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The Song Cycles of Daron Hagen

  • The Juilliard School, New York, NY Lincoln Center Plaza New York, NY, 10023 United States (map)
The Juilliard School in New York City.

The Juilliard School in New York City.

Daron returns to his alma mater, the Juilliard School, as a guest in J.J. Penna's American and British Song Repertoire Seminar. For the event, twelve singers will each prepare an overview of one of Hagen's song cycles. Daron will respond extemporaniously to prepared questions about the creation of the cycles, and discuss performance and interpretative strategies.

Having composed over 300 art songs, Hagen is one of the most prolific and widely-respected composers of concert song in America. In 1998, New Yorker Magazine music writer and composer Russell Platt in the NATS Journal of Singing described Hagen as "the finest American composer of vocal music in his generation." Hagen's vocal music is characterized in The New Grove as "the cornerstone of his compositional output." In a 1999 Fanfare Magazine interview with James Reel, he remarked, "I love voices and I like singers, and along with the intersection of loving music and words and singers, I adore the process of composing and going through the production of musical theater. There is the communion of people coming together to commit to undertaking a work of art that is larger than any of us." Carol Kimball, in her celebrated guide to the programming and performance of American song entitled Song (Hal Leonard Publishing, 2008), describes Hagen's techniques as follows: "Using his gift for composing vocal lines, [Hagen] produces songs that flow lyrically and illuminate texts with unerring musical and dramatic aim. His scores are full of extensive markings, requiring singers to use variety of tone color to achieve the emotions inherent in the texts."

Twelve of the following cycles will be featured:

  • After Words
  • A Handful of Days
  • Blake Songs
  • Dear Youth
  • Echo's Songs
  • Figments
  • Four Dickinson Songs
  • Four Irish Folk Songs
  • The Heart of the Stranger
  • Jaik's Songs
  • Larkin Songs
  • Letting Go
  • Love in a Life
  • Love Songs
  • Merrill Songs
  • Muldoon Songs
  • Phantoms of Myself
  • Sappho Songs
  • Songs of Experience
  • Songs of Madness and Sorrow
  • Vegetable Verselets 
  • The Waking Father

Learn more about Daron Hagen's art songs and song cycles here.


Earlier Event: April 26
Discovering Amelia
Later Event: May 14
Piano Variations