Daron Hagen

Daron Hagen

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Daron Aric Hagen is an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 composer
Composer
A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...

, conductor
Conducting
Conducting is the art of directing a musical performance by way of visible gestures. The primary duties of the conductor are to unify performers, set the tempo, execute clear preparations and beats, and to listen critically and shape the sound of the ensemble...

, pianist
Piano
The piano is a musical instrument played by means of a keyboard. It is one of the most popular instruments in the world. Widely used in classical and jazz music for solo performances, ensemble use, chamber music and accompaniment, the piano is also very popular as an aid to composing and rehearsal...

, educator, librettist, and stage director of contemporary classical music
Contemporary classical music
Contemporary classical music can be understood as belonging to the period that started in the mid-1970s with the retreat of modernism. However, the term may also be employed in a broader sense to refer to all post-1945 modern musical forms.-Categorization:...

 and opera
Opera
Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...

.

Early life and education


Daron Hagen grew up in New Berlin
New Berlin, Wisconsin
New Berlin is a city in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 38,220 at the 2000 census. New Berlin is the third largest community in Waukesha County after the cities of Waukesha and Brookfield....

, a suburb west of Milwaukee. His social circle consisted primarily of children his own age from the village of Elm Grove
Elm Grove, Wisconsin
Elm Grove is a village in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, United States. The population was 6,249 at the 2000 census.-Geography:Elm Grove is located at ....

 and Brookfield
Brookfield, Wisconsin
Brookfield is a city located in Waukesha County, Wisconsin, United States. It had a population of 37,920 in the 2010 census. Brookfield is the second largest city in Waukesha County, and the leading commercial suburb of Milwaukee. The City of Brookfield was formed in 1954 from the Town of...

. Hagen was the youngest of the three sons of Gwen Hagen, a visual artist, writer and advertising executive who studied creative writing with Mari Sandoz
Mari Sandoz
Mari Susette Sandoz was a novelist, biographer, lecturer, and teacher. She was one of Nebraska's foremost writers, and wrote extensively about pioneer life and the Plains Indians, and has been occasionally referred to as Mari S...

 and enjoyed a successful advertising career as Creative Director
Creative Director
A creative director is a position often found within the graphic design, film, music, fashion, advertising, media or entertainment industries, but may be useful in other creative organizations such as web development and software development firms as well....

 of Exclusively Yours Magazine and Earl Hagen (an attorney). Hagen began composing prolifically in 1974, when his older brother gave him a recording and score of Benjamin Britten
Benjamin Britten
Edward Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten, OM CH was an English composer, conductor, and pianist. He showed talent from an early age, and first came to public attention with the a cappella choral work A Boy Was Born in 1934. With the premiere of his opera Peter Grimes in 1945, he leapt to...

's Billy Budd
Billy Budd (opera)
Billy Budd is an opera by Benjamin Britten, from a libretto by E. M. Forster and Eric Crozier, was first performed at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London on 1 December 1951. It is based on the short novel Billy Budd by Herman Melville....

. Two years later, at the age of fifteen, he conducted the premiere of his first orchestral work, a recording and score of which came to the attention of Leonard Bernstein
Leonard Bernstein
Leonard Bernstein August 25, 1918 – October 14, 1990) was an American conductor, composer, author, music lecturer and pianist. He was among the first conductors born and educated in the United States of America to receive worldwide acclaim...

, who enthusiastically urged Hagen to attend Juilliard to study with David Diamond
David Diamond (composer)
David Leo Diamond was an American composer of classical music.-Life and career:He was born in Rochester, New York and studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Eastman School of Music under Bernard Rogers, also receiving lessons from Roger Sessions in New York City and Nadia Boulanger in...

