a dozen pieces by living composers in both solo and chamber settings. He has been a frequent performer in the Tuesday Night New Music Series, nec[shivaree], NEC Contemporary Ensemble, and concerts curated by his ensemble, Alinéa. Alinéa, of which he is a founding member, is a contemporary music group dedicated to music by living composers and new performance practices. The Ensemble has produced a series of events including composer portraits, a microtonal-themed concert, multiple US premieres and a virtual music festival “Everything but the Kitchen Sink,” featuring interviews and solo works of prominent composers. In other summers, he has attended institutes and festivals fostering both composition and performance disciplines including Delian Academy, New Music on the Point, Orford Music Academy Contemporary Workshop, Vienna Summer Music Festival+Ensemble PHACE, Boston Conservatory, Boston University Tanglewood Institute, and Idyllwild Arts.
Outside of music, Bui has enjoyed a variety of other titles such as portrait/event photographer, polyglot, fashion enthusiast, hair stylist, and latte artist."