Paul Seiko Chihara (born July 9, 1938) is an American composer. A Japanese American, he spent three years of his childhood with his family in an internment camp in Minidoka, Idaho due to Executive Order 9066.
Chihara received a BA and an MA in English literature from the University of Washington and Cornell University, respectively. He received a DMA in 1965 from Cornell, studying with Robert Palmer. He also studied composition with Nadia Boulanger in Paris, Ernst Pepping in West Berlin, and Gunther Schuller in Tanglewood.
He was the first composer-in-residence of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Neville Marriner, and was most recently part of the music faculty of UCLA, where he was the head of the Visual Media Program. As of 2015, Chihara is on the faculty of New York University as an Artist Faculty in Film Music.