Discipline: Music Composition

Daniel Brewbaker

Discipline: Music Composition
Region: New York, NY
MacDowell Fellowships: 1976, 1985
Daniel M. Brewbaker (1951-2017) was an American composer and educator. He completed undergraduate study at the Univ. of Illinois. He then earned master's and doctorate degrees from the Juilliard School of Music. Early in his career as a composer, he served as an educator on the faculties of the Juilliard School and several colleges. His first composition, Psalm 39, premiered in 1970 at the University of Illinois, beginning a body of work that grew to nearly 60 works, establishing him among contemporary American composers. His music reflected his deeply spiritual and somewhat mystical nature, communicated to the listener with powerful effect. At a time when many composers have striven for novelty, he wrote music that was unashamedly direct and movingly melodic, echoing his Midwestern roots among European influence. In 1995, his concerto for cello entitled La Serenissima premiered at the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and later recorded by Carter Brey, principal cellist of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1999, the final movement of the concerto was performed by cellist YoYo Ma at a gala concert by the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, a special hometown recognition. In 1999, Daniel received the distinction of being the first American composer invited to compose a work for the legendary Kirov Orchestra and Chorus in St. Petersburg, Russia. Brewbaker's premiere of The Poet was led by the distinguished conductor Valery Gergiev. In 2004, Daniel received a commission to write a violin concerto for Russian violinist Vadim Repin. The 2005 premiere by Repin and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. prompted a critic to praise Brewbaker's "flair for writing unabashedly beautiful themes." He received the Nadia Boulanger Award at the Ecole des Artes Americaines in Fontainebleau, first prize in the Lilli Boulanger International Music Competition in Paris, and an Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Daniel was especially proud of his election in 2006 into the Fox Valley Arts Hall of Fame. He composed for the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra, the DuPage Chorale, and the Glen Ellyn Children's Chorus. In 2003, he composed Psalm 51 for the 100th anniversary of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Elgin, where his family had been lifelong members. In 2016, Daniel was inducted into the Elgin High School Alumni Hall of Fame.



Daniel Brewbaker worked in the Chapman studio.

Chapman Studio was funded by Mrs. Alice Woodrough Chapman in memory of her husband, composer George Alexander Chapman. Symmetrically massed, the building is stuccoed on the exterior with a natural, unpainted cement. Its unusual half-timbered ornament consists of slender, knotty spruce poles painted a dark green color. A central, peak-roofed entrance porch appears on the north side…

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