Richard Danielpour


Grammy-Award winning composer Richard Danielpour “is an outstanding composer for any time, one who knows how to communicate deep, important emotions through simple, direct means that nevertheless do not compromise” (New York Daily News). His distinctive American musical voice possesses large and romantic gestures, and is brilliantly orchestrated, intensely expressive, and rhythmically vibrant. His work has attracted an illustrious array of champions; and, as a devoted mentor and educator, he has also had a significant impact on a younger generation of composers. Danielpour’s first opera Margaret Garner — written with Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison — took critics and audiences by storm with sold-out houses in its 2005 premiere by the co-commissioning opera companies of Detroit, Cincinnati, and Philadelphia. In 2007, New York City Opera opened its season with an entirely new production.

Much in demand across the globe, Mr. Danielpour has received such prestigious honors as the: Boglaisco Foundation Fellowship; the American Academy of Arts & Letters’ Lifetime Achievement Award and Charles Ives Fellowship; the Guggenheim Award; a Vilar Residency at the American Academy in Berlin; two Rockefeller Foundation grants; the Bearns Prize from Columbia University, and grants and residencies from the Barlow Foundation, MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Copland House, and the American Academy in Rome. He has also enjoyed guest residences at Berklee College (Boston); a McCormack Residency at Skidmore College, and a specially created interdisciplinary lectureship at Northwestern University surrounding the Chicago premiere of Margaret Garner.

Mr. Danielpour’s work has been performed throughout the world, and his commissions read like a Who’s Who of the world’s leading musical institutions and artists. He has written for the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, American Composers Orchestra, and San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Pacific, National, Atlanta and Baltimore Symphonies, among many others. His music has also been championed by Yo-Yo Ma, Jessye Norman, Sarah Chang, Dawn Upshaw, Emanuel Ax, Frederica von Stade, Thomas Hampson, Gary Graffman, the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, the Guarneri, Emerson, Muir, and American String Quartets, Music from Copland House and conductors Leonard Bernstein, Kurt Masur, Charles Dutoit, David Zinman, Zdenek Macal, Carl St. Clair, and Leonard Slatkin. Mr. Danielpour has also composed two major scores for the New York City and Pacific Northwest Ballets. European performances include Scottish Chamber, Frankfurt, Stuttgart Radio Orchestras, Berlin and Cologne Symphonies, Orchestra de Lyon and Orchestra National de France. This seasons brings the  premieres of new works for the Vienna Chamber Orchestra (in Europe and at the Kravis Center) for music director Philippe Entremont’s 75th birthday, the Seijong Soloists, Concertante, the Pacific Symphony and Carl St. Clair, A Woman’s Life, on a text by Maya Angelou, for soprano Angela Brown and the Philadelphia Orchestra and Pittsburgh Symphony, his 6th Quartet for the Ying Quartet, and a full length song cycle of poems on the Civil War with texts by Whitman and Melville for Thomas Hampson.

Mr. Danielpour is one of the most recorded composers of his generation, and became only the third composer –after Stravinsky and Copland– to be signed to an exclusive recording contract by Sony Classical. Since then, Sony released several Danielpour recordings, including the Cello Concerto, recorded by Yo-Yo Ma and the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by David Zinman, and the Grammy-nominated Concerto for Orchestra (coupled with Anima Mundi), recorded by Zinman and the Pittsburgh Symphony. Recent recordings include An American Requiem for chorus and orchestra on Reference Recordings, and A Child’s Reliquary with the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio and In The Arms Of The Beloved, written for and recorded by Jamie Laredo and Sharon Robinson, with the Iris Chamber Orchestra and Michael Stern conducting on Arabesque Recordings. Other recordings include Celestial Night, with the London Philharmonia conducted by Zdenek Macal, coupled with Towards the Splendid City and Urban Dances for orchestra; First Light, The Awakened Heart, and Symphony No. 3 on Delos; a chamber music disc on Koch, his Piano Sonata on New World; and Metamorphosis (Piano Concerto No. 1) with pianist Michael Boriskin and the Utah Symphony conducted by Joseph Silverstein.

Mr. Danielpour is an active educator and believes deeply in the nurturing of young musicians. Beyond serving on the faculties of both the Curtis Institute of Music and the Manhattan School of Music, he also spends a great deal of time giving master classes throughout the country, and coaching and mentoring young musicians. He was in residence at the Acadamie Musicale de Villcroze, and served as Master Artist for the Atlantic Center for the Arts’ first International Residency Program in Italy, and co-director of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra’s Composition and Conducting Institute. He has also recently completed a three-year stint as Composer-in-Residence with the Pacific Symphony in southern California and has served as BMI Composer in Residence at the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University and is Composer-in -Residence for the Pittsburgh Symphony (2009-10). In connection with other positions, he has coached not only composers but young performers in residencies at the Seattle Symphony, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Marlboro Music Festival, and Saratoga Chamber Music Festival.

Born in New York City on January 28, 1956, Mr. Danielpour studied at the New England Conservatory and The Juilliard School with Vincent Persichetti and Peter Mennin. He also trained as a pianist with Lorin Hollander, Veronica Jochum, and Gabriel Chodos. Richard Danielpour’s music (before 2009) is published by Associated Music Publishers, and since 2009 Lean Kat Music, sole agent: Bill Holab Music.