Astral appoints Dan Visconti as Artistic Advisor


PHILADELPHIA, PA, August 31—Astral announces the appointment of award-winning composer Dan Visconti as its Artistic Advisor. Based in Chicago, Visconti is one of the leading composers of his generation, and is also the Director of Artistic Programming at Chicago’s Fifth House Ensemble. Under the auspices of the ensemble, Visconti works with young musicians at the annual fresh inc festival in Wisconsin, to cultivate musical careers in line with the participants’ unique vision and values.

“In partnering with Astral I aim to mentor and empower a new generation of world-class musicians in developing the many professional and entrepreneurial skills required in today’s world” says Visconti. “Through consulting sessions and workshops I’ll be working with members of Astral’s roster in planning the big moments of their careers.”

Active as a composer, concert curator, and writer on music, Visconti is updating the role of the classical musician for the 21st century, as he creates new projects in collaboration with the community.

Visconti was awarded a 2014 TED Fellowship, and delivered a TED Talk at the conference’s 30th anniversary about addressing social issues by reimagining music as a form of cultural and civic service. About his new role, Visconti says, “I’m thrilled to join an organization so committed to exploring new ways of sharing music that reflect each artist’s own unique vision and values.”

“Dan is an esteemed composer and thought-leader, and we are honored to have him join our team and contribute to our musicians’ artistic growth,” says Executive Director Julia Rubio. “His multi-faceted and inquisitive approach to musical life makes him an ideal fit for us. As an artist, activist, and thinker, Dan embodies so much of what we stand for in our mission to develop classical music’s next generation of change-makers and artistic influencers.”

Visconti’s compositions have been described by the Cleveland Plain Dealer as “both mature and youthful, bristling with exhilarating musical ideas and a powerfully crafted lyricism.” Commission credits include works written for the Kronos Quartet, eighth blackbird, Opera Philadelphia, Beth Morrison Projects, the JACK Quartet, Alarm Will Sound, Da Capo Chamber Players, Scharoun Ensemble of the Berlin Philharmonic, Silk Road Project percussionist Shane Shanahan, guitarist Jason Vieaux, soprano Lucy Shelton, and many others. His music has been performed at venues including Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Los Angeles’s Disney Hall, London’s Barbican Theatre, and Sydney Opera House. He has also held composer residencies with the California Symphony, Arkansas Symphony, and Metropolitan Opera.

Visconti’s music has been recognized with the Rome Prize, Berlin Prize, and awards from the Koussevitzky Foundation at the Library of Congress, Fromm Foundation, Naumburg Foundation, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He is a contributing writer for The Huffington Post and has had recent speaking engagements at the Clinton School for Public Service, the National Archive, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


Based in Philadelphia, Astral is a national organization that has specialized in developing the early careers of extraordinary classical musicians for 25 years. Each year, Astral hosts its competitive National Auditions to select new roster artists from the strings, piano, small chamber ensemble, woodwind, and vocal disciplines. Astral concentrates its resources on a small number of rising-star soloists and chamber ensembles with the potential to be change-makers and influencers in classical music. Astral provides artists with industry-leading resources, networking, and entrepreneurial tools. Notable Astral Laureates include Grammy Award-winning guitarist Jason Vieaux, soprano Angela Meade, bass-baritone Eric Owens, pianist Simone Dinnerstein, and the Chiara and Jasper string quartets.


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