Through the generosity of Hilde Howden and the Bruce E. Howden American Composers Project, Music from Angel Fire has created an enviable commissioning history that rivals most major international festivals. Each year, MFAF invites an internationally renowned composer and a Young Artist Composer to each write a work to be premiered at the festival. The Composer-in-Residence Program began in 1986 and the Young Artist Composer-in-Residence Program was initiated in 2005. As a result, MFAF has commissioned and presented 45 world premieres in its 36-year history.

MFAF has received National acclaim for its commissioning history from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. In February of 2016, OPUS ONE presented a special concert at Lincoln Center, performing four major works commissioned by Music from Angel Fire.

MFAF | Richard DanielpourString Quintet for two Violins, Viola and two Cellos

Richard Danielpour

Commissioned by Music from Angel Fire for its
August 15-September 2019 Festival

Co-commissioners: The Curtis Institute of Music,
The Kennedy Center, Linton Music-Cincinnati,
Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival (8/23/19),
Chamber Music Monterey Bay


August 16 | Angel Fire
August 17 | Taos


Music from Angel Fire celebrates its 36th Season August 16 to September 1, 2019 under the direction of Ida Kavafian who will celebrate her 35th Season as Artistic Director. A champion of contemporary American music, Kavafian has commissioned many of America’s finest composers to write works for the Festival including Joan Tower, Jennifer Higdon, Bruce Adolphe, and many others.

Award winning composer Richard Danielpour has established himself as one of the most gifted and sought-after composers of his generation. His music has attracted an international and illustrious array of champions, and, as a devoted mentor and educator, he has also had a significant impact on the younger generation of composers.

His list of commissions include some of the most celebrated artists of our day including Yo-Yo Ma, Jessye Norman, Dawn Upshaw, Emanuel Ax, Gil Shaham, Frederica von Stade, Thomas Hampson, Gary Graffman, Anthony McGill, the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, the Guarneri and Emerson String Quartets, the New York City and Pacific Northwest Ballets. He has also been commissioned by institutions such as the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Maryinsky, and Vienna Chamber Orchestras, Orchestre National de France, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and many more.

MFAF | Richard Danielpour

Richard Danielpour; photo by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

With Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison, Danielpour created Margaret Garner, his first opera, which premiered in 2005 and had a second production with New York City Opera. He has received the American Academy of Arts & Letters Charles Ives Fellowship, a Guggenheim Award, Bearns Prize from Columbia University, and fellowships and residencies from the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Copland House, and the American Academies in Berlin and Rome. He served on the composition faculty of Manhattan School of Music from 1993 to 2017.

Danielpour recently relocated to Los Angeles where he has accepted the position of Professor of Music at the Herb Alpert School of Music at UCLA. He is also a member of the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music where he has taught since 1997. Danielpour is one of the most frequently recorded composers of his generation. Many of his recordings can be found on the Naxos and Sony Classical labels. Danielpour’s music is published by Lean Kat Music and Associated Music Publishers.

Danielpour describes the Quintet:

“’A Shattered Vessel’ reflects my intention to compose a string quintet (with two cellos), for Music from Angel Fire. It was born out of the desire to compose a work that is a 21st-century companion to the great Schubert Quintet in C, which was one of the last works completed by the great master. While I hope to compose a great many works following this one, I wanted to write a piece that reflected many of the same issues that are in the Schubert Quintet—vulnerability, loss, and an immense appreciation for life itself in the face of our own mortality. The four-movement work is around 24 to 26 minutes, depending on tempos that are taken etc. I’m particularly pleased with the two lyrical movements, they are the second and the fourth (last) movements respectively. I feel that pairing this with the Schubert Quintet, while a little bit intimidating is probably the absolute right thing to do, as there are echoes of Schubert quite subtly placed but not always intentionally, throughout the piece.

I express my thanks to Music from Angel Fire as the lead commissioner of this project along with co-commissioners, The Curtis Institute of Music, The Kennedy Center, Lake Champlain Chamber Music Festival, Linton Chamber Music and Chamber Music Monterey Bay. A special thanks goes to Hilde Howden and the Bruce E. Howden American Composers Project.”

Kenji Toby

Nationally renowned composers:

Bruce Adolphe
Andrea Clearfield
Donald Crockett
Dan Coleman
Chick Corea
Michael Daugherty
Jon Deak
Vivian Fine
Gabriella Lena Frank
Timothy Greatbatch
Stephen Hartke
Jennifer Higdon

Aaron Jay Kernis
Libby Larson
Lowell Liebermann
Douglas Lowry
David Ludwig
Marc Neikrug
Kevin Puts
Bright Sheng
Roberto Sierra
Alvin Singleton
Steven Stucky
Augusta Read Thomas
Joan Tower
George Tsontakis

Young Artist composers:

Ke-Chia Chen
Nick DiBerardino
Michael Djupstrom
Andrew Hsu
Thomas Oltarzewski
James Ra
Chris Rogerson
Daniel Temkin
Sheridan Seyfried
Daniel Shapiro
Gabriella Smith
Daniel Temkin
Alyssa Weinberg
Christopher Weiss