Dan Caputo (b. 1991) is a composer of instrumental and electronic works that explore themes of human experience, behavior, cognition, and psychology. His music is further inspired by physical location, with numerous works intended to evoke or be performed in environments outside of the concert hall.
Raised in the Pacific Northwest, Caputo is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts at the USC Thornton School of Music and holds a B.M. from USC Thornton and an M.Mus. from the Butler School of Music at UT Austin. He has studied under composers Ted Hearne, Sean Friar, Donald Crockett, Dan Welcher, Stephen Hartke, Frank Ticheli, Donald Grantham, and Samuel Adler.
A composition fellow at the inaugural Blackbird Creative Lab in 2017, Caputo worked closely with members of renowned ensemble Eighth Blackbird and composition faculty Jennifer Higdon and Ted Hearne over the course of two weeks to bring his work Dream Mechanics to life, a piece commissioned by Elizabeth and Justus Schlichting for performance at the Lab. Caputo’s Southwest Landscapes was performed at the 2015 “Oh. My. Ears.” new-music marathon in Phoenix, AZ, and Caputo had an electronic work featured at the 2014 Electric LaTex Festival in Denton, TX. His works have been additionally performed and recorded by the University of Texas New Music Ensemble, the UT Percussion Ensemble, the USC Thornton Symphony, and the USC Thornton Wind Ensemble, with world premieres occurring across five states and in Berlin, Germany.
Dan’s research interests focus on the analysis of post-tonal music, in particular through associative theory, post-tonal prolongation, and spectromorphological analysis. In 2012, Dan studied composition privately under Samuel Adler at the Feie Universität Berlin; Dan further attended the 2014 Oregon Bach Festival Composers Symposium, directed by Robert Kyr with composer-in-residence Chen Yi. Composition awards include winning the Hans J. Salter Endowed Music Award (Rictus for mixed ensemble), Peter David Faith Memorial Award in Composition (out of nothing for piano trio), two Semi-Finalist placements for the American Prize in Composition (2014 and 2016 Chamber Music – Student Division), and a Honorable Mention in the 2010 NY Art Ensemble Young Composer Competition.