. He took composition, piano, and conducting lessons at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music
Wisconsin Conservatory of Music
The Wisconsin Conservatory of Music is an independent music school located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The conservatory teaches many types of music, including classical, jazz, rock, folk, and blues...

 while attending Brookfield Central High School
Brookfield Central High School
Brookfield Central High School is a comprehensive public secondary school located in the city of Brookfield, Wisconsin. It is a sister school to Brookfield East High School, also located in Brookfield. The high school is administered by the Elmbrook School District, which operates nine schools in...

.

After two years at the University of Wisconsin–Madison
University of Wisconsin–Madison
The University of Wisconsin–Madison is a public research university located in Madison, Wisconsin, United States. Founded in 1848, UW–Madison is the flagship campus of the University of Wisconsin System. It became a land-grant institution in 1866...

, where his teachers included Catherine Comet
Catherine Comet
Catherine Comet is a French-born American conductor who was the music director of the Grand Rapids Symphony and the American Symphony Orchestra. She received the Seaver/National Endowment for the Arts Conductors Award in 1988.-External links:*...

 (conducting), Les Thimmig and Homer Lambrecht (composition), followed by three years of study with Ned Rorem
Ned Rorem
Ned Rorem is a Pulitzer prize-winning American composer and diarist. He is best known and most praised for his song settings.-Life:...

 (with whom he developed a lifelong friendship) at the Curtis Institute of Music
Curtis Institute of Music
The Curtis Institute of Music is a conservatory in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that offers courses of study leading to a performance Diploma, Bachelor of Music, Master of Music in Opera, and Professional Studies Certificate in Opera. According to statistics compiled by U.S...

 in Philadelphia, Hagen moved to New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 in 1984 to complete his formal education as a student at Juilliard, studying first for two years with Diamond, then for a semester each with Joseph Schwantner
Joseph Schwantner
Joseph C. Schwantner is a Pulitzer Prize winning American composer and educator and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He was awarded the 1970 Charles Ives Prize....

 and Bernard Rands
Bernard Rands
Bernard Rands is a composer of contemporary classical music.Rands studied music and English literature at the University of Wales, Bangor, and composition with Pierre Boulez and Bruno Maderna in Darmstadt, Germany, and with Luigi Dallapiccola and Luciano Berio in Milan, Italy.He held residencies...

. After graduating, Hagen summered as a Tanglewood
Tanglewood
Tanglewood is an estate and music venue in Lenox and Stockbridge, Massachusetts. It is the home of the annual summer Tanglewood Music Festival and the Tanglewood Jazz Festival, and has been the Boston Symphony Orchestra's summer home since 1937. It was the venue of the Berkshire Festival.- History...

 composition fellow before briefly living abroad, first at the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, and then at the Rockefeller Foundation
Rockefeller Foundation
The Rockefeller Foundation is a prominent philanthropic organization and private foundation based at 420 Fifth Avenue, New York City. The preeminent institution established by the six-generation Rockefeller family, it was founded by John D. Rockefeller , along with his son John D. Rockefeller, Jr...

's Villa Serbelloni in Bellagio
Bellagio
Bellagio is a comune in the Province of Como in the Italian region Lombardy, located on Lake Como. It has long been famous for its setting at the intersection of the three branches of the Y-shaped lake, which is also known as Lario....

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, where he has twice been a guest. Between 1984 and 1998 Hagen was also a frequent guest at the MacDowell Colony
MacDowell Colony
The MacDowell Colony is an art colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire, U.S.A., founded in 1907 by Marian MacDowell, pianist and wife of composer Edward MacDowell. She established the institution and its endowment chiefly with donated funds...

. (For over twenty-five years, Hagen has also been a frequent resident artist at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts
Virginia Center for the Creative Arts
The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts is an artists’ community in Amherst, Virginia, USA. Since 1971, VCCA has offered residencies of two weeks to two months for international artists, writers, and composers at its working retreat in the foothills of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains...

.) When he returned to the United States, Hagen studied privately with Bernstein, whose guidance during the composition of Hagen's Shining Brow
Shining Brow
Shining Brow is an English language opera by Daron Hagen, first performed by the Madison Opera in Madison, Wisconsin, April 21, 1993. It is based on events in the life of architect Frank Lloyd Wright...

