Daniel Stephen Johnson was born in the desert and learned to play the violin. After studying viola and English at the University of Southern California, he wrote fiction at Columbia University. Then he moved to Connecticut, where he worked at a record shop and wrote about music, literature and comedy for the New Haven Advocate and the Believer. Now he lives in Bedford–Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, and works as a sheet music salesman in Queens.
He's written notes for programs by musicians like Daníel Bjarnason, Nico Muhly and Gidon Kremer, for magazines including Opera News and Parterre Box, and of course for his own website, danielstephenjohnson.com.
Daniel Stephen Johnson appears in the following:
Monday, September 15, 2014
Monday, September 08, 2014
Monday, August 25, 2014
Monday, August 11, 2014
Pianist Tara Kamangar's "East of Melancholy" is a luxuriously lovely recital of virtuoso piano music spanning musical traditions from Russia to Iran. Stream the entire album.
Monday, July 21, 2014
Richard Reed Parry, a composer and member of the rock band Arcade Fire, writes classical compositions based the actual pulse of the performers themselves. Stream his "Music for Heart and Breath" all this week.
Thursday, June 19, 2014
The inaugural New York Philharmonic Biennial, a string of contemporary music performances held around the city, proved to be—while void of risk—an enjoyable event. Check out Daniel Stephen Johnson's roundup of the concerts.
Monday, June 16, 2014
Per Nørgård's Eighth Symphony shows how the young composer has evolved into a mature, unmistakably contemporary artist. Stream the entire album all this week.
Monday, June 09, 2014
Pianist Alexander Melnikov's rendition of Dmitri Shostakovich's 24 Preludes & Fugues, Op. 87, just reissued in a recent Harmonia Mundi recording, present the music of Shostakovich at its most agreeable. Stream the entire album all this week.
Monday, May 19, 2014
David Lang's love fail is a sort of micro-opera about subtle heartbreak and based on the legend that inspired Wagner's Tristan und Isolde. Listen to the entire album, featuring Anonymous 4, this week.
Monday, May 05, 2014
The cool, restrained interpretations of the Dublin Guitar Quartet performing arrangements of Glass's string quartets speak more like a virginal harpsichord with an unusually sweet voice. Listen to the entire album.
Monday, April 28, 2014
Jacob Cooper's "Silver Threads" helps Nonesuch Records close a certain hipness gap between their venerable roster and the composers of his generation. Listen to the album in full all this week.
Monday, April 21, 2014
"Steel Hammer," the new album by Bang on a Can co-founder Julia Wolfe, features a musical retelling of that great American tall tale of John Henry. Stream the album in full all this week.
Monday, April 07, 2014
Simon Smith's new collection of Alfred Schnittke's complete piano music offers a harrowing biographical portrait of the composer. Stream the entire album all this week.
Monday, March 31, 2014
Kronos Quartet's new 40th anniversary compilation, "A Thousand Thoughts," takes a well-earned victory lap by bringing together a generous helping of their globe-trotting musical excursions.
Monday, March 10, 2014
Steven Mackey's new piano concerto for Orli Shaham is an easy fit with the music of John Adams on the new album "American Grace" from Canary Classics. Stream the entire album in full all this week.
Monday, February 10, 2014
Listening to "Chambers," the inaugural release from both the Spektral Quartet and their fellow Chicagoans, one could hardly imagine a more promising debut. Stream the full album all this week.
Monday, January 27, 2014
Polish composer and film arranger Wojciech Kilar wrote concert music that merits a closer listen. A new album collects three of works for chorus and orchestra from the 1980s. Stream it on Q2 Music.
Monday, January 13, 2014
For "American Vernacular," pianist Nicholas Phillips commissioned ten composers to each to write a piece inspired by their respective experiences of America. Stream the album all this week.
Monday, December 30, 2013
Mark-Anthony Turnage's music is best known for its provocative clashes. But a new recording by the London Symphony Orchestra may surprise listeners with its emotional directness. Stream the album all this week.
Monday, December 16, 2013
Works on composer Mathew Rosenblum's newest album "Möbius Loop" offer both a mind-bending illusion and an elegant feat of mathematics. Stream the entire album all this week.