Daron Hagen is an American composer, conductor, pianist, stage director, librettist / lyricist, and author.
Born in 1961 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, trained at the Curtis Institute and at Juilliard, Hagen made his debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra at 19. He taught at Bard College, Curtis, Princeton, and a dozen other universities before leaving Academe to compose full time. After 30 years as a Manhattanite, he and his wife American composer / vocalist Gilda Lyons moved to Rhinebeck, New York to raise their two sons.
Commissions from the NY Philharmonic, Seattle Opera, Curtis, and other major institutions internationally highlight a catalogue that includes 12 steadily-revived operas, 5 symphonies, 12 concertos, reams of chamber music, 6 film scores, 4 ballets, and over 400 art songs. He has conducted the cast recordings of his operas, recorded his songs as a collaborative pianist, stage directed his operas, written librettos, and has recently published a memoir, Duet with the Past (McFarland, 2019). His music is performed worldwide.
Guggenheim, Rockefeller, NEA, and Kennedy Center Friedheim Prizewinner Hagen is a Lifetime Member of the Corporation of Yaddo, Co-chair of the Wintergreen Composers Retreat, and artistic director of the New Mercury Collective. Hagen joined the artist faculty of Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of the Performing Arts in 2017 in a position created for him that enables him to share his skills with composers, singers, actors, and instrumentalists as they shadow him and collaborate in the development and staging of a different Hagen opera each year.