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Daniel Pesca

Rochester, NY      

For Daniel Pesca, composing and performing must exist side by side. The two activities draw upon and inspire one another. He is passionate about working with other musicians—whether it’s making chamber music, or composing works for his friends and colleagues.

Daniel performs as a soloist often, but is busiest as an enthusiastic proponent of recent chamber music and ensemble music-making. He is a member of the Eastman BroadBand, and has appeared as featured soloist with the Orchestra of the League of Composers, the Slee Sinfonietta, and the Eastman Wind Ensemble. Daniel has also played with Ensemble Signal, Chicago’s Dal Niente, the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, the Michigan Chamber Players, and the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble. Last season, Daniel performed at the Library of Congress with the Chiara Quartet, at June in Buffalo with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, and at the Virginia Arts Festival. Daniel spent the summer of 2015 performing new music in Italy (soundSCAPE festival), Greece (The Ritsos Project), and Spain (Valencia International Performance Academy and Festival)—including eleven world premieres and eight performances of his own music.

Regarding his performance at Miller Theatre in May 2015, Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim wrote in the New York Times: “The pianist Daniel Pesca performed [the Gubaidulina Chaconne] with rich sonic contrasts and solemn articulation of the eight-bar bass line that anchors it.” Also in the Times, Vivian Schweitzer praised his performance of the Elliott Carter Double Concerto at Zankel Hall in 2013, noting “the tricky keyboard parts deftly played by Daniel Pesca on harpsichord” in “a strong rendition that illuminated the various intricacies.”

He is featured on recordings from Block M Records and Urtext Classics—including a performance of Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez’s piano concerto, Diaries, written for Daniel. His recording of the music of Joseph Schwantner, with flutist Sarah Frisof, will appear on Centaur Records later this year. This album features the first-ever recording of Taking Charge for flute, percussion, and piano.

His recent works were written for the Eastman Composers’ Sinfonietta (Doing and Being), OSSIA (Examples of Confusion), First Muse Chamber Music, the Benson Forum for Creativity (The Distance of the Moon), and the Ritsos Project (Moonlit Dances). Other commissioned works include Forking Paths for wind ensemble (the University of Michigan Symphony Band), his piano piece What Remains is Memory (Elizabeth C. Rogers Commission from Eastman), and A Memory of Mélisande (for the Myrna Brown International Flute Competition). His next works will be for guitarist Dieter Hennings, for the Devient Septet, and for Music in the American Wild.

In May 2016, Daniel will receive a DMA in composition from the Eastman School of Music. During his time at Eastman, Daniel studied piano with Nelita True, and acted as vice president of the student-run new music ensemble OSSIA (2014–2015), with whom he also performed extensively. His catalogue of duties at Eastman has included teaching a course on twentieth-century piano music, teaching composition to non-majors, and accompanying for the opera department.


Doing and Being, for solo piano and large ensemble (2015)

Daniel Pesca, piano; Eastman Composers’ Sinfonietta; Oliver Hagen, conductor

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The Distance of the Moon, for flute, violin, and piano (2014)

Zach Sheets, flute; Hanna Hurwitz, violin; Daniel Pesca, piano

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Nocturne, for solo piano (2014)

Daniel Pesca, piano

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