(1992) — the opera that launched Hagen's career internationally — prompted him to dedicate the score to Bernstein’s memory.

Educator and arts advocate


Hagen served in 2007 as composer in residence at the Music Conservatory of the Chicago College of Performing Arts
Chicago College of Performing Arts
Chicago College of Performing Arts is a performing arts college that is housed at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois. The college has two divisions: the Music Conservatory and the Theatre Conservatory.- History :...

. He has served as the Franz Lehár
Franz Lehár
Franz Lehár was an Austrian-Hungarian composer. He is mainly known for his operettas of which the most successful and best known is The Merry Widow .-Biography:...

 Composer in Residence at the University of Pittsburgh
University of Pittsburgh
The University of Pittsburgh, commonly referred to as Pitt, is a state-related research university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. Founded as Pittsburgh Academy in 1787 on what was then the American frontier, Pitt is one of the oldest continuously chartered institutions of...

 (2007), twice as Composer in Residence for the Princeton University
Princeton University
Princeton University is a private research university located in Princeton, New Jersey, United States. The school is one of the eight universities of the Ivy League, and is one of the nine Colonial Colleges founded before the American Revolution....

 Atelier (1998, 2005); as Artist in Residence at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
University of Nevada-Las Vegas is a public, coeducational university located in the Las Vegas suburb of Paradise, Nevada, USA. The campus is located approximately east of the Las Vegas Strip. The institution includes a Shadow Lane Campus, located just east of the University Medical Center of...

 (2000–2002); Sigma Chi
Sigma Chi
Sigma Chi is the largest and one of the oldest college Greek-letter secret and social fraternities in North America with 244 active chapters and more than . Sigma Chi was founded on June 28, 1855 at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio when members split from Delta Kappa Epsilon...

-William P. Huffman Composer in Residence at Miami University
Miami University
Miami University is a coeducational public research university located in Oxford, Ohio, United States. Founded in 1809, it is the 10th oldest public university in the United States and the second oldest university in Ohio, founded four years after Ohio University. In its 2012 edition, U.S...

, Oxford, Ohio (1999–2000); Artist in Residence at Baylor University
Baylor University
Baylor University is a private, Christian university located in Waco, Texas. Founded in 1845, Baylor is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.-History:...

, Waco, Texas (1998–1999); on the musical studies faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music (1996–1998); as an Associate Professor at Bard College
Bard College
Bard College, founded in 1860 as "St. Stephen's College", is a small four-year liberal arts college located in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York.-Location:...

 (1988–1997); as a Visiting Professor at the City College of New York
City College of New York
The City College of the City University of New York is a senior college of the City University of New York , in New York City. It is also the oldest of the City University's twenty-three institutions of higher learning...

 (1997, 1993–1994); and as a Lecturer in Music at New York University
New York University
New York University is a private, nonsectarian research university based in New York City. NYU's main campus is situated in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan...

 (1988–1990).

As Artistic Director of the Perpetuum Mobile Concerts (1982–87) he premiered compositions by over a hundred American composers on concerts produced in Philadelphia and New York. Hagen served as President of the Lotte Lehmann Foundation
Lotte Lehmann Foundation
The Lotte Lehmann Foundation, named for the great German soprano active in the first half of the 20th century, serves to preserve and perpetuate her legacy, and to honor her dream of bringing art song into the lives of as many people as possible....

 (2004–07) in New York City, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to encouraging the performance and creation of opera
Opera
Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...

 and art song
Art song
An art song is a vocal music composition, usually written for one voice with piano or orchestral accompaniment. By extension, the term "art song" is used to refer to the genre of such songs....

