Dan Visconti



Competition Winner

Born: 1982

Dan Visconti was the recipient of a 2010 Naumburg Composer's Award.

Visconti is updating the role of the classical musician for the 21st century as he creates new projects in collaboration with the community. For his ongoing initiatives to address social issues through music by reimagining the arts as a form of cultural and civic service, Visconti was awarded a 2014 TED Fellowship and delivered a TED talk at the conference's thirtieth anniversary.

Visconti's compositions are rooted in the improvisational energy and maverick spirit of rock, folk music, and other vernacular performance traditions -- elements that tent to collide in unexpected ways with Visconti's classical training. The Cleveland Plain Dealer described his compositions as "both mature and youthful, bristling with exhilarating musical ideas and powerfully crafted lyricism."

His projects include the interactive video game opera Permadeath, a collaboration with Pulitzer-winning librettist Cerise Jacobs and director Micael Counts; Ampliified Soul for pianist Gabriela Martinez; Living Language, a genre-bending concerto for guitar and orchestra featuring guitarist Jason Vieaux and a consortium of US orchestras; a new work for Branford Marsalis; and Psychedlia, a hallucinagenic encore commissioned by Alarm Will Sound.

Other works include ANDY: A Popera, an opera/cabaret commissioned by Opera Philadelphia with the Bearded Ladies Cabaret, a work inspired by the life, work and philosophy of Andy Warhol. The Philadelphia Inquirer stated, " It's easy to accept Andy as an enormous success."

Regarding Visconti's concerto for crossover string quartet Sybarite5, the Columbia Free Times advises: "be prepared for the shockwave of Beatbox to hit the ears full throttle, but in a pleasantly entertaining way."

Strings magazine (which profiled Visconti in 2011 as a composer "Helping to push string music to new heights") described his electronic-slaced work for the Kronos Quartet Love Bleeds Radiant as a "heartfelt tribute to the past that bumps flush and sometimes violently, with the present."

His Roots to Branches, a concerto composed for Grammy-winning percussionist Shane Shanahan weaves together the real stories of living refugees and was described the the Cleveland Plain Dealer as, "an evocative and important new piece..a scintillating fusion of global techniques."

His many commissions have included from eighth blackbird (who toured internationally with his Fractured Jams). the Berlin Philharmonic Scharoun Ensemble, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, soprano Lucy Shelton, the Da Capo Chamber Players, the 21st Century Consort at the Smithsonian, Music from Copland Housr, pianist Lara Downes, the JACK Quartet, at venues: Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center for the Perforrming Arts, the Library of Congress, London's Barbican Theatre, Berln's Philharmonie, and the Sydney Opera House.

Orchestra that have performed his music include: Seattle Symphony, American Composers Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Albany Symphony and Melbourne Symphony. He has held composer residencies with the California Symphony, Arkansas Symphony and Metropolitan Opera. Visconti's music has debuted on the Billboard Top Ten and are available on Bridge Records, Cedille Records, Naxos, Sono Luminus, Azica Records, Delos and Fleur de Son Classics.

Awards and honors include the Rome Prize and Berlin Prize, the Bearns Prize from Columbia University, the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship in the Performing Arts, the Barlow Prize, and the Cleveland Arts Prize; awards from BMI and ASCAP; the Academy of Art and Letters, the Society of Composers, Deutsche Oper Berlin; grants from the Koussevisky Foundation, the Fromm Foundation, Meet the Composer, the National Endowment of th Arts, and Chamber Music America. He has been a recipient of artist fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Copland House, the Lucas Artist Program at Villa Montalvo, and the Virginia Commission of the Arts.

Visconti is a sought-after speaker on music and social topics appearing at the Clinton School for Pubic Service, the National Archive, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He is a contributing writer for the Huffington Post and has written for NewMusicBox, Art Journal, Medium, The Twenty-first Century Musician, and Symphony magazine.

Visconti has also served in lead artistic roles for national organizations that innovate with adventurous programming and create opportunities for emerging artists. Past roles include: Artistic Director, Washington DC's Contemporary Music Forum/VERGE Ensemble; Artistic Director, Astral Artists; Artistic Director, Chicago's Fifth House Ensemble; Composer-in-Residence at Fifth House's annual Fresh Inc Festival.

As part of Visconti's Naumburg Award, his composition The Clear Light, performed by soprano Lucy Shelton and the Da Capo Chamber Players, received its world premiere in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall on May 2, 2012.


2010 Composition Competition

First Prize

Commissioned Works

Dan Visconti: The Clear Light

Naumburg Performances

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Recording Awards

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