Daniel Temkin

Assistant Professor of Music


University of Southern California, D.M.A.
Curtis Institute of Music, A.D.
New England Conservatory, M.M.
Rutgers University, B.M.

Personal Website



After a youth filled with drum set, orchestral percussion and songwriting, Composer Daniel Temkin has become known for crafting works filled with rich detail and visceral beauty.  Praised for capturing an "immensity" and "demonstrat[ing] an allure too difficult to convey in words" (Houston Chronicle), Daniel's works have been noted as "direct, convicted and beautiful" (Incident Light) and praised as "sweet and simple...like a memory stream in an American vernacular" (Philadelphia Inquirer).

Daniel has been Composer-in-Residence with Music from Angel Fire (New Mexico), Chamber Music by the Bay (San Francisco), the Intimacy of Creativity Festival (Hong Kong) and Chamber Music Northwest (Portland).  His work has been supported by New Music USA, the American Composers Forum, Amphion Foundation, the Aaron Copland Fund, the Alice M. Ditson Fund, Earshot, the Theodore Presser Foundation and many others.  Daniel has received numerous awards, including the Indianapolis Symphony's Marilyn K. Glick Prize, two BMI Composer Awards and Honorable Mention as MTNA's Distinguished Composer of the Year.

Daniel's orchestra music has seen particular recognition.  In 2016, MacArthur Fellow Bright Sheng conducted Rising Moon with the Hong Kong Philharmonic and Cataclysm was performed by the Indianapolis Symphony, after previous performances with the USC Symphony and the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic in Russia.  Daniel's piece Chasm was performed by the Curtis Symphony Orchestra and subsequently selected by Robert Spano for a performance at the inaugural Aspen Composers Showcase.  Meanwhile, his earlier works Regenerations and Rolling River were read by the Nashville Symphony, the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Rutgers, NEC and Brevard Orchestras.

Daniel has written chamber and solo works for PRISM Quartet, Mirror Visions Ensemble and artists from the Astral and Young Concert Artists rosters.  In 2018, he was featured as a resident composer with Kinetic Ensemble in Houston and his work "Together, We" (based on the poetry of Langston Hughes) has been performed by the Zafa Collective (Chicago), Agarita (San Antonio) and the Exponential Ensemble (NYC).  Daniel's music has been featured on PBS Philadelphia's "WHYY" series, NPR's "Performance Today," and many other media outlets.  Daniel can be heard as a composer, percussionist and conductor on recordings of the Naxos, Albany and Navona labels.

For many years, Daniel has worked to curate and champion contemporary music.  In 2020, Duo ING performs the "Refractions" project at the Yellow Barn Festival and in 2019, the Aizuri Quartet gave a five-city tour of the "Intricate Machines" program.  Both of these projects were co-curated by Daniel and extensively feature recent works of living composers.  From 2014-16, Daniel was Assistant Director and Percussionist with the Thornton EDGE contemporary ensemble and from 2010-13 he worked as an Artistic Director of the Melos Music collective, organizing premieres of dozens of works on concert and recording projects in Chicago, San Francisco and Philadelphia.

Daniel earned degrees in Percussion and Composition from Rutgers (BM), NEC (MM), Curtis (AD) and USC (DMA).  Daniel received composition fellowships from the Aspen, Fontainebleau and Brevard festivals and he also spent two additional summers at Aspen as a percussionist.  He has previously taught as a Lecturer or Graduate Assistant at each of his major educational institutions and at the Walden Festival in New Hampshire.  In 2019, Daniel joined Bucknell University in Pennsylvania as an Assistant Professor of Music.