; he is a trustee of the Douglas Moore Fund for American Opera and was elected a Lifetime Member of the Corporation of Yaddo
Yaddo
Yaddo is an artists' community located on a 400 acre estate in Saratoga Springs, New York. Its mission is "to nurture the creative process by providing an opportunity for artists to work without interruption in a supportive environment."...

 in 2006. Hagen has been a featured composer at the Tanglewood
Tanglewood
Tanglewood is an estate and music venue in Lenox and Stockbridge, Massachusetts. It is the home of the annual summer Tanglewood Music Festival and the Tanglewood Jazz Festival, and has been the Boston Symphony Orchestra's summer home since 1937. It was the venue of the Berkshire Festival.- History...

, Wintergreen, and Aspen
Aspen Music Festival and School
The Aspen Music Festival and School, founded in 1949, is an internationally renowned classical music festival that presents music in an intimate, small-town setting...

 music festivals and since 2008 has served as artistic director and head of faculty for the Seasons Fall Music Festival in Yakima, Washington.

Hagen is married to composer, vocalist, and visual artist Gilda Lyons. He has two children—Atticus and Seamus—and has lived in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 since 1984.

Musical Style


Hagen's music is essentially tonal
Tonality
Tonality is a system of music in which specific hierarchical pitch relationships are based on a key "center", or tonic. The term tonalité originated with Alexandre-Étienne Choron and was borrowed by François-Joseph Fétis in 1840...

, though serial
Serialism
In music, serialism is a method or technique of composition that uses a series of values to manipulate different musical elements. Serialism began primarily with Arnold Schoenberg's twelve-tone technique, though his contemporaries were also working to establish serialism as one example of...

, pitch class
Pitch class
In music, a pitch class is a set of all pitches that are a whole number of octaves apart, e.g., the pitch class C consists of the Cs in all octaves...

, and octatonic procedures are customarily utilized for psychologically and emotionally fraught passages. Polytonality
Polytonality
The musical use of more than one key simultaneously is polytonality . Bitonality is the use of only two different keys at the same time...

 figures prominently in the major operas as a mechanism for manifesting the interaction between characters. His music is particularly noted for its lyricism, emotional accessibility, and elegant craftsmanship.

Hagen, considered by some "the finest American composer of vocal music in his generation," has remarked, "I love voices and I like singers, and along with the intersection of loving music and words and singers, I adore the process of composing and going through the production of musical theater. There is the communion of people coming together to commit to undertaking a work of art that is larger than any of us." "Using his gift for composing vocal lines, [Hagen] produces songs that flow lyrically and illuminate texts with unerring musical and dramatic aim. His scores are full of extensive markings, requiring singers to use variety of tone color to achieve the emotions inherent in the texts."

His operas embrace a particularly broad stylistic spectrum. In Shining Brow "Hagen's baseline idiom," writes Tom Strini, "seems to be modernist-expressionist, tonal but freely dissonant. He sets all sorts of influences, from barbershop
Barbershop music
Barbershop vocal harmony, as codified during the barbershop revival era , is a style of a cappella, or unaccompanied vocal music characterized by consonant four-part chords for every melody note in a predominantly homophonic texture...

 to ticky-tick dance music against that idiom, to underscore character and crystallize the period (1903-'14)." In Vera of Las Vegas
Vera of Las Vegas
Vera of Las Vegas is an opera by Daron Hagen based on a libretto by Paul Muldoon. The Center for Contemporary Opera gave the staged premiere on 25 June 2003 at the Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theatre of Symphony Space in New York City.-Background and premiere:...

, Hagen, writes Robert Thicknesse, "blends idioms — neo-Gershwin
George Gershwin
George Gershwin was an American composer and pianist. Gershwin's compositions spanned both popular and classical genres, and his most popular melodies are widely known...

, jazz
Jazz
Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

, soft rock
Rock music
Rock music is a genre of popular music that developed during and after the 1960s, particularly in the United Kingdom and the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, itself heavily influenced by rhythm and blues and country music...

