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.


Piano Sonata [1986]
Michael Boriskin, piano.
New World 80426 (1992)

Urban Dances I - brass quintet [1988]
Saturday Brass Quintet.
Koch International Classics 3-7100 (1992)

First Light - orchestra [1989]
Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Gerard Schwarz, conductor.
Delos DE 3118 (1992)

The Awakened Heart - orchestra [1990]
Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Gerard Schwarz, conductor.
Delos DE 3118 (1992)

Metamorphosis (Piano Concerto No.1) - piano and chamber orchestra [1990]
Michael Boriskin, piano; Utah Symphony Orchestra, Joseph Silverstein, conductor.
Harmonia Mundi 907124 (1994)

Symphony No. 3 "Journey Without Distance" - soprano, chamber chorus, orchestra [1990]
Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Gerard Schwarz, conductor; Faith Esham, soprano.
Delos DE 3118 (1992)

Sonnets to Orpheus I - soprano and chamber ensemble [1991]
Ying Huan, soprano; Perspectives Ensemble.
Sony Classical SK 60850 (2001)

The Enchanted Garden - piano [1992]
Christopher O'Riley, piano.
Koch International Classics 7-3100 (1992)

Quintet for piano and Strings [19??]
Christopher O'Riley, piano; Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
Koch International Classics 7-3100 (1992)

Toward the Splendid City - orchestra [1992]
The Philharmonia Orchestra, Zdenek Macal, conductor.
Sony Classical 60779 (1999)

Concerto for Cello and Orchestra [1995]
Yo Yo Ma, cello; Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, David Zinman, conductor.
Sony Classical SK 66299 (1996)

Anima Mundi - ballet [1995]
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, David Zinman, conductor.
Sony Classical SK 62822 (1997)

Concerto for Orchestra "Zoroastrian Riddles" - orchestra [1996]
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, David Zinman, conductor.
Sony Classical SK 62822 (1997)

Urban Dances - orchestra [1996]
The Philharmonia Orchestra, Zdenek Macal, conductor.
Sony Classical 60779 (1999)

Celestial Night - orchestra [1997]
The Philharmonia Orchestra, Zdenek Macal, conductor.
Sony Classical 60779 (1999)

Elegies - mezzo-soprano, baritone and orchestra [1997]
Thomas Hampson, baritone; Frederica Von Stade, mezzo-soprano; London Philharmonic Orchestra, Richard Nierenberg, conductor.
Sony Classical SK 60850 (2001)

Vox Populi - wind ensemble [1998]
Indiana University of Pennsylvania Wind Ensemble, Jack Stamp, conductor.
Klavier 11141 (2004)

A Child's Reliquary - string trio [1999]
Joseph Kalichstein, piano; Sharon Robinson, cello; Jaime Laredo, violin.
Arabesque Z6767 (2003)

An American Requiem - 3 vocal solists, chorus, 6 trombones, orchestra [2001]
Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Carl St. Clair, conductor.
Reference Recordings RR 97 (2002)

In the Arms of the Beloved [2001]
Sharon Robinson, cello; Jaime Laredo, violin. Iris Chamber Orchestra, Michael Stern, conductor.
Arabesque Z6767 (2003)


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).