Kuehn’s music has been described as having “sensuous phrases … producing an effect of high abstraction turning into decadence.”
- Paul Griffiths, The New York Times (May 15, 1998)
"The prize for sonic inventiveness went to Mikel Kuehn's Chiaroscuro, a work for cello and electroacoustics. Its interaction between performer and speakers and subtle sonic explorations of recorded and real cello sounds was both interesting and engaging."
- Michael Huebner, The Birmingham News (April 6, 2008)
The music of American composer Mikel Kuehn has received awards and honorable recognition from ASCAP and BMI (student composer awards), the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (2000 and 2002 First Hearing Contests), Composers, Inc. (Lee Ettelson Award), the Copland House (Aaron Copland Award), Eastman (Hanson and McCurdy Prizes), the Guggenheim Foundation (2014 Fellowship), the League of Composers/ISCM Composers' Competition (First Prize), the Salvatore Martirano Memorial Composition Contest (honorable mention), the Ohio Arts Council (Individual Excellence Awards), and the Luigi Russolo Competition (Italy). Twice selected to represent the United States abroad (by ISCM and SEAMUS), in both the acoustic and electroacoustic mediums, Kuehn's works have been programmed on numerous concerts, conferences, and festivals internationally. His works have been commissioned by the Anubis Saxophone Quartet, the Barlow Endowment, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Ensemble 21, Ensemble Dal Niente, Flexible Music, Harvard's Fromm Foundation, violist John Graham, clarinetist Marianne Gythfeldt, the Hoff-Barthelson Music School, cellist Craig Hultgren, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), guitarist Dan Lippel, pianist Marilyn Nonken, Perspectives of New Music, saxophonists Jean-Michel Goury and John Sampen, Selmer Paris, the Spektral Quartet, and the Thelema Trio (Beligium). He has been a resident composer with organizations such as the Banff Centre (Canada), the Birmingham Art Music Alliance, the Copland House, The MacDowell Colony, and Yaddo. In March of 2013, six of his works were featured at the Vienna Saxfest held at Konservatorium Wien Privatuniversität (Vienna) and in July of 2009 three of his works were featured at World Saxophone Congress XV.
Kuehn is currently Professor of Composition at Bowling Green State University, where he served as director of the MidAmerican Center for Contemporary Music and the Bowling Green New Music Festival from 2007-2010. He received degrees in composition from the Eastman School of Music (Ph.D., MA) and the University of North Texas (BM) and is author of the computer music application nGen. In November of 2016, New Focus Recordings releases Objet/Shadow, a portrait CD of Kuehn's music; other recordings of his works are available on ACA Digital, Centaur (CDCM series), Erol (France), ICMC (Ireland), MSR Classics, and Perspectives of New Music/Open Space.
This artist was awarded an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award for 2016.