Daniel Dorff

Daniel Dorff

Based in Upper Darby, PA
Website: www.danieldorff.com

“I generally think of composing as my escapist refuge, delightedly lost down a cozy rabbit hole of sounds structured over time, to share with performers who will in turn share them with listeners. Although I don’t consciously make a point to do so, the inspiration for these idyllic escapes is often a recent visit to a lake, forest, river, desert, or my own garden.”


Daniel Dorff’s music for flute and piccolo has entered the repertoire and is frequently performed and recorded worldwide. He has written 7 commissions for the Philadelphia Orchestra’s education department, and the Minnesota Orchestra’s Kinder Konzert series has performed his music over 200 times.

Dorff’s works have been presented by Young Audiences (over 1000 opera performances in schools), the Atlanta Opera (60 performances), Baltimore Symphony (32 performances), clarinetists of the Chicago Symphony and Berlin Philharmonic, pianist Marc-André Hamelin, and many of the world’s leading flutists. His orchestral music has been premiered by maestros including Alan Gilbert and Wolfgang Sawallisch.

Other commissions have come from many leading performers, schools, and orchestras. Dorff has also created arrangements for Sir James Galway and pop musicians Keith Emerson and Lisa Loeb.

Recent works include:
· A Treeful of Monkeys for Narrator and Chamber Orchestra (or Mixed Quintet)
· Sonata (Spirit of the Hudson) for Bass Flute and Piano
· Snow Angel for Flute and Piano
· Concertino for Flute and Orchestra, premiered by Jasmine Choi at the 2018 National Flute Association Convention
· Hot Spots for English Horn and Clarinet
· Sleepy Hollow for 2 Bass Flutes and Piano

Daniel Dorff was born in New Rochelle, NY; acclaim began at age 18 with First Prize in the Aspen Music Festival’s annual composers’ competition. He received degrees in composition from Cornell and University of Pennsylvania, studying with George Crumb, George Rochberg, Karel Husa, and Henry Brant. Dorff served 1996-2015 as Composer-In-Residence for Symphony in C, in which he played bass clarinet from 1980 through 2002. Dorff’s compositions have been published by Theodore Presser Company, Carl Fischer, Lauren Keiser Music/MMB, Shawnee Press, Mel Bay, and Kendor, and recorded on Albany, Bridge, Centaur, Crystal, Azica, and many other labels. YouTubes of his compositions and arrangements have received over 1,000,000 views.


Work Samples

Sonata (Three Lakes) for Flute and Piano. Performed by Cindy Anne Broz and Matthew Bengtson, 2014.

1. Lake Wallenpaupack
2. Kezar Lake
3. Salmon Lake

“Structured as a formal three-movement sonata, this work is also a tone poem about three lakes that have deep meaning for me. Lake Wallenpaupack (in the Pocono Mts.) is based on a love song I wrote after a romantic getaway weekend. Kezar Lake (in Maine) is where my parents vacationed for over 20 years and where their ashes will rest for eternity. Salmon Lake (in Maine) is where I vacationed as a playful little boy and have begun vacationing again recently.” Read the complete program note.

Excerpt from Sonatine de Giverny for Piccolo and Piano. Recorded by Gudrun Hinze and Markus Zugehör, 2011.

1. Les fleurs ravissantes
2. Les jardins d’eau
3. En ville

“I happened to have a piccolo/piano commission to write as I went on a family vacation to France, including a visit to Monet’s estate and gardens at Giverny. The delicacy and color of Giverny’s ravishing flowers, tranquil water gardens, and nearby town, were the perfect inspiration for a three-movement work in the mold of an impressionist sonatine.” Reach the complete program note.

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