Daniel Bernard Roumain
Resident Artistic Catalyst
The New Jersey Symphony announced in January 2023 that Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR)—the composer, performer, educator and activist—will extend his role in the Symphony’s artistic leadership team as Resident Artistic Catalyst. This role has been at the forefront of the Symphony’s efforts to transform all aspects of the organization by meaningfully increasing diversity, equity and inclusion.
Roumain will compose a new work commissioned by the New Jersey Symphony that will be performed on the last concert series of the 2023–24 season. Additionally, Roumain will also perform with New Jersey Symphony musicians, advise on mainstage and chamber concert programming, engage with the Symphony’s education and community programs and participate in in-person and digital institutional activities throughout his tenure, which now extends through August 2024.
Daniel Bernard Roumain’s acclaimed work as a composer, performer, educator and activist spans more than two decades, and he has been commissioned by venerable artists and institutions worldwide. “About as omnivorous as a contemporary artist gets” (New York Times), DBR is perhaps the only composer whose collaborations span Philip Glass, Bill T. Jones, Savion Glover and Lady Gaga.
Known for his signature violin sounds infused with myriad electronic, urban and African American music influences, DBR takes his genre-bending music beyond the proscenium. He is a composer of chamber, orchestral and operatic works; has won an Emmy for Outstanding Musical Composition for his collaborations with ESPN; has been featured as keynote performer at technology conferences; and created large-scale, site-specific musical events for public spaces. DBR earned his doctorate in Music Composition from the University of Michigan and is currently Institute Professor and Professor of Practice at Arizona State University.
An avid arts industry leader, DBR serves on the board of directors of the League of American Orchestras, Association of Performing Arts Presenters and Creative Capital and the advisory committee of the Sphinx Organization, and he was co-chair of 2015 and 2016 APAP Conferences.
DBR most recently scored the film Ailey (d. Jamila Wignot), which premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2021. He also created the musical score for The Just and The Blind, a collaboration with spoken word artist and writer Marc Bamuthi Joseph, commissioned by Carnegie Hall; and a new work for Washington State University’s Symphonic Band, Falling Black Into The Sky, based on the work of the artist James Turrell and his “light work” at Roden Crater.