Daron Hagen Composer, Essayist, and Stage Director

Daron Hagen (b. 1961, Milwaukee, Wisconsin) was recognized in 2014 by the American Academy of Arts and Letters with an Academy Award citing his "outstanding artistic achievement and acknowledging the composer who has arrived at his or her own voice," an extraordinary statement, since his effusively eclectic works blend with subversive fluency Renaissance polyphony and extended vocal techniques, 40s Americana and electro-acoustic soundscapes, ambient sound installations and opulent multi-media verismo operas, 60s folk rock and Weimar agitprop, sprawling Modernist sound mass works and exquisitely-wrought art songs. His extensive catalogue of concert works testifies to a lifetime dedicated to the creation of serious repertoire: 5 symphonies, 15 orchestral works, 14 concerti, 14 cantatas and operas, 22 song cycles (comprised of over 300 songs), 31 works for mixed ensemble, 8 solo works, 15 choral works, 8 band works, 3 ballets, and numerous miscellaneous occasional works. His music has received two Rockefeller Bellagio Fellowships, the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Kennedy Center Friedheim Prize, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Academy Award. He studied at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Curtis Institute of Music, and the Juilliard School. Hagen lived for thirty years in Manhattan before moving to Upstate New York, where he now lives with his composer / performer / visual artist wife Gilda Lyons and their two sons, Atticus and Seamus.

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