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:

Philip Glass Blasts Past Beethoven with Fireworks of 10th Symphony

Monday, July 27, 2015

Philip Glass's working relationship with conductor Dennis Russell Davies brings him back to symphonic form again and again, and he's now written more than Beethoven. Hear #10 all week.

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Following Langston Hughes's Musical Treasure Map, 'Ask Your Mama'

Monday, July 06, 2015

How appropriate that the release date of Laura Karpman's new record should arrive right around the birthday of the U.S.: a setting of Langston Hughes's cycle of poems "Ask Your Mama."

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Lisa Bielawa's Knack for Lyricism Revealed in 'Lay of the Love'

Monday, June 29, 2015

Lisa Bielawa is a force to be reckoned with in the new music world - her broadmindedness has served her well as a performer, presenter and composer. Stream her art song album all week.

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Terry Riley's Eclecticism in Four-Hand Piano Arrangements

Monday, June 22, 2015

Terry Riley celebrates his 80th birthday this week, offering the ZOFO piano duo the perfect opportunity to explore new arrangements from his rich and eclectic oeuvre.

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NOW Ensemble Blends Upbeat Lyricism and Heady Abstraction in 'Dreamfall'

Monday, June 01, 2015

NOW Ensemble emerged a decade ago as standard bearers, of a sort, for the new kids of new music. Stream their latest anthology of new works, "Dreamfall," all week. 

Comments [1]

Bryce Dessner's Mesmerizing Inventions for So Percussion

Monday, May 25, 2015

When composer and rock guitarist Bryce Dessner of the National was asked to write music for So Percussion, he didn't just create a new piece of music. He invented a new instrument.

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Steve Reich's Masterful Gateway Drug in Assured New Recording

Monday, May 04, 2015

Steve Reich composed "Music for 18 Musicians" some 40 years ago, but it still remains the perfect gateway drug for Reich's music. A new recording by Ensemble Signal shows why.

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Martin Scherzinger's Alternative Calculus in 'African Math'

Monday, April 20, 2015

Composer Martin Scherzinger's new record is an enlightened take on the traditional music of Africa – mostly because his music recognizes that it is not African music. Listen all week.

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Clarinetist Martin Fröst Displays a Dancer's Virtuosity in 'Nordic Concertos'

Monday, March 30, 2015

The clarinet is lucky to have Martin Fröst, a musical showman who has produced handsome recordings of works new and old. Stream his latest album "Nordic Concertos" all week.

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Kronos Quartet and Tanya Tagaq Tap Canadian Cool in 'Tundra Songs'

Monday, March 16, 2015

Thanks be to Björk: it was her collaboration with Tanya Tagaq that brought the singer from Nunavut, Canada the much-deserved attention of a worldwide musical audience. 

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Benjamin Hochman Reinvigorates a Familiar Theme in 'Variations'

Monday, March 09, 2015

The composers on "Variations," pianist Benjamin Hochman's new disc on the Avie label, are ideally suited to the form of Theme and Variations. Stream the album in full. 

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Jukka Linkola and Ville Matvejeff Draw Inspiration from Fairy Tales, Heavy Metal Heroics

Monday, March 02, 2015

A new release features two relative unknowns in Finnish contemporary music: Jukka Linkola and Ville Matvejeff. Hear why their music deserves broader recognition.

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'Who the Hell is Allan Pettersson?' Told Through Score and Film

Monday, February 09, 2015

Allan Pettersson (1911-1980), born to a working-class family, was a Swedish composer whose violin playing pulled him up from a childhood straight out of a Roald Dahl novel.

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Kaija Saariaho's Masterful Chamber Music Shines on a Larger Scale

Monday, January 26, 2015

Utterly original and new, the music of Kaija Saariaho is nevertheless recognizable as a successor to an old French tradition of rich lyricism and colorful orchestration.

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Martin Bresnick Finds Light in Darkness with 'Prayers Remain Forever'

Monday, January 05, 2015

"Prayers Remain Forever," a new album of music by composer Martin Bresnick, finds inspiration from masters of the grotesque. Stream the entire album all this week. 

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New York Polyphony's Quiet Seasonal Treasure 'Sing Thee Nowell'

Monday, December 01, 2014

The Christmas season and New York Polyphony, a four-man choir specializing in sacred music, are a match made in heaven. The ensemble's new album spans over five centuries of song.

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Philip Glass's Piano Etudes Exemplify a Muscular Late Period

Monday, November 24, 2014

Philip Glass's complete set of 20 Etudes are released on this disc for the first time, recorded by Maki Namekawa for the composer's Orange Mountain Music label. Stream the album now. 

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Erkki-Sven Tüür Brandishes His Rock Chops in Fifth Symphony

Monday, November 03, 2014

Erkki-Sven Tüür has gained a reputation as one of Estonia's most exciting and fascinating composers. His new album illustrates that he also knows how to cut loose... and rock.

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New Record Label Debuts with Auspicious, Witty 'Violin'

Monday, September 15, 2014

The most surprising thing about the debut of VIA Records, the label whose arrival is heralded by the release of Anna Clyne's "The Violin," is that it didn't happen long ago. 

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Cincinnati Symphony Mines the Terror of the Sublime in 'Hallowed Ground'

Monday, September 08, 2014

Issued on Cincinnati Symphony's own label, "Hallowed Ground" finds unexpected connections between David Lang's hard, bitter pieces and those by Aaron Copland and Nico Muhly.

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