Kotoka Suzuki

Kotoka Suzuki
Associate Professor and Program Director
Telephone number
Building HW 410
Music and Culture


Kotoka Suzuki is a Japanese-born composer and sound artist. Her work frequently investigates the relationship between visual elements and sound, often crossing into theater. Her compositions reflect on life, breath and nature, proposing sound as a physical form manipulated through the sculptural practice of composition. Inspired by the synthesis of technology and music, her work is written for a wide range of mediums, including acoustic instruments, electronics, video, dance, and multimedia, such as spatially interactive audio-visual work for both concert and installation settings. They are at times produced in collaboration with artists and scholars from other disciplines.

Suzuki’s work has been featured internationally by performers such as Arditti String Quartet, Eighth Blackbird, Pacifica Quartet, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Continuum, and Mendelssohn Chamber Orchestra (Germany). Her work has been presented at numerous venues and broadcasters such as Deutschland Radio, BBC Radio3, Ultraschall (Germany), ISCM World Music Days, The Stone, ZKM Media Museum (Germany), and Music at the Anthology (MATA).

She has taught at the University of Chicago and Arizona State University and is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto Scarborough with a graduate appointment in the Faculty of Music on the St. George campus. Her work is published by Edition RZ, EMF Media, IMEB records and Signpost Music. She has been an associate composer at the Canadian Music Centre since 2001.

Constraint Obstacle Studies
Courtesy of Follow My Score - incipitsify
Performers: Aiyun Huang, Austin Lamarche, Britton Rene Collins, Chung Ling Lo, David Schotzko, Haruka Fuji,
Michael Murphy, Michelle Colton, Nikki Joshi, Rick Sacks, Ryan Scott & Zuri Wells.


Soprano Sax / Jarred Waters & Matt Fox
Alto Sax / Nathan Salazar & Tanner Bayles
Tenor Sax / Patrick Feher & Chris Sacco
Baritone Sax / Kirsten Zelenak & Bonson Lee
Director / Christopher Creviston
Director of Video / Daniel Dickson
Post-Production / Dan Shannon-Spence


In Praise of Shadows
Courtesy of ISCM World New Music Days 2017. Performed by Vancouver Electronic Ensemble.
Editor / monteur - Mike Southworth, Collide Entertainment Producer / productrice - Joanna Dundas
Camera Operators / cadreurs – Doug Fury, Mike Southworth Sound Engineer / ingénieur du son – Andy Smith



Kotoka Suzuki received her B.M. in composition from Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University and a D.M.A. in composition at Stanford University, where she studied with Jonathan Harvey. Additional professional training include IRCAM Composition Summer Workshop, June in Buffalo, Domaine Forget with York Höller, and Voix Nouvelles Academy at Fondation Royaumont with Brian Ferneyhough and Franco Donatoni.



Canadian Music Centre

Teaching Interests

Music Composition. Audio Technology, Experimental Music, Sound & visual, Electroacoustic Music

Research Interests

Sound & Spatialization, Music & Technology, Electroacoustic Music, Music & Theatre, Sound Art

Awards and Grants

DAAD Berlin Artists in Residence (Germany), The Bourges First Prize in Multimedia (France), First Prize in the International Electro-Acoustic Musica Nova Competition (Czech Republic), New Music USA Grant, George A and Eliza Gardner Howard Foundation Fellowship among other awards. Residencies include MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Djerassi, Ucross and the Center for Arts and Media (ZKM).


Kotoka Suzuki. Automata | Mechanical Garden. Group exhibition. February 9 – August 4, 2013.
Center for Art and Media ZKM (Karlsruhe, Germany), https://zkm.de/en/publication/move-onasia


Commissioned by 21C Music Festival, Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto
July 7, 2022. 
Heroines of Sound Festival (Berlin, Germany) 
Ensemble LUX:NM
Furusato: Home of the Heart 
Commissioned by CityMusic Cleveland Chamber Orchestra 
October 1&2, 2021. 
Shrine Church of St. Stanislaus (Cleveland, OH / US)
Yoogin Jang, violin / Masumi Per Rostad, viola / Mimi Hwang, violoncello
Image credit: screen image from the video above that was produced by CityMusic Cleveland


March 30, 2021

Unerhörte Musik 

BKA Theatre, Berlin, Germany

Commissioned by Trio Radial for Clarinet, Horn & Violoncello

Trio Radial





July 9, 2019

Rush Hour Concerts 

St. James Cathedral, Chicago, IL   

Spektral Quartet

Spektral Quartet 

In Praise of Shadows 

Commissioned by the Contemporary Music Festival, Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ / US)

November 3, 2017

ISCM World Music Days Festival (Vancouver)

Vancouver Electronic Ensemble


Image credit: took a screen image from the video above that was produced by ISCM World Music Days




Commissioned & Premiered by Cheryl Duvall
Blue, Rising (2019) 8:30
piano and transducers

Commissioned & Premiered by Robert Spring

video/animation: Claudia Rohrmoser / set design: Nicola Minssen

Utterance in Motion  (2018) 9:00

clarinet, video & electronics


Commissioned & Premiered by UMS’n JIP 

Premiered by Javier Hagen

Reservoir (2013/Rev. 2016) 9:40 

voice: Javier Hagen


Premiered by Kotoka Suzuki
Shimmer, Tree | In Memoriam Jonathan Harvey (2014) 15:00
Piano Solo and electronics (fixed media)


Commissioned by Sinus-Ton Music Festival, Magdeburg, Germany

Premiered by Mendelssohn Chamber Orchestra (Leipzig) 

Dreams and Wandering (2012) 23:00

chamber orchestra and electronics  


Commissioned by Inventionen Festival, Berlin, Germany

Automata | Mechanical Garden (2010) 8:35

16-channel electroacoustic diffusion