Aaron Dai

Resident Composer

A graduate of Columbia University and the Mannes School of Music, Aaron Dai began studying piano at  the age of five and went on to win the UNICEF Youth Concerts Competition three times by the age of  fifteen. As a soloist and collaborative pianist, he has performed around the country and abroad, in New  York venues such as Carnegie Hall, Steinway Hall, Symphony Space, and The Town Hall, and cities  including Dublin, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, and San Francisco. Aaron studied with Rachael M.  Perez Hayes and Denise Kahn. Other studies include accompaniment and collaborative piano with Marshall  Williamson (Juilliard). 

Aaron's venture into serious composition began at the University of Pennsylvania under the auspices of  George Crumb, and he has since worked with composers Thomas Addison and Rudolph Palmer. His The  Night Before Christmas for Narrator and Orchestra has been performed internationally and by actors such  as Ana Gasteyer, David Hyde Pierce, Charles Busch, Andrea Martin, Victor Garber, BD Wong, and John  Lithgow. He has a history of fruitful collaboration with artists in other fields, including the late abstract  painter Louise Fishman, poet Eileen Myles, and choreographer Kevin Hill. For his fifteen-minute miniature  opera Hamlet, he collaborated with Pulitzer-nominated playwright Jon Marans, and the opera premiered in  New York City with actor Darius de Haas in the title role. His symphonic poem The Whydah Returns was  added to the archives of the Whydah Museum in Provincetown, Massachusetts, and To a Ten-Year-Old— written in commemoration of the tenth anniversary of 9/11—was incorporated into the aural archives of the  National September 11 Memorial Museum. The commissioned choral work You Yourself Must Change It (text by poet Adrienne Rich) premiered in The Town Hall and aired nationally on Sirius XM Satellite  Radio for two months. Aaron is a four-time recipient of the ASCAP Plus Award, Concert Music Division. 

A former clarinetist, oboist, and bassoonist, Aaron is now a staff pianist at the Mannes School of Music and  the pianist for the New York City Gay Men's Chorus. He lives and teaches in New York City.