Dan Caputo (b. 1991) is a Los Angeles-based composer of instrumental and electronic music whose work explores expansive soundscapes, microvariation, layered musical references, and the role of memory in aesthetic experiences.
Invited as composer-in-residence for the cancelled 2020 Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, Caputo’s Liminal for orchestra will be programmed in a future season. The recipient of an honorable mention in the 2019 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, Liminal was 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.
Caputo’s Memoryscapes for sinfonietta and electronics is a 25-minute work that constructs immersive sonic landscapes built on moments and concepts 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.
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 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, USC Thornton Edge, the Oh My Ears New Music Festival, and ClarinetFest. 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), and a finalist placement in the 2017 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards (out of nothing).
Raised in the Pacific Northwest, Caputo holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in composition 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. His mentors include composers Ted Hearne, Sean Friar, and Donald Crockett.
Dan is currently on faculty at the USC Thornton School of Music as a Lecturer in the department of Composition / Theory and Analysis.