daniel lentz composer

resumé - discography - reviews - rare collections and original scores

While a student at Brandeis University Lentz was awarded a composition fellowship to work at Tanglewood in the summer of 1966.
In 1967-68 he was a Fulbright Fellow (in Electronic Music) in Stockholm, Sweden.
In 1968 he accepted a visiting lecturership at the University of California at Santa Barbara.
In 1970 he began devoting his time to composition and performance, founding and directing the California Time Machine, a conceptual music ensemble based in Santa Barbara.
The CTM made tours of the U.S., Canada, and Western Europe.
Lentz also founded and directed the San Andreas Fault,  an ensemble comprised of voices, keyboards and real-time electronics.
The SAF made several tours of the U.S., Great Britain. Scandanavia, and Western Europe. The ensemble also recorded for many European radio companies.

In Los Angeles Lentz founded and directed the Daniel Lentz Group.
The DLG has made many tours of the U.S., Eastern and Western Europe, and Asia.
The ensemble has played a principle role in many commercial CD recordings and several TV features. Its instrumentation has varied over the16 years of its existence, from as few as 4 performers to as many as 18.
The DLG was especially prominent in its revolutionary use of "live multi-track recording" in its performances in the 1980s and early 1990s.

In 1972 Lentz won the First Prize in the International Composers Competition (Stichting Gaudeamus) in Holland, the first American to do so in the then 37-year history of that event.
In1979 Lentz received a D.A.A.D. residency grant to live and work in West Berlin.
He has been the recipient of numerous other awards, grants, and commissions.

Lentz was the first Los Angeles-based composer since Stravinsky to sign with a major record label (Angel-EMI)
His On The Leopard Altar  (Icon Records) was named "most favorite" classical record album in a LA Weekly  poll and received more readers' votes than all others combined. .... LA Style Magazine.
In MOJO Magazine  Paul McCartney called On The Leopard Altar  "a crazy record..... that should have been a hit".

Lentz's music from his years in Los Angeles is generally fast-paced and upbeat -- like L.A. itself (as heard in Talk Radio, Wild Turkeys, the crack in the bell,  et al).  Since moving from Los Angeles to the Sonoran Desert in Arizona Lentz's music has undergone a major metamorphosis.  Recent works,  such as the Temple of Lament, ApologeticaA Tiger In The Garden, and The Insect & The Woman,  reflect these changes. These works evoke the desert and inspire the listener in their sometimes mournful, musical intensity.

Sample List of Recent Works.                                                                 First Performance.

A Tiger In The Garden (1998)                                                                    Platt House
                                                                                                                                       Phoenix, AZ  April, 2000
Huit ou Neuf Pieces Dorees a Point (1998)                                               Downtown Theater, Los Angeles
                                                                                                                                      July, 1999
Apparitions of JB (1997)                                                                            Musical Visual Festival VII
                                                                                                                                      Lanzarote, Canary Islands
                                                                                                                                      October, 1997
Zeitghosts  (1996)                                                                                       Kiva Hall, Phoenix, AZ
                                                                                                                                      February, 1997
Temple of Lament (1996)                                                                           Xebec Hall. Kobe, Japan.
                                                                                                                                       November, 1996
Apologetica (1994-95)                                                                                Kromeriz Cathedral. Kromeriz,
                                                                                                                                       Czech Republic. June, 1996
b.e.comings (1992)                                                                                     Bang On A Can Festival (The
                                                                                                                                       Kitchen). NYC. May, 1993
orgasMass (1991)                                                                                       Casals Hall. Tokyo, Japan.
                                                                                                                                       November, 1991
Talk Radio (1990-91)                                                                                  Chatham College. Pittsburgh, PA
                                                                                                                                       November, 1991
NightBreaker (1990)                                                                                   Contemporary Art Museum
                                                                                                                                       Nagoya, Japan. Nov., 1991
Abalone (1990)                                                                                           Japan America Theater . Los
                                                                                                                                       Angeles, CA. 1992
California Family: A Portrait (1989)                                                           Guggenheim Museum Theater
                                                                                                                                        New York, NY 1990
Apache Wine (1989)                                                                                   Festival In The Sun. Tucson, AZ
                                                                                                                                        April, 1990
Hockney Highways (aka An American in L.A., 1989)                                Dorothy Chandler Pavillon. Los
                                                                                                                                        Angeles, CA. March, 1989
wolfMASS (1987-88)                                                                                 Festival d'Ete.  Rouen, France
                                                                                                                                        September, 1988
the crack in the bell (1986)                                                                          Japan America Theater. Los
                                                                                                                                        Angeles, CA. 1986
Time's Trick (1986)                                                                                    Carnegie Hall. NYC 1986