, Broadway — with soaring melodies that send the characters looping off in arias of self-revelation." "Bandanna is neither fish nor fowl — as fierce as verismo
Verismo
Verismo was an Italian literary movement which peaked between approximately 1875 and the early 1900s....

 but wrought with infinite care; a melding of church and cantina and Oxonian declamation," writes Tim Page
Tim Page (music critic)
Tim Page is a writer, editor, music critic, producer and professor. He is a Pulitzer Prize-winning music critic for the Washington Post and also played an essential role in the revival of American author Dawn Powell.-Career:Page grew up in Storrs, Connecticut, where his father, Ellis B...

. Catherine Parsonage expands upon this assessment: "[it] is wholly convincing as a modern opera, ranging stylistically from the music theatre of Gershwin, Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Joshua Sondheim is an American composer and lyricist for stage and film. He is the winner of an Academy Award, multiple Tony Awards including the Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre, multiple Grammy Awards, a Pulitzer Prize and the Laurence Olivier Award...

, to traditional mariachi
Mariachi
Mariachi is a genre of music that originated in the State of Jalisco, in Mexico. It is an integration of stringed instruments highly influenced by the cultural impacts of the historical development of Western Mexico. Throughout the history of mariachi, musicians have experimented with brass, wind,...

 music and contemporary opera of Benjamin Britten. Hagen, who served his apprenticeship on Broadway, acknowledges that holistically the piece falls between opera and musical theatre
Musical theatre
Musical theatre is a form of theatre combining songs, spoken dialogue, acting, and dance. The emotional content of the piece – humor, pathos, love, anger – as well as the story itself, is communicated through the words, music, movement and technical aspects of the entertainment as an...

. Hagen's style encourages audiences to be actively involved in constructing their own meanings from the richness of the textual and musical cross-references in his work."

Musical Works



His first composition to attract wide attention was Prayer for Peace, premiered by the Philadelphia Orchestra
Philadelphia Orchestra
The Philadelphia Orchestra is a symphony orchestra based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the United States. One of the "Big Five" American orchestras, it was founded in 1900...

 (1981), garnering him the distinction of being the youngest composer since Samuel Barber to be premiered by that orchestra; the New York Philharmonic
New York Philharmonic
The New York Philharmonic is a symphony orchestra based in New York City in the United States. It is one of the American orchestras commonly referred to as the "Big Five"...

 commissioned Philharmonia for its 150th anniversary (1990); the University of Wisconsin Madison School of Music commissioned Concerto for Brass Quintet for its 100th anniversary (1995); the Curtis Institute commissioned Much Ado for its 75th anniversary (2000). Hagen's commissions from major orchestras and performers between 1981 and 2008 included orchestral works, four symphonies, seven concertos (for Gary Graffman
Gary Graffman
Gary Graffman is an American classical pianist, teacher of piano and music administrator.Graffman was born in New York City to Russian-Jewish parents. Having started piano at age 3, Graffman entered the Curtis Institute of Music at age 7 in 1936 as a piano student of Isabelle Vengerova...

, Jaime Laredo
Jaime Laredo
Jaime Laredo is a violinist and conductor. Currently the conductor and Music Director of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, he began his musical career when he was five years old. In 1948 he came to North America and took lessons from Antonio DeGrass...

, Sharon Robinson
Sharon Robinson (cellist)
Sharon Hall Robinson is an American cellist. She has had a highly successful performing career, both as a concert solo artist and as a member of the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, and has recorded extensively...

, Jeffrey Khaner
Jeffrey Khaner
Jeffrey Khaner is the principal flutist of the Philadelphia Orchestra. He has also served as principal flutist with the Cleveland Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Symphony. Mr. Khaner teaches at the Curtis Institute of Music and The Juilliard School....

, and Sara Sant'Ambrogio
Sara Sant'Ambrogio
Sara Sant'Ambrogio is an American cellist best known as a member of the Eroica Trio.She was born in Boston and began her studies with her father, John Sant'Ambrogio, principal cellist with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. She was invited to study with David Soyer at the Curtis Institute of Music...

