Dan VanHassel

Assistant Professor of Composition
Affiliated Departments

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Dan VanHassel joined the Conservatory 2021 and is an assistant professor of composition specializing in electronic music.

VanHassel’s compositions have been featured at top national and international contemporary music festivals, including the MATA Festival, Gaudeamus Music Week, International Computer Music Conference, Bowling Green New Music Festival, UnCaged Toy Piano Festival, Shanghai Conservatory Electronic Music Week, and the Bang on a Can Summer Festival. His music is played regularly all over the world by ensembles and performers such as the Talea Ensemble, Dinosaur Annex, pianist Jihye Chang, Verdant Vibes, Keuris Saxophone Quartet, Transient Canvas, pianist Gloria Cheng, Symphony Number One, Red Fish Blue Fish, Empyrean Ensemble, Hotel Elefant, the Boston Percussion Group, Ensemble Pamplemousse, and the UC Santa Cruz Wind Ensemble. Recordings of his works are featured on albums by the Now Hear Ensemble and Ignition Duo, as well as releases on the New Focus, Soundset, and Thinking OutLoud labels.

VanHassel was awarded a 2018 Live Arts Boston grant from the Boston Foundation, as well as commissions from Chamber Music America, the Barlow Endowment, and the Johnstone Fund for New Music. As an electric guitarist, VanHassel has performed with leading contemporary ensembles including the Callithumpian Consort, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Eco Ensemble, and Kadence Arts. He was a founding member and artistic director of the contemporary chamber ensemble Wild Rumpus in San Francisco until 2016, and is the founder and executive director of the Boston quartet Hinge.

VanHassel received a Ph.D. in composition from the University of California, Berkeley, an M.M. from New England Conservatory, and a B.F.A. from Carnegie Mellon University. He has previously taught composition and electronic music at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Brandeis University, Clark University, and Connecticut College.

Recent Notable Work

  • “A Bit of Noise in the System” (2021) for solo piano—Commissioned by Jihye Chang
  • “Aftershock” (2019) for piano and electronics—Commissioned by Angela Kim
  • “Fracture” (2018) for vibraphone and electronics—Commissioned by Joseph Van Hassel
  • “Schizoid Devices” (2018) for saxophone quartet—Commissioned by the Keuris Quartet and Gaudeamus Music Week
  • “Epidermis” (2017) for bass clarinet, marimba, and electronics—Commissioned by Transient Canvas
  • The Boston Foundation, Live Arts Boston Grant (2018)
  • Barlow Endowment Commission (2015)
  • Chamber Music America Classical Commissioning Program (2015)
  • New Music USA Project Grant (2015)
  • UC Berkeley Eisner Prize for Music (2014)