Bacchus (1986)                                                                                           Koln Concert Hall/WDR Festival.
                                                                                                                                        Cologne, Germany. 1986
La Tache 69 (1986)                                                                                     WNYC Series. Merkin Hall .
                                                                                                                                         New York, NY 1985

Daniel Lentz's music has been recorded on ABC Command Records, Angel-EMI Records, Aoede Records, Cold Blue Records, Fontec Records (Japan), Icon Records, Materiali Sonori Records (Italy), New Albion Records, and Virgin Records (Caroline, All Saints).
He has also recorded with nearly every major European Radio company.
TV features include "Alive From Off Center (PBS, U.S.),  B.B.C. - TV, NOS-TV (Holland), Expo 86 Preview Pavillon in Vancouver, B.C., NHK-TV (Japan), and Czech-TV

Grants & Prizes

6 National Endowment for the Arts grants.
D.A.A.D. residency grant to West Berlin (1979).
Peter Reed Memorial Fund Prize (NYC).
3 Lila Wallace/Readers Digest Fund Commissioning grants (with Meet The Composer).
Samuel Wechsler Music Award (Brandeis University).
Creative Arts Institute Award from U.C. Berkeley.
Howard Foundation Award (Brown University).
California Arts Council Composer grant.
2  Arizona Commission on the Arts Composer grants.
2 grants from the Institute for Studies in the Arts (Tempe, AZ).
3 Seed Fund grants (NYC).
3 Sunflower Foundation grants (NYC).
6 grants from the Laucks Foundation (The Cooperators)


Los Angeles Philharmonic,  St Paul Chamber Orchestra,  Interlink Festival (Japan),  Xebec Coprporation (Japan), Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group,  Meet-The-Composer/Readers Digest/Lila Wallace Fund,  Zeitgeist Ensemble, Present Music Ensemble, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, West German Radio (WDR), San Francisco Conservatory New Music Ensemble,  Abel-Steinberg-Winant Trio, Martha's Vineyard Chamber Music Society, Mobius (Boston), Montagnana Trio, Institute for Studies in the Ars (Tempe, AZ), and many individuals and individual performers.


SPELL                                                                                                                 ABC Command Records
Childs, Lentz (Song(s) of the Sirens), & Norgaard
Montagnana Trio

"To compare it (Songs of the Sirens) with Debussy's Sirens is to illuminate in a flash the change in sensibility that has occurred over the last seventy-five years.  Debussy's sirens are a male fantasy -- delicious but, in the last analysis, as childish as Renoir's pictures. Lentz's sirens are a mature threat."    Joseph Kerman,  LISTEN (3rd edition)

"His work often examines the elusiveness of language and form.  Like his haunting SONGS OF THE SIRENS,  where he spent seven enchanting minutes building a brief vocal refrain of fragments, delays, and reverse echoes... Eerie textures, resonating Tibetan bells, and earth-moving shudders resonate through this ethereal, time-stopping atmosphere... invokes a galactic mass of stars...."  Downbeat Magazine.  June, 1985

*Song(s) of the Sirens  is also available on CD as part of the b.e.comings recording on Fontec Records and Butterfly Blood  on Aoede Records (see below).

AFTER IMAGES                                                                                                        Cold Blue Records
Includes Dancing On The Sun  (Arlene Dunlap, solo piano and voice)

"The world it created had a dreamy, affectionate aura -- warm, sweet, intoxicating with its consonances and open fifths.  The amplified piano's rich colors seemed heated to a shimmering haze, creating an almost cinematic sensation."   New York Times.  Nov. 2, 1981

POINT CONCEPTION                                                                                               Cold Blue Records

"In simpler terms, Lentz's work 'chortles' in ways both sensual and intellectual.  One of our most significant composers,  Lentz is suddenly in the forefront of musical locution.... Lentz has devised a unique bit of piano literature.  It simultaneously glorifies the acoustical grandeur of the grand piano and regales its legacy with technology and sly insouciance.  POINT CONCEPTION is Lentz's backhanded answer to the cool purr of ambient piano music.  Such is the typical Lentz reply; tossing knuckleballs into extant musical traditions, but doing so with disarming grace."  Los Angeles Reader.  Jan. 18, 1985

