Daniel Asia

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Daniel Asia (born 27 June 1953) is an American composer.

Daniel Asia was born in Seattle, Washington, in the United States of America. He received a B.A. degree from Hampshire College and a M.M. from the Yale School of Music. His major teachers include Jacob Druckman, Stephen Albert, Gunther Schuller, and Isang Yun in composition, and Arthur Weisberg in conducting.

He formerly served on the faculty of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music from 1981 to 1986. In 1986–88, a UK Fulbright Arts Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship enabled him to work in London as a visiting lecturer at City University. Since 1988, he has been Professor of Composition and head of the composition department at the University of Arizona in Tucson. His notable students include David A. Yeagley.

In addition to composition, he conducts the New York-based contemporary chamber ensemble The Musical Elements, which he co-founded in 1977.

As a blogger, Asia contributes opinion articles to The Huffington Post. In 2013, he gained notoriety after receiving criticism for an April 25 article entitled "Carter is Dead." The responses to his article led to a subculture of Twitter jokes under the hashtag #DanAsiaArticleIdeas.

He has composed four symphonies, a piano concerto, and numerous chamber and solo works.

Asia's works are published by the Theodore Presser Company and recorded and released on Summit Records.


  • 1973 – Sound Shapes, for SSAATTBB chorus and pitch pipes
  • 1974–75 – On the Surface, for soprano, piano, harp, cello, and percussion
  • 1975 – Dream Sequence I, for amplified trombone
  • 1976 – String Quartet No. 1
  • 1976 – Miles Mix, for tape
  • 1979 – Orange, for viola
  • 1980–81 – Rivalries, for chamber orchestra
  • 1984 – Three Movements, for trumpet and orchestra
  • 1985 – String Quartet No. 2
  • 1987 – Symphony No. 1
  • 1988 – B for J, for flute, bass clarinet, trombone, vibraphone, electric organ, violin, viola, and cello
  • 1989 – Quartet for piano, violin, viola, and cello
  • 1988–90 – Symphony No. 2 "Celebration" (Khagiga: In Memoriam Leonard Bernstein)
  • 1990 – Black Light, for orchestra
  • 1991 – At the Far Edge, for orchestra
  • 1992 – Symphony No. 3
  • 1993 – Gateways, for orchestra
  • 1993 – Symphony No. 4
  • 1994 – Concerto for Piano and Orchestra
  • 1995 – Embers, for flute and guitar
  • 1997 – Concerto for Cello and Orchestra
  • 2001 – Sonata for Violin and Piano
  • 2002 - "Momentary Lapses", for Ben Verdery (guitar and violin)
  • 2004 - New Set, for guitar and violin
  • 2008 - Symphony No. 5


  • Chute, James. 2001. "Asia, Daniel". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. S. Sadie and J. Tyrrell. London: Macmillan.

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