, among others), several massive works for chorus and orchestra, two dozen choral works (including one for the Kings Singers), ballet scores, concert overtures, showpieces, two brass quintets, four piano trios, a string quartet, an oboe quintet, a duo for violin and cello, solo works for piano, organ, violin, viola, and cello, and seventeen published cycles of art song
Art song
An art song is a vocal music composition, usually written for one voice with piano or orchestral accompaniment. By extension, the term "art song" is used to refer to the genre of such songs....

s. In 1990 Hagen began a creative collaboration with the Irish poet Paul Muldoon
Paul Muldoon
Paul Muldoon is an Irish poet. He has published over thirty collections and won a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and the T. S. Eliot Prize. He held the post of Oxford Professor of Poetry from 1999 - 2004. At Princeton University he is both the Howard G. B. Clark ’21 Professor in the Humanities and...

 that resulted in four major operas: Shining Brow
Shining Brow
Shining Brow is an English language opera by Daron Hagen, first performed by the Madison Opera in Madison, Wisconsin, April 21, 1993. It is based on events in the life of architect Frank Lloyd Wright...

(1992), Vera of Las Vegas
Vera of Las Vegas
Vera of Las Vegas is an opera by Daron Hagen based on a libretto by Paul Muldoon. The Center for Contemporary Opera gave the staged premiere on 25 June 2003 at the Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theatre of Symphony Space in New York City.-Background and premiere:...

(1996), Bandanna (1998), and The Antient Concert (2005). "[Writing libretti for Hagen's operas gave Muldoon], a writer who has had to weather accusations of cerebral detachment and heartlessness the opportunity to indulge in frank emotionalism," writes David Wheatley. Libretti for Hagen operas have also been written by Barbara Grecki (New York Stories, 2008), J.D. McClatchy
J.D. McClatchy
J. D. "Sandy" McClatchy is an American poet and literary critic. He is editor of the Yale Review and president of The American Academy of Arts and Letters.-Life:...

 (Little Nemo in Slumberland, 2010), and Gardner McFall (Amelia, 2010). He has also written his own libretti.

Critical reception


Hagen's most recent opera, entitled Amelia
Amelia (opera)
Amelia is an opera in two acts by Daron Hagen to a libretto in English by Gardner McFall based on a story by Stephen Wadsworth. It had its world premiere at the Seattle Opera on May 8, 2010.-Background and performance history:...

for Seattle Opera
Seattle Opera
The Seattle Opera is an opera company located in Seattle, Washington. Founded in 1963 by Glynn Ross, who served as the company's first general director through 1983, Seattle Opera's season runs from August to late May, with five or six operas offered and with eight to ten performances each, often...

 starring Nathan Gunn
Nathan Gunn
Nathan Gunn is an operatic baritone from the United States.He has appeared in many of world's well-known opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, Seattle Opera, Dallas Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh Opera,...

, Kate Lindsey
Kate Lindsey
Kate Lindsey is a mezzo-soprano opera singer from the United States.Lindsey holds a Bachelor of Music Degree with Distinction from Indiana University. Her many awards include the 2007 Richard F. Gold Career Grant, the 2007 George London Award in memory of Lloyd Rigler, the 2007 Lincoln Center...

, Jane Eaglen
Jane Eaglen
Jane Eaglen is an English dramatic soprano particularly known for her interpretations of the works of Richard Wagner and the title roles in Bellini's Norma and Puccini's Turandot.-Background:...

