About Dan Forrest

Biography

Dan Forrest (b. 1978) has been described as having “an undoubted gift for writing beautiful music….that is truly magical” (NY Concert Review), with works hailed as “magnificent, very cleverly constructed sound sculpture” (Classical Voice), and  “superb writing…full of spine-tingling moments” (Salt Lake Tribune). Dan’s music spans a wide spectrum of genres and difficulty, ranging from extended major works for chorus and orchestra and significant concert choral repertoire to more accessible works for church and community choirs, as well as instrumental works ranging from wind ensemble pieces to solo instrumental sonatas.

Dr. Forrest’s work has become well established in the choral repertoire in the U.S. and around the world, and has received numerous awards and distinctions including the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer’s Award, the ACDA Raymond Brock Award, the ALCM Raabe Prize, and many others. His choral works have been recorded by professional choirs including Seraphic Fire and VOCES8, have been featured on the BBC Proms series and numerous national US radio and TV broadcasts, and are regularly performed in Carnegie Hall choral festivals and other prominent international venues. His major works Requiem for the Living (2013) and Jubilate Deo (2016) have quickly become standard choral/orchestral repertoire for ensembles around the world, and his LUX: The Dawn From On High (2018) is now gathering similar critical acclaim. His most recent major work, the breath of life, was premiered by the Bel Canto Company and is newly in print, summer 2020. 

Dan is highly active in the music publishing industry, currently publishing his concert choral music through his own company, The Music of Dan Forrest (distributed by Beckenhorst Press), and his church choral anthems with Beckenhorst Press. He also maintains a sizable presence in the Hinshaw Music catalog, and has published with a dozen other publishers. Dr. Forrest spends significant time mentoring and supporting other composers through his position as chair of the national ACDA Composition Initiatives Committee (2020-2024), his ongoing oversight and teaching with the annual John Ness Beck Foundation Choral Composer’s Workshop and Scholarships, and his intensive editing work at Beckenhorst. He adjudicates regional and national composition contests, and keeps a full schedule of commissions, workshops, recordings, and residencies with universities, churches, community and professional ensembles, collaborating as accompanist, presenting his music, and teaching composition and music theory. Dan also serves as Artist-in-Residence at his home church, Mitchell Road Presbyterian (PCA) in Greenville, SC. 

Dan holds a doctorate in composition from the University of Kansas and a master’s degree in piano performance, and is a Fellow of Melodious Accord. His academic background includes several years as a professor and department head (music theory and composition) in higher education. Dan professes lifelong gratitude to the teachers that shaped his musicality: James Barnes (doctoral advisor), Alice Parker (multiple fellowships with Melodious Accord), Joan Pinkston and the late Dwight Gustafson (college composition teachers), Frances McLaren and the late Joanne Snyder (childhood piano and music teachers).

More information about Dan and his work can be found at www.danforrest.com.

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