Kam, Dennis (Koon Ming)
- Juan R. Chattah
(b Honolulu, May 8, 1942; d Dec 25, 2018). American composer. He studied composition at Oberlin College (1960–64), at the East-West Center at the University of Hawaii (1964–6), and at the University of Illinois (1966–74) with Salvatore Martirano. He also attended the Mozarteum in Salzburg and the Toho Gakuen in Tokyo. Kam was a prolific composer whose music exhibits an organic sense of time and unusually effective orchestration. His compositions from the 1960s were influenced by post-Webern atonality and experimentalism, as evidenced in Sections (1963) and in String Quartet no.1 (1966), both of which won BMI awards. The work Ad Hoc (1971), composed as Ford Foundation/MENC Composer-in-Residence for the State of Hawaii, marked a turning point in his compositional practice: a departure from clustered sonorities and angular gestures toward consonant “sound objects” and transparent harmonic voicings....