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Biographies Richard Danielpour

Richard Danielpour was born in New York City in 1956. A graduate of the New England Conservatory and the Juilliard School of Music, he studied with composers Vincent Persichetti and Peter Mennin, as well as with pianists Lorin Hollander, Veronica Jochum, and Gabriel Chodos. He is one of the most gifted composers of his generation and exerts considerable influence upon younger composers.

Danielpour has received commissions from the symphony orchestras of New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Orange County, California (the Pacific Symphony), Washington, D.C., Pittsburgh, and Baltimore, as well as from the Orchestre National de France, Stuttgart Radio Orchestra, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, American Composers Orchestra, and other institutions and organizations. In addition, he has written music for the New York City and Pacific Northwest Ballets.

Proponents of his music include instrumentalists Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, Gary Graffman, and Christopher O'Riley; singers Jessye Norman, Dawn Upshaw, Frederica von Stade, and Thomas Hampson; chamber music ensembles such as the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio and the Guarneri, Emerson, Muir, and American String Quartets; and conductors David Zinman, Charles Dutoit, Kurt Masur, Zdenek Macal, Leonard Bernstein, Carl St. Clair, and Leonard Slatkin.

Danielpour is the only living composer with an exclusive recording contract with Sony Classical (Igor Stravinsky and Aaron Copland had similar contracts). Among Danielpour's Sony recordings are the Grammy Award-winning Cello Concerto, played by Yo-Yo Ma and the Philadelphia Orchestra under the direction of David Zinman, and the Grammy-nominated Concerto for Orchestra, performed by the Pittsburgh Symphony, also under Zinman's direction.

Danielpour's honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship and grants from the Rockefeller and Barlow Foundations. In 1982, he won Columbia University's Joseph H. Bearns Prize (awarded to an American aged eighteen to twenty-five for an outstanding musical composition), and the American Academy of Arts and Letters has awarded him a Charles Ives Fellowship (1983) and a Lifetime Achievement Award. He has enjoyed residencies at the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire, and at the Yaddo artist's retreat, outside Saratoga Springs in New York. In the fall of 2002 he was awarded the Alberto Vilar Fellowship and Residency at the American Academy in Berlin.

Richard Danielpour currently serves as composer-in-residence on the faculties of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and the Manhattan School of Music in New York. He pursues his ardent educational interests further by conducting master classes around the country, and by coaching and mentoring young musicians.


Michael Boriskin, piano, Piano Sonata, New World NW 80426-2, 1992, compact disc.

Seattle Symphony, Gerard Schwarz, Faith Esham, First Light/The Awakened Heart/Symphony No. 3 "Journey Without Distance," Delos, DE3118, 1992, Naxos 8.559712, 2012, compact disc.

Christopher O'Riley, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Saturday Brass Quintet, The Enchanted Garden (Preludes for Piano, Book I)/Psalms/Quintet for Piano and Strings/Urban Dances, Koch International Classics, 3-7100-2, 1992, compact disc.

Utah Symphony, Joseph Silverstein, Michael Boriskin, Metamorphosis for Piano and Orchestra, Harmonia Mundi, HMU 907124, 1995, compact disc.

Tanya Prochazka, Jacques Després, Fantasy Variation for Cello and Piano, Arktos Recordings, 200368, 2003, compact disc.

Philadelphia Orchestra, David Zinman, Yo-Yo Ma, Concerto for Cello and Orchestra, Sony Classical, SK 66299, 1996, compact disc.

Pittsburgh Symphony, David Zinman, Concerto for Orchestra "Zoroastrian Riddles"/Anima Mundi, Sony Classical, SK 62822, 1997, compact disc.

Philharmonia Orchestra, Zdenek Macal, Celestial Night/Toward the Splendid City/Urban Dances Dance Suite in Five Movements, Sony Classical, SK 60779, 1999, compact disc.

London Symphony Orchestra, Perspectives Ensemble, Roger Nierenberg, Solo Fredrica von Stade, Thomas Hampson, Ying Huang, Elegies/Sonnets to Orpheus, Sony Classical, SK 60850, 2001, compact disc.

