Born in Paris in and now living in Brooklyn, composer Daniel Wohl writes for instruments ranging from computers to slide whistles as well as for orchestras, chamber ensembles and string quartets. The New York Times recently called Wohl one of the four most “imaginative and skillful creators” at the 2010 MATA Festival in New York, praising him especially for his ingenuity.
Wohl’s music has been commissioned and performed by such groups and solo artists as Eighth Blackbird, the California E.A.R Unit, the Calder Quartet, TRANSIT, pianist Vicki Ray, the New York Youth Symphony, the Dither electric guitar quartet, the Mantra percussion quartet, the Da Capo Chamber Players, Cygnus, St Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, and the American Symphony Orchestra. His pieces have been heard throughout the United States and in Europe at Carnegie Hall, Le Poisson Rouge, Symphony Space, Redcat, Galapagos Art Space, the Chelsea Art Museum, Mass MoCA, and Dia Beacon, among other venues, and over media outlets such as PBS, CANAL +, TFI and FRANCE 2.
Over the past three years, Wohl has won ASCAP Foundation/Morton Gould Young Composer Awards for his works Monde Angulaire (for mixed ensemble), Helium (for orchestra), +ou- (for chamber ensemble and electronics), and Glitch (for amplified string quartet and electronics). In 2009 he received a commission from Meet the Composer’s Commissioning Music/USA fund to create Etudes en Son Blanc, a 30-minute work for TRANSIT using 12-channel electronics, as part of a residency at the Diapason Gallery in Brooklyn. That same year he received a Jerome Foundation grant from the American Composers Forum to create Exquisite Corpse, a multimedia chamber and electronics piece, in conjunction with several New York video artists.
Recent and upcoming projects include the 2008 premiere of Ten Thousand Things at Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall by the New York Youth Symphony, a new work for the Calder Quartet at the 2009 Carlsbad Music Festival, a performance of Glitch at the 2010 MATA festival in New York, a commission from the Albany Symphony, a duo for Bang On A Can All-Star cellist Ashley Bathgate and pianist Lisa Moore, and a new electro-acoustic work for So Percussion.
Wohl is committed to the music of today’s young composers, and as cofounder of the TRANSIT ensemble, he has commissioned and presented pieces by emerging composers from around the world. Also active as an educator, Wohl teaches courses in composition, orchestration, and theory at Sarah Lawrence College.
In 2010 Wohl will begin his doctoral studies at the Yale School of Music. He currently holds a Masters of Music from the University of Michigan School of Music, where he studied with Bright Sheng and William Bolcom, and a Bachelor of Arts from Bard College, where he received the school’s Jacob Druckman Prize and studied with Joan Tower. In 2007 he received an ASCAP composers fellowship to attend the Bang on a Can Summer Institute, where he worked with Julia Wolfe, David Lang, and Michael Gordon.
Scored for bass clarinet, piano, cello, percussion and electronics, the initial concept for +ou- (pronounced "plus ou moins") was to compose music that would be heard through a veil of noise. The idea came from waking up in the middle of the night with the television set turned to a nonworking channel. The screen was mostly filled with black and white static, except for a faded image of what looked like an old couple dancing. The image would come in strongly and then recede into the static