Having carved a reputation for himself as an innovative composer, performer, violinist, and band leader, Haitian-American artist Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) melds his classical music roots with his own cultural references and vibrant musical imagination. As a composer, his works range from orchestral scores and chamber pieces to music for film, the theater, modern dance, and electronica. In 2007, DBR premiered One Loss Plus, the first of three works commissioned by the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) for their Next Wave Festival. Showcasing his wide-ranging eclecticism, One Loss Plus is DBR's evening-length, multimedia work for electric/acoustic violin, prepared/amplified piano, electronics, and video. His latest orchestral work and second BAM commission Darwin's Meditation for The People of Lincoln is a musical setting of a pocket play by Daniel Beaty that explores an imagined conversation between Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln, and the political relationship between England, North America, and Haiti. Following its New York premiere in October 2008, Darwin's Meditation for the People of Lincoln moves to the University of Connecticut as a special celebratory concert February 12, 2009 - the icons' shared bicentennial anniversary of their birth.
DBR has collaborated with an array of orchestras and chamber ensembles. He was recently selected by the Sphinx Commissioning Consortium, an alliance between Sphinx and nine other American orchestras (Cincinnati, Detroit, Nashville, New Jersey, New World, Philadelphia, Richmond, Rochester and Virginia) to compose a new work for full orchestra to premiere in 2010. Recent performances and commissions include: Five Chairs and One Table, a commissioned work for Imani Winds that premiered at Carnegie Hall; WE MARCH!, a guitar concerto featuring Eliot Fisk and the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra; The Tuscaloosa Meditations, one of the first commissions of a Haitian-American composer by the University of Alabama composed in honor of Vivian Malone Jones; Voodoo Violin Concerto, a virtuosic handling of DBR's Haitian heritage premiered by the Vermont Youth Orchestra; Double Quartet: The Kompa Variations, an exploration of Haitian kompa music for the Providence String Quartet and a student quartet which premiered at the First Works Providence festival; and newly commissioned works for the Florida Youth Orchestra, Ahn Trio and Claremont Trio. Other projects include original scores for theater and film. DBR has composed music for Daniel Beaty's play Resurrection directed by Oz Scott, the feature ESPN television segment E:60 Homeless Basketball in which DBR was bestowed with a Sports EMMY nomination for musical composition, and documentary films - Strange Things by Alexandria Hammond and Off and Running by Nicole Opper (premiered at Tribeca Film Festival) which will air nationally on PBS in 2010.
From Australia's Sydney Opera House to Washington D.C.'s Kennedy Center, DBR continues to premiere and perform solo and chamber works off of his debut international solo album etudes4violin&electronix (Thirsty Ear Recordings) in a worldwide tour with Elan Vytal aka DJ Scientific. Described as a "demonstration of unquestionable virtuosity and commitment to the violin's expressivity" (All About Jazz), the album showcases a unified dialogue between DBR and artists from today's contemporary musical landscape including Philip Glass, Ryuichi Sakamoto, DJ Spooky, and DJ Scientific. As bandleader of DBR & THE MISSION, a young, multi-cultural ensemble, he presents an electrifying show described as "an evening of chamber music with the accessible feel of a rock concert" (Albany Times-Union). Touring nationwide since 2004, DBR & THE MISSION made its international debut at Australia's 2008 Adelaide Festival.
DBR serves as Visiting Associate Professor of Composition at his alma mater, The Blair School of Music, Vanderbilt University. He's also the Artist-in-Residence of the Starbucks-sponsored Seattle Theater Group and the Music Director of Seattle's More Music @ The Moore program for the third consecutive year. Additional positions have included: Chair of Composition/Theory at the Harlem School of the Arts; The Van Lier Composer-in-Residence with the American Composers Orchestra; Artist-in-Residence at Arizona State University (2003-2006); Assistant Composer-in-Residence at the Orchestra of St. Luke's and founder of the OSL's Young Composers Development Program; Music Director of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company; and Rankin Scholar-in-Residence at Drexel University.
Proving that he's "about as omnivorous as a contemporary artist gets" (New York Times), DBR recently collaborated and performed with Lady Gaga on FOX's American Idol. His accolades range from being voted as "America's Assignment" on the CBS Evening News, to receiving praise as one of the "Top 100 New Yorkers" (New York Resident), "Top 40 Under 40" business people (Crain's New York Business), one of the entertainment industry's "Top 5 Tomorrow's Newsmakers" (1010 WINS Radio), and spotlighted as a "New Face of Classical Music"
in Esquire Magazine.
A native of Margate, Florida, DBR's career blossomed when he studied music as an undergraduate at Vanderbilt University's Blair School of Music, completing his masters and doctoral work at the University of Michigan under the tutelage of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer William Bolcom.
Haitian-American violinist/composer Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) continues to establish himself as one of today's most relevant artists on the contemporary classical music scene. An innovative violinist, composer, performer, re-mixer, and band leader, DBR has won world-wide acclaim for his eclecticism and fearless exploration, whether through extended violin techniques, the infusion of electronics, or in his perspectives on the definition of chamber music. On Woodbox Beats & Balladry (Thirsty Ear Recordings), his profusion of classical composing and performing talents are uniquely exposed.
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Crossover Media Projects with: Daniel Bernard Roumain