Bofan Ma


Bofan Ma (马博凡) is a composer-performer, intermedia researcher and multidisciplinary artist based in Manchester and Northwest England. Originally from China, he makes music that embodies an intricate entanglement between sound, images, performative actions, as well as a normalised, transnational artistic identity.

His work often draws on instrumental theatre, multimedia, preconditioned improvisation, and materials associated with historically and culturally-informed stereotypes. He is a keen researcher and practitioner of applied Artificial Intelligence technologies, creatively articulating a mutual, ongoing encounter between the subjective self and an increasingly problematised digital world.

Bofan has worked with ensembles/initiatives including Shanghai Conservatory Chinese Symphony Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, Psappha, Ensemble Mise-en, Ensemble X.y, Distractfold Ensemble, ANU Productions Ireland, Drake Music, Vonnegut Collective, Music Theatre Wales. His music has been heard across the globe, namely in the Shanghai Spring International Festival (China); Mise-en International Festival (USA); Hearing Art Seeing Sound International Festival (Armenia); Darmstädter Ferienkurse (Germany); The Irish Museum of Modern Art (Ireland). His work has gained international recognition in recent years, including features in the Irish Times, the New York Times, RTÉ Lyric FM (Culture File), Olympias Music Foundation (Mapping Migrant Voices), among others.

Upon completing a PhD in composition at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, he started working as the Post-Doctoral Research Associate at The RNCM Centre for Practice & Research in Science & Music (PRiSM) in late 2021, and working closely with the RNCM Experimental & Exploratory Music Research Centre (EEMRC). He is one of the founders of, and curators for the composer collective The Incógnito Project, promoting interdisciplinary collaborations and a truly diverse, unbiased artistic practice. He is also the Chair of, and one of the events/ensemble coordinators for the Manchester branch of the international network of Contemporary Music for All (CoMA), a community-based new music group with a focus on inclusivity and accessibility.

Previously Bofan studied at the Royal Academy of Music (BMus, 2011-2015), and was subsequently awarded a MMus in Composition from the RNCM in 2017. Bofan’s study in the UK over the years was generously supported by the RAM, the RNCM, the Ismena Holland Prize Foundation, the Derek Hill Trust, and the Patricia Cunliffe Composition Prize.