Daniel Strong Godfrey (born November 20, 1949) received B.A. and M.M. degrees in composition from Yale University and a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. He is currently Composer-in-Residence at Syracuse University’s Setnor School of Music and has also held visiting faculty appointments at the Eastman School of Music, the Indiana University School of Music and the University of Pittsburgh.
Godfrey has earned awards and commissions from the J. S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Fromm Music Foundation at Harvard University, the Koussevitsky Music Foundation at the Library of Congress, the Rockefeller Foundation (Bellagio Center), the Bogliasco Foundation (Liguria Study Center), the Barlow Endowment for Music Composition, the Indiana State University/Louisville Orchestra Competition, the National Repertory Orchestra/US West Foundation Competition (First Prize), the Maine Arts Commission, the New York Foundation for the Arts (Met Life Fellowship) and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, among others. He is founder and co-director of the Seal Bay Festival of American Chamber Music (on the Maine coast) and he is the co-author (with Elliott Schwartz) of Music Since 1945, published by Schirmer Books.
Godfrey’s works are recorded on Albany, CRI, GM, Innova, Klavier, Koch, UK Light and Mark compact discs. The New Yorker magazine named the Koch International Classics release of Daniel Godfrey’s String Quartets as one of the 10 best classical CDs of 2004. In June 2007, Koch released another all-Godfrey CD, this one containing seven chamber works performed by principal players of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. His music is available through publishers Pembroke Music Co., Inc. (Carl Fischer, LLC) and G. Schirmer, Inc. and he is a member of BMI.
“Filters the lyrical spirit of Borodin and early Stravinsky through an elegantly patrician modern style…” – The New Yorker
“A rare wedding of flawless craft and flowing lyricism…” – Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise
“The refined use of colour and variegated texture in Godfrey’s work frequently bring Debussy and Ravel to mind (and sometimes Janacek and Sibelius), but whatever the apparent influences are, they have all been absorbed into a distinctive musical language that’s as remarkable for its consistency as for its craftsmanship.” – Gramophone Magazine
“If Debussy and Ravel had lived into the late 20th Century, they would have produced string quartets which sound like Godfrey’s.” – Records International
“Godfrey hears the ensemble as a single (if complex) instrumental voice, that speaks in blended, liquid, seamless legato stanzas built of subtle, delicately nuanced vertical sonorities…”
– American Record Guide
“Godfrey displays a love of melodic phrase that reminds [one] of Barber, or even Gershwin.”
– Fanfare Magazine
“Motions into tonality not so much like flirting but more like true love.” – The Village Voice