Sean Hayward is a composer and performer based in the Los Angeles area. Although he focuses on the the classical guitar, he also performs regularly on electric and fretless guitars. His music is a reflection of his wide ranging interests, which include Javanese gamelan, process music, Balkan folk music, the contemporary classical guitar, extreme metal, and ancient tuning systems. Sean is currently a doctoral candidate in the Performer-Composer program at the California Institute of the Arts.

Aside from performing as a soloist, Hayward performs regularly as one half of the guitar violin duo, Duo Meranti, an ongoing collaboration with composer-violinist, Chrysanthe Tan. Hayward is also the leader and founder of the experimental Indonesian music collective, Gamelan Suara Baru.

As a student of Indonesian gamelan music, Hayward has spent much of the last five years promoting the performance of traditional and contemporary works for Indonesian instruments. He recently returned from a year of studying Central Javanese gamelan at ISI Surakarta in Indonesia on scholarship from the Indonesian Ministries of Culture and Education. While in Indonesia, Sean was also a member of the traveling international music collective, Sri Mara.

Hayward released his debut album, “Nowhere Found” in 2014, and is currently working on his second album, “Inquiline,” to be released in 2017. Recent performance highlights include a performance with Sri Mara at the Yogyakarta Gamelan Festival; an award winning performance of Hayward’s original work, “Perjalanan” at the Surakarta Gadhon Festival and Competition; and an experimental presentation of the one-act play “No Exit,” by Jean-Paul Sarte, reimagined and reorchestrated at the Gold Star Theater in Los Angeles. As a composer, his music has been performed or recorded by the New Century Players, Mak Grgić , the Gnarwhallaby Quartet, the Isaura String Quartet, Erika Duke-Kirkpatrick, and Gamelan Kyai Doro Dasih.


He holds a Performer-Composer MFA from the California Institute of the Arts where he studied guitar with Miroslav Tadic and Stuart Fox; composition with Michael Jon Fink, Wolfgang von Schweinitz, Michael Pisaro, and Ulrich Krieger; Javanese gamelan with Djoko Walujo, and Balinese gamelan with Nyoman Wenten. He also holds a B.M. Summa Cum Laude from the University of California Santa Cruz where he studied guitar with Mesut Özgen, composition with David Evan Jones and Larry Polansky, orchestration with Hi Kyung Kim, Sundanese gamelan with Pak Undang Sumarna, and electronics with Peter Elsea.