You Can't See The Forest...Music   by Lentz;
                    works by Bowen, Budd, Marshall, Tenney & others)                               Cold Blue Records

"And which composer best represents Los Angeles?  Could it be, oh, I don't know.... Daniel Lentz?   Los Angeles Reader.  August 28, 1987

"Heir to the legacy of the likes of Ives and Cage... is composer Daniel Lentz... Don't expect anything ordinary from this man -- he's forging his own erratic and highly original path through the minefield of contemporary music, pioneering ideas that are certainly unusual, mostly beautiful and unfailingly controversial."  Upbeat Magazine.  March, 1989

MISSA UMBRARUM                                                                                              New Albion Records
"Lentz draws from his exotic force an overall sound at once contemporary and evocative of ancient voices under some imagined Gothic roof."  Newsweek.  March 18, 1985

"But Lentz's 'Mass of Shadows" has never gotten enough credit as a 70's classic (1973), and as the most beautiful and truly original mass of the late 20th century."  Village Voice. Jan., 1992

PORTRAITS                                                                                                               New Albion Records
(An Anthology.  O-Ke-Wa  by Lentz; other works by Adams, Dresher, Marshall, Satoh, and Scott)

"Lentz realizes the promise of new music in a particularly radical way;  the very succession of sounds suggests a society more friendly and constructive than the mad machine in which we presently live."   Village Voice.  July 30, 1985

ON THE LEOPARD ALTAR                                                                                      Icon Records

"Should've been a hit... a strange record."  Paul McCartney, in MOJO Magazine. August, 1998

"Simply one of the most beautiful records I've heard."  Artitude.  August. 1985

"On The Leopard Altar  is a stunning record of clarified timbres and interlocking rhythms.  Even more enlightening is the incredible sense of emotion that pervades the music...."
                                      Recordings of Experimental Music. Winter, 1985

"One way to gauge the effect of On The Leopard Altar  is to literally road test it.  Take it out onto the fast lane of the nearest Interstate at a palpable volume and see if the overlapping synthesizer lines and crisp vocal syllables of "Is It Love" don't put you right there in the essence of traffic -- separate, driving energies darting and thrusting toward unseen destinations.  This record is a study of sonic polish and forward motion."  MIX: The Recording Industry Magazine.  August, 1984

the crack in the bell                                                                                                      Angel-EMI Records

"Of Daniel Lentz, in particular, I sing, and of his new record on Angel, whose energy quotient could light a continent."  California Magazine.  1986

"Lentz has outdone his compatriots, and may be too much of a good thing."  Boston Phoenix.  November 13, 1987

'The easiest access to what might be called the 'vintage Lentz style' is through the Angel-EMI disc of two years ago, named for its major work, the crack in the bell.  The music clangs and chortles;  if you could hear the light of skyrockets, it would sound like this...."  Los Angeles Examiner.  March 31, 1989

wolfMASS                                                                                                                  Rhizome Sketch/Fontec Records

"...a truly astounding work.... It lasts an hour and is exhilarating all the way."  Los Angeles Examiner.  March 24, 1988

"...a wonderful mixture of technology and wild nature.....this music, although generally experimental, sounds gorgeous."    Japan Times.  November 17, 1991

b.e.comings                                                                                                                  Fontec Records (Japan)

"This album, available through Tower Records' Import Division, may be hard to find at your local records store but it is definitely worth the effort.  It's the best Daniel Lentz disc yet, and is accessible to all listeners, much in the manner of the crack in the bell  or Missa Umbrarum before it.,,,, But his music resembles nothing else.  Instead of glittering, percussive ostinati, we hear a constant shimmer propelled by subtle splashes of color....   The only drawback here is the yen-to-dollar conversion factor.  You'll groan when you find out what this CD costs, but if you buy it you can be certain that you've acquired some of the best, most subtle and original classical cross-over music being composed today."  Flakk Magazine. Warmer, 1995

3 PIANOS (with Harold Budd & Ruben Garcia)                                                      All Saints Records/Virgin Records

WALK INTO MY VOICE (with H. Budd & Jessica Karraker)                                Materiali Sonori Records (Italy)

APOLOGETICA                                                                                                        New Albion Records

