Dániel Péter Biró

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Dániel Péter Biró (*1969) is associate professor of composition and music theory at the University of Victoria, BC/Canada. He began his studies at the Bartók Conservatory in Hungary, studying composition and musik theory with Miklos Kocsár and Iván Madarász. He studied guitar at the Hochschule der Künste Bern in Switzerland with Stefan Schmidt and at the Hochschule für Musik in Würzburg/Germany with Jürgen Ruck. He studied composition at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Frankfurt am Main/Germany with Hans Zender as well as score reading and chamber music with Bernhard Kontarsky. From 1995 to 1996 he studied with Michael Jarrell at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna/Austria. He completed his PhD in composition at Princeton University, NJ/USA in 2004. His dissertation was a comparative study of early notational practices in examples of Jewish Torah trope, tenth century plainchant from St. Gallen and Hungarian laments. His dissertation advisors were Kofi Agawu, Scott Burnham and Paul Lansky. In Princeton he studied plainchant with Peter Jeffrey and attended lectures on Jewish merkebah mysticism and the Talmud by Peter Schäfer and James Diamond. He researched Hungarian folk music at the Academy of Science in Budapest and Jewish and Islamic chant in Israel and the Netherlands. 

Awarded the Hungarian government’s Kodály Award for Hungarian composers, his compositions have been commissioned by the Frankfurt Radio Symphony, the city of Darmstadt, the Stuttgart opera, Südwestrundfunk, Vancouver New Music, the ISCM, the Imatronic festival and have been performed around the world. In 2003 he was invited to the summer academy of the Akademie Schloss Solitude where he studied with Chaya Czernowin, Steven Kazuo Takasugi. His composition Mishpatim (Laws) was performed by the ensemble Surplus. In 2006 he was a featured composer and lecturer at the Darmstadt International Summer Courses for New Music and in 2008 at the International Messiaen Music Week. In 2010 he was awarded the Giga-Hertz-Produktionspreis for electronic music by the Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie in Karlsruhe/Germany. In the fall of 2011 he was visiting professor at Utrecht University in Utrecht/Netherlands, studying Dutch, Jewish and Islamic chant traditions. From 2010–2013 he has been a faculty member at the matrix-Akademie for Electronic Music of the Experimentalstudio in Freiburg/Germany, at the Tedarim Academy in Israel and the First International Symposium of New Music and Computer Music in Curitiba/Brazil. His composition Kivrot Hata’avah (Graves of Craving) will be representing Canada and Hungary in the World Music Days in Vienna/Austria. 

Dániel Péter Biró is co-editor (with Harald Krebs) of Béla Bartók’s String Quartets; Tradition and Legacy in Analytical Perspective (Oxford University Press) and (with Franklin Cox, Alexander Sigman and Steven Kazuo Takasugi) Search – Journal for New Music and Culture (Online Music Journal). He is co-founder of the ensemble Tsilumos and initiator of the SALT New Music Festival and Symposium in Victoria, BC. He is currently working on a commissioned composition for the Neue Vocalsolisten to be premiered at the 2014 Eclat Festival in Stuttgart, Germany.