I Nyoman Wenten

Lecturer in Music; Director of the Balinese Gamelan Ensemble
With Pomona Since: 1999
  • Expertise


    I Nyoman Wenten is one of Bali’s most accomplished and versatile dancers and musicians. He is widely celebrated as both a teacher and a performer, and is well-known not only for his abilities in traditional Javanese and Balinese music and dance, but also for his creative East-West fusions. Born in Sading village near Bali’s capital city of Denpasar, Wenten comes from several generations of puppeteers, musicians and dancers. His earliest studies were with his late grandfather, who was a master puppeteer, dancer and musician. He complemented his traditional training with formal studies. Through his long-term exposure to American avant-garde and new gamelan works, Wenten has composed musical works that have achieved a unique fusion of gamelan music and Western elements, collaborating with artists such as David Rosenboom, Morton Subotnick, Sardono Kusumo, Vinny Golia, William Miranda and Larry Reed, among others. For the last 15 years, Wenten has been active in recording and producing highly regarded CDs of gamelan music for CMP Records.

  • Work


    • Performed for the Festival of Indonesia VI in Surakarta, Java, in collaboration with the Jakarta Institute of the Arts. (2011)
    • Wenten and his wife Nanik collaborated with the California Institute of the Arts Gamelan Burat Wangi and members of Bharata Muni to create a Balinese Ramayana for REDCAT in Los Angeles. (2009)
    • Wenten and Nanik created a Balinese music and dance performance of “Oedipus Rex” for gamelan gong kebyar and kecak monkey chant. This acclaimed production involved 75 people and was performed for the Bali Arts Festival in Denpasar, Bali. (2006)
    • Wenten brought his gamelan gong kebyar “Bharata Muni” from Sading, Bali, to Mexico for workshops and performances, for which they were nominated for the coveted Las Lunas award. (2005)
    • Extensive performances and lessons offered throughout the United States, the People’s Republic of China, the Philippines, Japan, Mexico, and across Europe.
  • Education


    • University of California, Los Angeles, Ph.D. in ethnomusicology
    • California Institute of the Arts, M.F.A.
    • National Academy of Music and Dance in Yogyakarta, Java
    • Bali’s Conservatory of Music and Dance in Denpasar

    In addition to teaching at Pomona College, Wenten has taught at the National Academy of Dance in both Bali and Java, and for many music and dance programs around the world and in the United States, including currently at UCLA and Cal Arts

  • Awards & Honors

    Awards & Honors

    Awarded the prestigious Lester Horton Award for his collaboration with Linda Sohl-Ellison for “Nusantara: Rhapsody in Taps.” (1999)