Richard Danielpour is one of the most gifted and sought-after composers of his generation. He has been commissioned by an impressive array of international music institutions, festivals, and artists, and his music has been championed by such soloists as Yo-Yo Ma (whose recording containing Danielpour’s Cello Concerto won a Grammy), Jessye Norman, Dawn Upshaw, and Emanuel Ax; chamber ensembles including the Guarneri, Emerson, and American String Quartets; and conductors such as Leonard Bernstein, Kurt Masur, Charles Dutoit, David Zinman, Zdenek Macal, and Philippe Entremont..
Among Danielpour’s recent successes was A Woman’s Life, a song cycle based on poetry of Maya Angelou, premiered in June 2009 by Angela Brown and the Pittsburgh Symphony conducted by Leonard Slatkin. Danielpour’s critically acclaimed first opera, Margaret Garner, written in collaboration with Nobel Laureate librettist Toni Morrison, premiered in May 2005 at the Michigan Opera Theatre and received its New York premiere in 2007 at New York City Opera, conducted by George Manahan. Danielpour has received a Lifetime Achievement Award, the prestigious Charles Ives Fellowship, a Guggenheim Award, and grants and residencies from the Barlow Foundation, MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Copland House, and the American Academy in Rome. He was one of the first composers invited for a coveted residency at the American Academy in Berlin, and he was only the third composer, after Stravinsky and Copland, to be signed to an exclusive recording contract by Sony Classical. He later diversified, and his music can also be heard extensively on Delos, Koch, harmonia mundi, New World, and Reference recordings.
Having studied at Oberlin College and the New England Conservatory of Music, Danielpour earned his doctorate at the Juilliard School, where he studied with Vincent Persichetti and Peter Mennin.
A member of the Manhattan School of Music composition faculty since 1993, he is an active educator who believes deeply in mentoring young musicians. In addition to teaching at UCLA, he also serves on the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music and gives master classes throughout the country.