Pacific Symphony Orchestra and Pacific Chorale, Carl St. Clair, Solo Stephanie Blythe, Hugh Smith, Mark Oswald, An American Requiem, Reference Recordings, RR-97 CD, 2002, compact disc.

American String Quartet, String Quartet No. 2 "Shadow Dances"/String Quartet No. 3 "Psalms Of Sorrow"/String Quartet No. 4 "Apparitions," Arabesque Recordings, CD Z6789, 2004, compact disc.

Indiana University of Pennsylvania Wind Ensemble, Jack Stamp, Vox Populi, Klavier Records 11141, 2004, compact disc.

University of North Texas Symphonic Band, Dennis F. Fisher, Conductor, Vox Populi, Mark Custom Recording 5354, 2004, compact disc.

The Iris Chamber Orchestra, Michael Stern, Jaime Laredo, Sharon Robinson, In the Arms of the Beloved/A Child's Reliquary, Koch International Classics, 7728, 2007, compact disc.

United States Air Force Band of Liberty, Vox Populi, Altissimo Records, 75442260252, 2007, compact disc.

Xiayin Wang, The Enchanted Garden (Preludes for Piano, Books 1 and 2), Naxos, 8.559669, 2011, compact disc.

Time Fain, Violin, River of Light, Naxos, 8.559662, 2011, compact disc.

Seattle Symphony Orchestra and Chorale, Gerard Schwartz, conductor, First Light/The Awakened Heart/Symphony No.3, "Journey Without Distance," Naxos, 8.559712, 2012, compact disc.

The All-Star Orchestra, Gerard Schwartz, conductor, Xiayin Wang, piano, Piano Concerto No. 4, "A Hero's Journey," Naxos, 2.110350, 2013, compact disc.

Nashville Symphony, Giancarlo Guerrero, Hila Plitmann, Angela Brown, Darkness in the Ancient Valley/A Woman's Life/Lacrimae Beati, Naxos, 8.559707, 2013, compact disc.

Pacific Symphony Orchestra and Pacific Chorale, Carl St. Clair, Hila Plitmann, Toward a Season of Peace, Naxos, 8.559772, 2014, compact disc.

Christopher Atzinger, The Enchanted Garden (Preludes for Piano, Book 2), MSR Classics, MS 1534, 2014, compact disc.

Western Michigan University Symphonic Band, Icarus, Klavier Recordings, K 11197, 2014, compact disc.

Nashville Symphony, Giancarlo Guerrero, Ancient Voices, (compiles Toward a Season of Peace and Darkness in the Ancient Valley) Naxos, 8.578311-12, 2015.

Mimi Stillman, flute, Charles Abramovis, piano, Remembering Neda, Innova Records, 935, 2015, compact disc.

Zodiac Trio, Ariel Barnes, cello, Lamentations, Blue Griffin Records, BGR391, 2016, compact disc.

Thomas Hampson, Nashville Symphony Orchestra, Songs of Solitude/War Songs/Toward the Splendid City, Naxos, 8.559792, 2016, compact disc.

West Chester University Wind Ensemble, Andrew Yozviak, conductor, Toward the Splendid City, Mark Records, 52989 MCD, 2018.

Delray String Quartet, Hila Plittman, soprano, String Quartets Nos. 5-7, Naxos, 8.559845, 2018, compact disc.

Dover Quartet, David Shifrin, clarinet, Clarinet Quintet, "The Last Jew in Hamadan," Delos DE3528, 2019, compact disc.

Misha Rachlevsky, Russian String Orchestra, Talking to Aphrodite/Symphony for Strings/Kaddish, Naxos, 8.559857, 2019, compact disc.


This discography was assembled using available catalog records, internet resources, discographies, and other works. Especially included are the performers' Library of Congress concert appearances, the recordings of which reside in the Library of Congress's Recorded Sound collections. Excluded are the numerous promotional and special market reissues of excerpts of complete recordings.

Although every attempt has been made to be comprehensive, some recordings may have inadvertently been missed. Please send any additions and corrections to

While many of the recordings listed here are in the collections of the Library of Congress, not all are. If you have a question about specific recordings, please contact the Recorded Sound Reference Center at 202-707-7833. All recordings listed are protected by applicable Federal and State laws. The Library of Congress cannot provide copies of any of these recordings without proper permission from the copyright holder(s).