Daniel Dorff, Composer
Daniel Dorff’s music has been performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra, commissioned five times by the Philadelphia Orchestra’s education department resulting in over 20 performances, and commissioned twice by the Minnesota Orchestra’s Kinder Konzert series which has performed his music over 200 times.
Dorff’s works have also been performed by the Baltimore Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Aspen Music Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, and Eastman Wind Ensemble; chamber concerts of the Chicago Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, and Oregon Symphony; on the 1998 Chicago Symphony Radiothon, by clarinetists of the Berlin Philharmonic and Vienna Philharmonic, and by pianist Marc-André Hamelin, clarinetist John Bruce Yeh, flutists Jean-Pierre Rampal, Donald Peck, Mimi Stillman, and Gary Schocker; and conducted by maestros Alan Gilbert and Wolfgang Sawallisch. Other commissions have come from Walfrid Kujala, the Colorado Symphony’s Up Close and Musical series, Sacramento Symphony, Young Audiences, American Composers Forum, Ithaca College School of Music, Symphony in C (formerly Haddonfield Symphony), Network for New Music, National Flute Association Piccolo Committee, Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia, and other organizations. Dorff has also created arrangements for Sir James Galway and pop musicians Keith Emerson and Lisa Loeb.
Highlights of the 2009-10 season include Concerto for Contrabassoon at the International Double Reed Society 2010 convention orchestral concert as well as two performances of It Takes Four to Tango at that convention; several performances at the National Flute Association 2010 convention including the world premiere of Three Little Waltzes for Flute and Clarinet and the new band transcription of Flash! featuring Walfrid Kujala as piccolo soloist; all-Dorff children’s concerts at the Aspen Music Festival and Icicle Creek Music Center in Washington; and many performances of orchestra works at family concerts throughout the season. Highlights of the 2008-09 included the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Aspen Music Festival performing Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and the Baltimore Symphony in 5 performances of The Tortoise and the Hare. In February 2009, the Allentown Symphony gave performances of The Kiss, after the painting by Klimt. Dorff was the pre-concert lecturer for Philadelphia Orchestra concerts in March 2009. Flash! for piccolo and piano was performed by Kate Prestia-Schaub at the 2009 International Piccolo Symposium and annual convention of the National Flute Association; Flash! has also been performed on tour by piccolo legend Walfrid Kujala and recently won the International Piccolo Symposium’s biennial composition competition. In May 2009, Sheryl Lee performed Dorff’s The Day Things Went Wrong at the Pet Store (11 Cartoons for Piano) at Royal Albert Hall in London.
Other recent premieres include Yvonne Smith in Spark for solo viola performed in Houston in November 2009, Kate Prestia-Schaub in Flash! for piccolo and piano (Murietta CA, January 2009), and Tiffany Holmes in Trees for solo flute, premiered at an all-Dorff concert at the Mid-Atlantic Flute Fair in February 2009 featuring Cindy Anne Strong as guest narrator. Tiffany Holmes and Cindy Anne Strong also performed Trees at the National Flute Association’s annual convention in August 2009.
Symphony In C (formerly Haddonfield Symphony) has recorded an all-Dorff CD recently released on Bridge Records, featuring Ann Crumb and Ukee Washington as narrators, conducted by Rossen Milanov. The companion coloring book for his narrated work Billy and the Carnival is now given out annually to young audiences at the Colorado Symphony’s educational concerts. Laurel Zucker recently released August Idyll for solo flute on Cantilena Records, and in May 2010 flutist Pam Youngblood released Dorff’s 9 Walks Down 7th Avenue and his flute/piano transcription of Ives’s Variations on “America” on Azica Records.
Daniel Dorff was born in New Rochelle, NY in 1956; acclaim came early with First Prize in the Aspen Music Festival’s annual composers’ competition at age 18 for his Fantasy, Scherzo and Nocturne for saxophone quartet. Dorff received degrees in composition from Cornell and University of Pennsylvania; his teachers included George Crumb, George Rochberg, Karel Husa, Henry Brant, Ralph Shapey, Elie Siegmeister, and Richard Wernick. He studied saxophone with Sigurd Rascher. In 1996, Dorff was named Composer-In-Residence for Symphony in C (formerly Haddonfield Symphony), in which he played bass clarinet from 1980 through 2002.
Daniel Dorff serves as Vice President of Publishing for Theodore Presser Company; he is a sought-after expert on music engraving and notation, having lectured at many colleges as well as Carnegie Hall, and advising the leading notation software companies. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Music Publishers’ Association of the USA, the Board of Directors of the National Flute Association, and the Executive Board of The Charles Ives Society.
Dorff’s compositions have been published by Theodore Presser Company, Carl Fischer, Lauren Keiser Music (formerly MMB), Elkan-Vogel, Shawnee Press, Mel Bay, Kendor Music, Tenuto Publications, and Golden Music, and recorded on the Bridge, Crystal, Cantilena, New Focus, Silver Crest, Barking Dog, Capstone, Orange Note, Farao Classics, Northbranch, Sea Breeze, Isis, and Meister labels.