Dan Albertson


Dan Albertson, born in Michigan (USA) in 1984, has never known how to describe himself, since his work encompasses several fields.

He was not trained as a musician, though he loved both literature and music from an early age. He soon grew to appreciate languages, too. As a result, he has been active in a variety of endeavours related to language, lexicography, music, musicology, poetry, and translation.

Since he was in high school, in 2000, he has worked on The Living Composers Project, an ever-growing catalogue of information on the lives and works of more than 4500 contemporary composers from 99 countries.

He has edited multiple volumes of the British journal Contemporary Music Review dedicated to the composers Helmut Lachenmann (2004–05), Earle Brown (2007) and Aldo Clementi (2009, 2011), as well as a survey of modernism and the string quartet (2013–14). He has served on the editorial board of this same publication since 2014.

In addition to Contemporary Music Review, he has contributed to publications in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Russia, including MusikTexte. His programme notes have accompanied recordings on the labels BMOP/sound (USA), Bridge Records (USA), Deutscher Musikrat/WERGO (Germany), Metier Records (UK), Numérica (Portugal), Odradek Records (UK), and Stradivarius (Italy).

He served as the Festival Program Book Editor for the Ear Taxi Festival in Chicago in 2016.

For more than a decade, he has collaborated with Cybele Records in Düsseldorf, translating booklet texts for most of its SACD recordings. He has also translated such notes for the label Alga Marghen (Italy). He has contributed programme notes and translations on rare occasions in the USA. In addition, he was a panelist at a symposium on the Western perception of Asian music during the Asian Music Festival 2010 in Tōkyō.

Wont to be critical of what he hears and sees in the world of music, he has written on musics ancient and modern for the review La Folia (USA) on a regular basis since 2004. His writings often centre around arcane and lesser-trodden paths of the répertoire.

He views poetry as an essentially esoteric, private form of expression and therefore refuses to consider his work for publication. His words have nonetheless been set by composers from Brazil, Colombia, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. His style has shifted from abstraction and length toward brevity and toward concrete reinterpretations of traditional forms including haiku, rondeaux, sonnets, and villanelles, while maintaining a passion for vers libre.

He established Compass of Infinity, a nascent collection of interrelated websites incorporating some of his varied passions, in 2014.

Beyond the arts, he has an inordinate love of train travel.

He has lived in Chicago since 2010, his home for the foreseeable future. He is relieved to lead a life outside the confines of academia and the sordid politics of the music business.

Current as of 28 January 2017.