, and William Burden, on a libretto
Libretto
A libretto is the text used in an extended musical work such as an opera, operetta, masque, oratorio, cantata, or musical. The term "libretto" is also sometimes used to refer to the text of major liturgical works, such as mass, requiem, and sacred cantata, or even the story line of a...

 by Gardner McFall and story by Stephen Wadsworth, premiered in May 2010 to glowing reviews in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Seattle Times, among others. Heidi Waleson in the Wall Street Journal described the work as "both highly original and gripping. ... Amelia is a modern opera with traditional values ... Mr. Hagen's restless, questioning music never loses its heart." Ivan Katz, in the Huffington Post, wrote "Hagen's score is well-composed and, in many respects, a work of genius. He tends to write in a more facile manner for the women, but his writing for the men (especially tenor William Burden) is complex and highly effective." The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation of New York City and Princeton, New Jersey in the United States, is a private foundation with five core areas of interest, endowed with wealth accumulated by the late Andrew W. Mellon of the Mellon family of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is the product of the 1969...

 issued a grant of $500,000 in 2009 to underwrite the first two revivals of the world premiere production.

Hagen's music has received the Columbia University
Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

 Joseph H. Bearns Prize
Joseph H. Bearns Prize
The Joseph H. Bearns Prize in Music was established on February 3, 1921 by Lillia M. Bearns, in memory of her father. It was her desire to encourage talented young composers in the United States...

, the Charles Ives Fellowship
Charles Ives Prize
The Charles Ives Prize is a scholarship for young composers, awarded by the American Academy of Arts and Letters: scholarships of $7500, and fellowships of $15,000....

 from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, a Barlow Endowment commission and prize, three prizes from the Broadcast Music Incorporated
Broadcast Music Incorporated
Broadcast Music, Inc. is one of three United States performing rights organizations, along with ASCAP and SESAC. It collects license fees on behalf of songwriters, composers, and music publishers and distributes them as royalties to those members whose works have been performed...

 Foundation and three Morton Gould Young Composer Prizes from ASCAP, as well as the ASCAP Foundation Rudolf Nissim Prize for Orchestral Music, Opera America's
Opera America
Opera America, officially OPERA America, is a service organization in North America promoting the creation, presentation, and enjoyment of opera...

 Next Stage Award, a production grant from the Readers Digest Opera for a New America Project (1997), a production grant from the National Endowment for the Arts
National Endowment for the Arts
The National Endowment for the Arts is an independent agency of the United States federal government that offers support and funding for projects exhibiting artistic excellence. It was created by an act of the U.S. Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. Its current...

 (2005), and the Kennedy Center Friedheim Award
Kennedy Center Friedheim Award
The Kennedy Center Friedheim Award was an annual award given for instrumental music composition by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.. It was established in 1978 and ended in 1995...

 for orchestral music. Performances by hundreds of orchestras and soloists in the United States, as well as an increasing number of revivals internationally of his operas have cemented Hagen's status as one of America's most respected and sought-after composers. "To say that he is a remarkable musician," writes Ned Rorem, "is to underrate him. Daron is music."

Recordings


Recordings of Hagen works may be found on the Albany Records
Albany Records
Albany Records is an American classical music record label focusing particularly on contemporary classical music. It was established by Peter Kermani in 1987, and is based in Albany, New York.-External links:**...

, Arsis, Sierra, TNC, Mark, Naxos Records
Naxos Records
Naxos Records is a record label specializing in classical music. Through a number of imprints, Naxos also releases genres including Chinese music, jazz, world music, and early rock & roll. The company was founded in 1987 by Klaus Heymann, a German-born resident of Hong Kong.Naxos is the largest...

, and CRI
Composers Recordings, Inc.
Composers Recordings, Inc. was an American record label dedicated to the recording of contemporary classical music by American composers. It was founded in 1954 by Otto Luening, Douglas Moore, and Oliver Daniel, and based in New York City....

 labels, among others. His music was published exclusively by EC Schirmer in Boston (1982–90); and then by Carl Fischer Music
Carl Fischer Music
Carl Fischer Music is a major publisher of sheet music based in New York City that has been in business since 1872. As one of the few remaining family-owned music publishers, it supplies educational materials to professional and beginning musicians of all ages, as well as new music works.Notable...

in New York (1990–2006); in 2007 began self-publishing under the imprint Burning Sled.

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