"So I am unapologetic about giving "Pick Hit" to the prettiest major work in many years, Lentz's APOLOGETICA.... For passion and invention both, Lentz towers above the better known Part.... you've got a sumptuous but utterly original work, far stranger than it sounds. A PLUS"
Village Voice. August 26, 1998

"Now he's come out with a 50-minute choral magnum opus, Apologetica (5 stars).
Brief, well-chosen texts by himself and others commemorate the tragic slaughter of indigenous American peoples by the Spanish, and the unusual orchestration of strings and MIDI keyboards seem to always surround the singers of I Cantori with a halo."  Pulse Magazine.  December, 1998

"The latest addition to the Lentz discography is the beautiful and ethereal Apologetica....
this music has a deceptive clarity and lightness... structures become elastic and chords and lines overlap,, creating open-sounding, mesmerizing webs rather than fixed nusical constructs."  The Independent.  Santa Barbara, California

Recorded Works Soon To Be Released

HOCKNEY HIGHWAYS                                                         Los Angeles Philharmonic
APACHE WINE                                                                        St. Paul Chamber Orchestra
CALIFORNIA FAMILY                                                           Abel-Steinberg-Winant Trio
NIGHTBREAKER                                                                    Brad Ellis, Pianos

"Daniel Lentz's HOCKNEY HIGHWAYS,  which the Philharmonic premiered Thursday night... soared like a patchwork flying machine.... The audience, like passengers, looked down as though through a kaleidoscope turned by the composer's imagination and the orchestra's virtuosity.  This unexpected perspective on local experience was so exhilarating that the audience rustled in their seats, reading the program notes to find out what this wonderful music was.... For all its brilliant imagery and energy,  American is also a subtle piece which must be heard again."  L.A. Reader.  March, 1989

"The strength in Lentz's exceptionally attractive piece is its power to evoke images.... I like the work, most of all its success in being extremely congenial yet thoroughly original.  I don't know of anything the Philharmonic has introduced that, merely as sound, worked so well on first hearing... the broad panorama of Lentz's marvelous invention seemed clear and logical."
Los Angeles Herald Examiner.  April 1, 1989

"The piece made one feel like a grateful hitchhiker, brought to a part of town where the laws are broken for good reason, and where one cannot go home the same way one came."
Village View, Los Angeles. April 7-13, 1989

"Apache Wine  was like an overactive child pushing car radio buttons on a neon freeway in heaven.... the piece was dazzling.  My sole complaint is that it would have been great to have repeated the work and let that soundscape pour over the ears again."  Tucson Citizen.         Feb. 17, 1990

"The most distinctive of the scores was the first, Daniel Lentz's California Family: A Group Portrait.  It epitomized another California concern, the creative engagement with technology.  The music jumped about abruptly but coherently, forming what Mr. Lentz thinks of as a 'Cubist psychological portrait.'  On the basis of that portrait, the Attiyeh family who commissioned it, is one happy if highly energetic group."   New York Times.  November 19, 1989

TEMPLE OF LAMENT  (recorded in performance in Kobe, Japan)
EL TIGRE (aka A Tiger In The Garden)

"Lentz, once a textbook postminimalist, broke from the pack this year with a complex, amazing, and ultimately sleazy work called Talk Radio... the moods flowed like a steady run of inspirations and sobering thoughts.  It was the most gratifying musical stream of consciousness since Berio's Sinfonia.  Talk Radio was the (Bang On A Can) fest's most exciting piece."  Village Voice.  June 3-9, 1992

"This piece, like freeway life, is amazing, impossible, exhilarating, and a headlong rush of physical momentum."  The Journal (Milwaukee).  May 30, 1992

"I have heard the music for the new millenium, and it's Daniel Lentz's EL TIGRE."  Harold Budd.
                                                                                                                                   Budd Journal. July 22, 1999

"Lentz's works, in their spirited interaction between human performers and products of technology, reaffirm that today, as always in the past, man and machine can make vital music together."  H. Wiley Hitchcock.  Music In the United States.  3rd edition


A 1966 "electric string quartet,"  quite possibly the first.  This is a live-performance recording (with all electronic modulations/alterations and designs of same in this performance by Don Buchla).  The handmade full color score is with acid free India inks on a dozen clear acetate sheets.... only one score exists.  The CD also exists only singly.  A one-of-a-kind work.

