Daniel Ott

Back to Faculty

Daniel Ott > Composition

daniel-ottQuickly gaining recognition both nationally and abroad, composer Daniel Ott has received recent commissions from the National Symphony, the New York City Ballet’s Choreographic Institute, and the Northwest Sinfonietta, among others.

Highlights of this past season include the critically-acclaimed premiere of Double Aria during the New York City Ballet’s spring season, choreographed by NYCB Principal Dancer Benjamin Millepied, which the New York Times hailed as the “highlight of the night,” and the premiere of another Millepied ballet, Circular Motion, which incorporates Ott’s Pieces of Reich, at London’s famed Sadler’s Wells.

The 2004-05 season also saw the release of a new recording of Grind by the Rutgers University Wind Ensemble directed by William Berz.

Ott’s ongoing collaboration with Benjamin Millepied began when he was one of the first composers ever selected to receive a commission from the New York Choreographic Institute in 2003, for which he composed his String Trio. Since then, Ott and Millepied have worked together on four ballets, with plans for a future work based on Ott’s large-scale orchestration of Brahms’s Variations on a Theme by Paganini. Their collaborative efforts have been featured on such series as New York City Center’s Fall for Dance Festival, the Guggenheim Museum’s Works & Process, and at Florence Gould Hall in New York.

In 2001, Ott was one of a handful of American composers commissioned by the National Symphony as part of its “Hechinger Encores” commissioning series. The resulting work, Firebrand, a lighthearted take on Beethoven’s “Pastoral” Symphony, was described in the Washington Post as “fun to hear.” The upcoming season will see the premieres of Ott’s West, a new orchestral work commissioned by the Washington Music Educators Association for its 2006 All-State Orchestra, and Parting, a new solo work commissioned for violist Charles Noble.

An award-winning composer, Ott has been the recipient of such honors as the ASCAP Foundation’s Morton Gould Young Composer Award (in 1999, 2003, and 2004) and the coveted Charles Ives Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1995). He was awarded a fellowship to the Aspen Music Festival in 2000, and in the same year was the first American composer to serve a residency at the Kyoto International Music Students Festival in Japan. He has also held residencies at the Seaside Institute’s “Escape to Create” program (2004), the Northwest Sinfonietta (2000-01 season), and the Max Aronoff Viola Institute (since 1993).

An active educator, Ott teaches at The Juilliard School, where he is on the faculty of the College, Pre-College, and Evening Divisions, as well as Fordham University, and has worked extensively in New York City’s under-served public schools. Ott received his BM from The Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Ned Rorem, and both an MM and DMA from The Juilliard School, where his teachers included John Corigliano and Robert Beaser.

The son of a retired US Army colonel and a professional violinist, Ott was raised in the Pacific Northwest, having spent his early childhood years living in many parts of the United States and in Germany. He now resides with his wife, oboist Erin Gustafson, in New York City.