Stephen Dankner


Stephen Dankner is a composer whose works encompass the breadth of scope and range of expression of the late-Romantic tradition. An emphasis on melody, rich textures, chromatic harmony and contrapuntal devices characterizes his style.

His music has been commissioned, performed and recorded by such orchestras, ensembles, and institutions as the National Symphony, the Louisiana Philharmonic, the Aspen Music Festival, the Hawthorne Trio, the Gina Bachauer Piano Competition, the Cypress Quartet, the Audubon Quartet, the Amernet Quartet, the Hawthorne Duo, the Loyola University Piano Trio, and the Valcour Quartet. He has composed extensively for orchestra, chamber ensembles, soloists, and computer-controlled synthesizers. He was the recipient of the 1983-84 and the 1998-99 Louisiana State Arts Fellowship in Music.

Major works include concertos for violin, saxophone, piano (2), and cello, two piano trios, seven string quartets, several song cycles, two large piano works, a symphony for saxophone orchestra, a film score, and a large quantity of electronic music, including MIDI installations and electro-acoustic chamber works. His music has been recorded on the Albany and Centaur labels.

Dankner's Music for the Aquarium of the Americas has been recorded for the State of the Arts label. This special, state-of-the-art computer-controlled electronic music installation was commissioned by the Audubon Institute for the New Orleans Aquarium of the Americas, and is now a permanent part of its exhibitry.

Dr. Dankner has been a visiting composer at the Aspen Music Festival, and in residence at the University of Maryland, Southwest Missouri State University, Skidmore College, and the University of Southeastern Lousiana. His music was the subject of a doctoral dissertation awarded in 1995 by the University of Maryland.

He attended new York University, Queens College, and the Juilliard School where he received the Doctorate of Musical Arts in 1971. His principal teachers were Roger Sessions, Paul Creston, and Vincent Persichetti. Trained within the framework of late twentieth-century atonality, he has returned to a more direct, late-Romantic idiom. Although tonal, much of Dankner's newer music seeks to consolidate the contemporary tradition with the inherited language from the 'classical' past.

Dr. Dankner is currently Chair of the Music Department at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, an arts preparatory high school, and serves the faculty of Loyola University's College of Music, where he teaches composition and electronic/computer music.