                                                                 **CD and Score:  $10,000.00
                                                                 **Includes a Certificate of Ownership

Huit ou Neuf Pieces Dorees a Point  (Aoede Records -- www.aoederecords.com))

A Set of 8-9 pieces, each based on a memorable dish at a particular Parisian restaurant... can be purchased singly or as a complete set.  Only 1 copy of each CD and each score (acid free ink on acid free archival-quality papers in a freehand script)  exists.  The purchaser will own all rights to the work(s).  This is the first time that music is sold in the same manner as paintings are sold.

These 8-9 works are scored for table items (voices, glasses, bottles, dishes, flatware) and piano and strings.

CD, Score & Certificate of Ownership:

Sorbet de vin rouge a la canelle                                                                                                          $7500.00
Boudin de Homard a la Nage                                                                                                             $10,000.00
Creme de Potiron aux Petits Lardons et Girolles                                                                                $15,000.00
Feuillete au Roquefort                                                                                                                         $17,500.00
Canard Apicius "Andre Parce"  roti au miel et aux epices  ("Plat de l'epoque romaine"2000 ans.)      $10,000.00
Salade Maraichere aux Truffes Fraiches                                                                                              $12,000.00
Turbot cuit a l'arete, soubise de chou-fleur, creme de celeri branche                                                     $15,000.00
Raviole aux morilles & fondue de poireaux, jus emulsionne                                                                $20,000.00
Mille-feuilles vanille et coulis de fruits rouges                                                                                      $10,000.00

(The entire set of  CDs and Scores of Huit ou Neuf.... can be purchased for   $110,000.00)

"No other 'postminimalist' seems so forthright and unselfconscious."  Kyle Gann.  AMERICAN MUSIC in the 20th CENTURY.

See www.aoederecords.com or lentz-music.com/daniellentz.com

FEMALE NUDE #1 (Available in December, 2000)

Approximately 1000 digital photographs with corresponding 1000 musical passages unfolding over time to result in a full body portrait of the model.  The "score" exists in two manifestations: an 9 ft. by 6 ft. "canvas"  handmade score (1000 photos overlaid with 1000 scored sounds)  and a single Digital Video Disc.  ca. 35 minutes.  No copies.

                                                                Score, CD, DVD, & Certificate of Ownership               $250,000.00


CDs to be released in 2000-2001 on Aoede Records:

*Wild Turkeys  (includes: Is It Love, crack in the bell, Wild Turkeys,  &  wolf is dead...)

*Voices  (includes:  A Tiger In The Garden, Talk Radio, Abalone, & Temple of Lament)

An American in L.A. (includes: Hockney Highways, Apache Wine, NightBreaker, A California Family)

Bacchus (includes: Bacchus, La Tache 69,  Kissing Song, &  You Can't See The Forest...Music)

Self Portrait  (includes solo piano improvizations,  Jack's, and Erased Budd --- "Erasing:"  Nove Alberi with the Ghosts of Lascaux,  Arcadia at Jack's Place,  Niki D in a Field of Lullabies,  The Photo of Santiago McKinn in a Garden of Tigers,  Boy about 10 with Apologies,  &  She Dances by the Light of the Silvery Moon under an Enchantment of Wild Birds)

*Butterfly Blood  (includes remasterings of:  Song(s) of the Sirens, MidNight White,  Slow Motion Mirror,  Butterfly Blood,  &  b.e.comings)

*wolfMASS  (remastered; includes:  Preludium, wolf-KYRIE,  bear-GLORIA,  eagle-CREDO,  cougar-SANCTUS,  &  man-AGNUS DEI)

Cafe Desire  (a concert-length work for voices and crystal)

* Point Conception  (Remastered; for 9 pianos)

* huit ou neuf pieces dorees a point  (see above; also available in regular limited edition)

A Lentz Sampler  (Selections from the above recordings plus a few surprises)

Ellis Hall Sings Lentz  (The great soulsinger in new performances of El Tigre,  Abalone,  and  The Insect )

*  Available in June, 2000.

Out of print LPs, CDs, and cassettes of many of the above-mentioned recordings are available at reasonable rates.

Email:  lentzmuse@aol.com

Top of Page


Daniel Lentz Biography

Daniel Lentz - Composer - resumé and review

Daniel Lentz - Article from the Village Voice April 2001

Aoede Records CD's For Sale

Daniel Lentz Special Offer - Master CD's