Ned Rothenberg (b. Boston, Massachusetts, September 15, 1956) is an American multi-instrumentalist and composer. He specializes in woodwind instruments, including the alto saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet, flute, and shakuhachi (Japanese bamboo flute). He is particularly known for his work in new music and free improvisation, as well as for his work in expanding the vocabulary of sounds of his instruments through the use of extended techniques (for example, he has developed the ability to play chords on the saxophone). His compositions show influences from such diverse sources as contemporary classical music, jazz, rock, and world music.
Rothenberg is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. He was a founding member (along with J. D. Parran and Robert Dick) of the experimental woodwind trio New Winds. He has performed with a wide variety of musicians, including Sainkho Namtchylak, Samm Bennett, Fred Frith, Paul Dresher, Yuji Takahashi, Elliott Sharp, John Zorn, Katsuya Yokoyama, Evan Parker, Marc Ribot, and Samir Chatterjee. He has been internationally acclaimed for his solo music which he has presented worldwide since 1978.
Rothenberg has lived in New York City since 1978. He has recorded for the Lumina, Tzadik, New World, Axiom, Sub Rosa, Intuition, Victo, Leo, and Animul labels.