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Daron Hagen
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Daron Hagen is one of America's most prominent, prolific, and respected composers. All eight of his major operas are currently in production or revival somewhere in the U.S., Europe, or Asia. His orchestral, chamber, and song catalogues are frequently programmed internationally. Mr. Hagen's activities include stage direction, conducting; and engagements as a collaborative pianist, artistic director, writer, and librettist.

He has collaborated with distinguished musicians such as Leonard Bernstein, JoAnn Falletta, Gary Graffman, Nathan Gunn, Jaime Laredo, David Alan Miller, Sharon Robinson, Gerard Schwarz, Leonard Slatkin, and Robert Spano, among others. His work has been widely commissioned and performed by most of North America's major musical institutions, and numerous institutions abroad, including the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, National Symphony, Seattle Symphony, American Composers Orchestra, Curtis Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, the Orchestra of the Swan (UK), Seattle Opera, Opera Theater of Ireland, as well as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Louvre, Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (Beijing), and Royal Albert Hall.

Mr. Hagen has served frequently as conductor and collaborative pianist for recordings of his works. His music can be heard on the Albany, Arsis, Bridge, Clarion, Klavier, Naxos, and New World/CRI labels, among others.

Hagen is the recipient of a 2014 American Academy of Arts and Letters award that recognizes "outstanding artistic achievement and acknowledges the composer who has arrived at his or her own voice." In 2012, he was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship. He has also received the Kennedy Center Friedheim Prize, two Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Fellowships, ASCAP and BMI prizes, and the Seattle Opera Chairman's Award.

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Curtis Institute of Music and of the Juilliard School, he has taught at Bard College, the Curtis Institute of Music, and the Princeton Atelier, and fulfilled numerous composer-in-residencies around the U.S. He is a Lifetime Member of the Corporation of Yaddo, former President of the Lotte Lehmann Foundation, and a Trustee of the Douglas Moore Fund for American Opera.

Entries by Daron Hagen

The Great Dream: An American Opera

(0) Comments | Posted July 18, 2014 | 12:26 PM

"If you live long enough you can write four operas," wrote composer and music commentator Virgil Thomson.

Philip Glass has penned at least 17; the fecund imagination of John Adams has so far brought forth two operas, a numbers musical, and an oratorio. Dominick Argento's 14 operas are a model...

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The Milwaukee Symphony and Me

(0) Comments | Posted December 22, 2013 | 10:59 PM

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, according to its recent press release, is "in danger of running out of money and faces possible extinction if additional pledges cannot be secured to fund the MSO's much more modest, prudent budget and business plan for the future." In fact, nearing the end of 2013,...

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Proust's Popcorn: The Oriental Landmark Theater

(0) Comments | Posted December 6, 2013 | 5:54 PM

PROLOGUE
2013-12-06-oriental_interior.jpgLast week I was in Milwaukee to attend production meetings at the Skylight Music Theater for my latest show. It was my first visit to my hometown in nearly a decade. A late night stroll down memory lane took me...

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Yaddo: Transforming Sorrow into Joy

(0) Comments | Posted June 5, 2012 | 1:35 PM

Yaddo, in Saratoga Springs, New York, is more than America's most prestigious artist retreat: it is a testament to one couple's determination to transubstantiate loss into works of art.

When I was born, still mourning a brother who survived but a few days, my parents gave me...

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Obsessed: Marc Blitzstein

(6) Comments | Posted May 14, 2012 | 10:00 AM

Inspired by one professor's infectious enthusiasm for Emily Dickinson, Obsessed is a HuffPost Culture series exploring the idiosyncratic, all-consuming passions of public figures and unknowns alike. Through a mix of blogs and interviews, these pieces will highlight the elusiveness of whatever it is you just can't live without...

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Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

(2) Comments | Posted May 2, 2012 | 1:41 PM

"Where," asked the elegantly dressed matron of about 80 yesterday in Virginia, "do you get your ideas?" At my side, soprano Caroline Worra and pianist Tracy Cowden, the artists whose performance had just brought my brand new song cycle so vividly to life, smiled. Post-concert reception in full swing, together...

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Opening Night

(4) Comments | Posted April 19, 2012 | 5:12 PM

Whether they were trained at the Curtis Institute or the School of Hard Knocks, on a Broadway Accompanists' Bench, or by Peering into a Moviola, every composer thinks that they can write a great opera. Some have. Most haven't.

At 50, after having composed eight operas (and hours of symphonic...

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