Daniel Bernard Roumain, better known as DBR, has been active as a composer, violinist, performer, teacher and ‘social entrepreneur’ for over twenty years. He studied composition at the University of Michigan and has taught at Arizona State University and other institutions. His multifaceted music is characterised by violin playing full of electronic, urban and African-American influences. The range of artists with whom he has worked is equally wide, including Philip Glass, Bill T. Jones and Lady Gaga, and many renowned institutions and orchestras.
He has composed commissioned works for the American Composers Orchestra (Harlem Essay for Orchestra, 2000), the Boston Pops Orchestra (Woodbox Violin Concerto), Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart des SWR (We March!: Concerto for Guitar and String Orchestra)) and Carnegie Hall in New York. In 2017 his chamber opera We Shall Not Be Moved (with a libretto by Marc Bamuthi Joseph and directed by Bill T. Jones) was hailed by The New York Times as ‘the best classical performance of 2017’. This work was also one of the highlights of the Dutch National Opera’s 2018 Opera Forward Festival. In March 2019 The Just and the Blind had its premiere in Carnegie Hall, another collaboration with Marc Bamuthi Joseph. A few months later the two also created Cipher, a kind of mini-opera based on conversations with incarcerated youth, for the Philadelphia Boys Choir & Chorale.
DBR is also busy off the concert and opera stages. He was nominated for an Emmy award for his compositions for American sports network ESPN, has been a keynote speaker at conferences on technology and has created large-scale, site-specific musical events for public spaces.