Dan Caputo (b. 1991) is a Los Angeles-based composer of instrumental and electronic music. His recent works use expansive soundscapes, repetition, and musical reference to explore the roles of memory and intertextuality in the aural experience. Caputo’s music is further interested in perceptual extremes, microvariation, and curious musical behaviors.
Caputo’s Memoryscapes for sinfonietta and electronics is a 25-minute work that constructs immersive sonic landscapes built on moments and concepts taken from four specific works from the past 500 years of Western art music. Written for the USC Thornton Edge ensemble under the direction of Donald Crockett, Memoryscapes was recorded and premiered in early 2020.
Invited as composer-in-residence for the 2020 Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, Caputo’s Liminal for orchestra will be programmed at a point during the 2021-2022 seasons. The recipient of an honorable mention in the 2019 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, Liminal was additionally performed by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra as part of the 2019 NJSO Edward T. Cone Composition Institute with conductor Cristian Macelaru and Institute Director Steven Mackey.
A composition fellow at the inaugural Blackbird Creative Lab in 2017, Caputo worked closely with members of Eighth Blackbird and composition faculty Jennifer Higdon and Ted Hearne over the course of two weeks to premiere Dream Mechanics, a work commissioned for the Lab.
Dan’s compositions have been presented by institutions including the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, the Hear Now Music Festival, the Blackbird Creative Lab, the USC Thornton Symphony, the USC Thornton Edge, and the Oh My Ears New Music Festival. His composition awards include an honorable mention in the 2019 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards (Liminal for orchestra), the Hans J. Salter Endowed Music Award (Rictus for mixed ensemble), Peter David Faith Memorial Award in Composition (out of nothing for piano trio), a finalist placement in the 2017 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards (out of nothing), and two semi-finalist placements for the American Prize in Composition (2014 and 2016 Chamber Music – Student Division).
Raised in the Pacific Northwest, Caputo holds a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Southern California and has additionally earned a B.M. from USC and an M.Mus. from the University of Texas at Austin. Dan is currently on faculty at the USC Thornton School of Music as a Lecturer in the department of Composition / Theory and Analysis. His mentors include composers Ted Hearne, Sean Friar, and Donald Crockett.