Daniel Bernard Roumain
Daniel Roumain’s acclaimed work as a composer and a performer has spanned more than two decades, and has been commissioned by venerable artists and institutions worldwide. Proving that he’s “about as omnivorous as a contemporary artist gets” (New York Times), Roumain is perhaps the only composer whose collaborations span the worlds of Philip Glass, Cassandra Wilson, Bill T. Jones, Savion Glover and Lady Gaga.
Roumain made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2000 with the American Composers Orchestra performing his Harlem Essay for Orchestra, a Whitaker commission. He would go on to compose works for the Albany Symphony (Harvest for Baritone Voice and Orchestra); the American Composers Orchestra (Call Them All: Fantasy Projections for laptop, orchestra, and film); the Boston Pops Orchestra (Woodbox Violin Concerto); the Dogs of Desire Ensemble (Grace for Two Sopranos and Chamber Orchestra); Carnegie Hall (Five Chairs and One Table); the Library of Congress (Numerical Music); and the Stuttgart Symphony (We March!: Concerto for Guitar and String Orchestra premiered by Eliot Fisk). Additionally, Roumain’s music has been performed by the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Cincinnati Symphony, Des Moines Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Memphis Symphony, New Haven Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony, New World Symphony, Noord Nederlands Orkest, and the Vancouver Symphony, among many others. Dancers, Dreamers, and Presidents is a 2010 Sphinx Commissioning prize and was performed by the Detroit Symphony, Nashville Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic, Virginia Symphony, and other member orchestras of an esteemed consortia.
Roumain was the first artist to be awarded Arizona State University’s prestigious Gammage Residency, “a three-year commitment to an extraordinary performing artist that includes performance, creative time and resources, intensive training for ASU students and local artists and engagement with many of the local communities.” His outreach and residencies have garnered extravagant praise and long-term relationships with countless universities, orchestras, and performing arts centers including the Berklee School of Music (Boston), More Music @Moore (Seattle), The Academy – a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School and the Weill Music Institute, PACE University and the Tribeca Performing Arts Center (New York City), the University of North Carolina (Raleigh) and Vanderbilt University (Nashville). He has served as Chair of the Music Composition/Theory Department and Composer-in-Residence at The Harlem School of the Arts; Music Director for the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company; Assistant Composer-in-Residence with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s; Visiting Professor at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music; Artist-in-Residence with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra; and is currently the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center Artist-in-Residence (University of Houston), and a Center for Art and Performance Resident Artist at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).
From 2007-2011, Roumain was a Next Wave Artist-in-Residence at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), resulting in three commissioned works in One Loss Plus (2007); Darwin’s Meditation for the People of Lincoln (2008); and Symphony for the Dance Floor (2011). In 2011, a new work for the Atlanta Ballet (Home in 7), in collaboration with the choreographer Amy Seiwert and the poet Marc Bamuthi Joseph, was followed in 2013 with a new work for the Boston Children’s Chorus (A Boy Called King) with the same creative team. Roumain has performed at The Macau International Music Festival, Ten Days Festival in Tasmania, Central Park SummerStage, 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, and the Sydney Opera House.
For the 2012-13 season, Roumain created The Collide, in collaboration with the singer/songwriter Laurelyn Dosset. A commission from North Carolina State University, the project included the creation of 11 songs and 1 instrumental as musical portraits of selected cities in North Carolina. The work travelled across the state to Wilmington, Davidson College, Appalachian State University, East Carolina University, and Raleigh. Additional performances in 2013 included Woodbox Beats & Balladry (Minnesota State University); the premiere of Woodbox Violin Concerto (New Haven Symphony Orchestra); Clas/sick Hip-Hop with the dancer/choreographer Rennie Harris (Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco); Filter (South-Miami Dade Cultural Center for the Arts and Emory University); and the premiere of En Masse with the University of Houston Spirit Marching Band (University of Houston). In January 2014, Roumain will make his debut with the Sacramento Philharmonic performing his Woodbox Violin Concerto with Maestro Michael Morgan.
Roumain earned his doctorate in Music Composition from the University of Michigan under the tutelage of William Albright, William Bolcom, and Michael Daugherty.
© Del Sol Performing Arts Organization • Photos by RJ Muna