Daniel Stephen Johnson

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:

Chilean Birdsong to Drone Aircraft: Bang on a Can All-Stars' 'More Field Recordings'

Monday, November 27, 2017

At times intense, unsettling and raw, the Bang on a Can All-Stars’ new release "More Field Recordings," is a shadowy sequel to their charming and equally substantial 2015 album.


Terry Riley's 'Dark Queen Mantra' Weaves Electric Guitar and String Quartet into a Spiraling Whole

Monday, August 14, 2017

The latest from the legendary composer Terry Riley unites two of the sound-worlds that have defined much of the composer's repertoire: the string quartet and the guitar. 

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Meet the Composer and Alarm Will Sound's 'Splitting Adams'

Monday, June 12, 2017

Q2 Music podcast Meet the Composer joins forces with the chamber ensemble Alarm Will Sound to present a first-of-its-kind podcast-album dissecting and presenting the music of John Adams.


The Shimmering Nebulae of Paola Prestini's 'Hubble Cantata'

Monday, May 15, 2017

Composer Paola Prestini's "Hubble Cantata" is a more than a piece of music. It is a new kind of collaboration: a nexus of art and science. Stream the album all this week.

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Brooklyn Youth Chorus' Wildly Energetic 'Black Mountain Songs'

Monday, April 03, 2017

Brooklyn Youth Chorus' first solo album, "Black Mountain Songs," gives off waves of energy. The National's Bryce Dessner and Arcade Fire's Richard Reed Parry curated the music.


The Crossing and the International Contemporary Ensemble's 'Seven Responses'

Monday, March 20, 2017

Any record that pairs The Crossing with the International Contemporary Ensemble is virtually guaranteed to be a new-music lover's dream. Listen to their "Seven Responses" all this week.


Thomas Adès Blazes With Wit and Brilliance in Orchestral Album

Monday, March 13, 2017

The London Symphony Orchestra has just released a new recording of Thomas Adès' enormously ambitious "Asyla," conducted by the composer, along with a pair of meaty new orchestral works.


Béla Fleck and Colorado Symphony's 'Juno Concerto'

Monday, March 06, 2017

Perhaps no musician has done more to transform the image of the banjo than Béla Fleck. His second concerto for banjo is all Fleck and features the Colorado Symphony. Listen now.


American Contemporary Music Ensemble's 'Thrive on Routine'

Monday, February 06, 2017

The American Contemporary Music Ensemble's new album, Thrive on Routine, offers a program that reflects the aesthetic of the ensemble's star composer-performer members. Listen now.


Philip Glass's Violin Concerto and Leonard Bernstein's Serenade

Monday, January 30, 2017

Philip Glass's First Violin Concerto, hardly new to the discography, has just received its definitive recording, three decades after its premiere, with soloist Renaud Capuçon.


Janus Trio's 'Book of Memory'

Monday, January 02, 2017

The flute/viola/harp trio known as Janus has emerged with a second full-length, Book of Memory, and it is a charmer. Listen all week. 


The Delicious Wit of Composer David Rakowski

Monday, December 05, 2016

David Rakowski's latest music for piano and orchestra with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project displays an earnest loveliness, an eerie, novel beauty, and a serious wit. Listen all week.


Listen: 12 All-Star Electronic Musicians Remix Michael Gordon's 'Timber'

Monday, November 28, 2016

Mantra Percussion pairs its live recording of Michael Gordon's breakthrough "Timber" at the 2014 Bang on a Can Marathon with a dozen new remixes by all-star electronic musicians.


Florent Ghys and Bonjour Rock Out with High-Energy Debut

Monday, October 17, 2016

For "Bonjour," composer and contrabassist Florent Ghys bids adieu to his signature use of sampled speech and DIY solo overdubs, in favor of the sound of a rock band. Listen all week. 


Ethan Hawke Cameos in Pianist Bruce Levingston's Philip Glass Survey

Monday, September 19, 2016

Pianist Bruce Levingston recruits Ethan Hawke, Hollywood's Gen-X embodiment of Romanticism, for a guest turn on this two-disc survey of Philip Glass's piano music. Listen all week.


Tyshawn Sorey Composes Chaos in 'The Inner Spectrum of Variables'

Monday, August 15, 2016

Tyshawn Sorey's vision extends far beyond the horizon, toward a distant point where varying styles invisibly converge. Stream his latest album, 'Inner Spectrum of Variables,'  all week.


Seattle Symphony Concludes Indispensable Cycle of Late French Master Henri Dutilleux

Monday, August 08, 2016

Ludovic Morlot's Seattle Symphony has once again proved itself one of the most essential symphony orchestras in the country with its third and final disc of Dutilleux orchestral music.


Ashley Bathgate Plays Music of Kate Moore in Breakout Debut, 'Stories for Ocean Shells’

Monday, June 06, 2016

Everyone can breathe now: Ashley Bathgate has finally released her first full-length solo album, with 'Stories for Ocean Shells' and the music of Kate Moore.


Energy of Communal Music-Making Courses Through 'The Colorado'

Monday, May 23, 2016

'The Colorado,' a documentary film directed by Murat Eyuboglu, is a cautionary tale about Colorado River, but its score radiates optimism. Stream it in full all this week.


Ensemble Dal Niente with Marcos Balter and Deerhoof's Greg Saunier Are Unstoppable

Monday, April 25, 2016

New York–based Brazilian composer Marcos Balter and the San Francisco–based rock band Deerhoof each represent the aesthetic triumph of the 21st-century vogue for crossing genres.