Guitarist Daniel Lippel, called an “exciting soloist” (New York Times), “precise and sensitive” (Boston Globe) and a "modern guitar polymath" (Guitar Review) enjoys a unique and diverse career that ranges through solo and chamber music performances, innovative commissioning and recording projects, and performances in diverse contexts. He has premiered more than fifty new solo and chamber works, many written for him, recording several on the independent label he co-founded and directs, New Focus Recordings. Recital highlights include the Sinus Ton Festival (Germany), University of Texas at San Antonio, Lawrence University (Wisconsin), Gitar Cafe (Istanbul), Ft. Worth Modern Art Museum for Guitar Guild Festival, Frikirkjan (Reykyavik), Schloss Konigs Wusterhausen (Germany), Tangents Guitar Series at the Center for New Music in San Francisco, Music from the Forefront (Bowling Green, Ohio), Bowdoin College Guest Artist Series (Maine), New York Classical Guitar Society's Salon Series, the Cleveland Classical Guitar Society at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland, Philadelphia Classical Guitar Society, and Cleveland International Guitar Festival at CIM. Lippel has been the resident guitarist for the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) since 2005 and a guest with many ensembles as well, including the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, New York New Music Ensemble, New York City Opera, Either/Or Ensemble, Dinosaur Annex, counter(induction, Riverside Symphony, Red Light New Music, Argento New Music Project, Cygnus Ensemble, Ensemble Epomeo, Cantata Profana, FretX Duo with Mak Grgic, and Dance Heigenbotham. Recent featured solo appearances include a performance of his new version of Reich's Electric Counterpoint at The Greene Space at WNYC/WQXR, the premiere of Dai Fujikura's Sparking Orbit with the SWR Electronic Studio at the ZKM in Karlsruhe (Germany), and a performance of Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez on the St. Catherine's of Siena concert series in Riverside, CT. As a chamber musician, Lippel has performed at the Macau Music Festival (China), Teatro Amazonas (Manaus, Brasil), Sibelius Academy (Finland), Acht Brücken Festival (Cologne, Germany), Aspekte Festival (Austria), the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center, Ojai Music Festival, and Zankel and Weill Halls at Carnegie Hall, BAM Harvey Theatre, as well as on the Monadnock, Cooperstown, Bay Chamber, Alpenglow, and Manchester chamber music festivals. Lippel has worked closely with many eminent composers including Mario Davidovsky, John Zorn, Ursula Mamlok, and Nils Vigeland, premiered music by many others such as Alvin Lucier, George Lewis, Olga Neuwirth, Charles Wuorinen, and Pauline Oliveros, and collaborated on new works with several of contemporary music’s most active composers (see below).
Lippel's recordings have garnered him critical acclaim from Gramophone, New York Times, American Record Guide, Classical Review of North America, New Music Box, Sequenza21, and several other publications. Lippel's recording of Bach transcriptions was listed among "Best New Releases in North America" in Gramophone's May 2006 issue, and his collaborative recording of Schubert lieder transcriptions with soprano Tony Arnold was hailed as "a strong performance that will reward the listener" (Classical Voice of North America). In addition to New Focus, he appears on recordings on several labels including Kairos, Tzadik, Wergo, Bridge, Innova, Albany, Centaur, Starkland, Temporary Residence, New World, and Fat Cat. Lippel was the featured soloist on the classical guitar cues for the 2017 Netflix original movie "Our Souls at Night" by composer Eliot Goldenthal, starring Jane Fonda and Robert Redford. He has performed live in studio on several radio stations, including WNYC/WQXR New York, WBEZ Chicago, KCRW Santa Monica, WCPN Cleveland, WKCR's Bach Fest (Columbia University, NYC), and WFMU Jersey City.
Lippel is an active performer in diverse stylistic contexts, having performed solo sets of his own music for amplified classical guitar and effects at Tokyo's O-Nest, Paris' Café de la Danse, Krakow's Unsound Festival, and the Knitting Factory in New York. As a member of the eclectic indie group Mice Parade, Lippel appeared on the Fuji Rock Festival (Japan), Sydney Festival (Australia), Bestival (U.K.), as well as on numerous tours throughout North America, Europe, and Asia and he has recorded five albums with the group on the Fat Cat label. Lippel has performed with members of Stereolab, Mum, hiM, and The National. His performances in improvised contexts include appearances on John Zorn's Bagatelles premieres series at The Stone, works by ICE colleague composer/performers Peter Evans and Cory Smythe, and longterm collaborations with instrumentalist/composers Aidan Plank, Dan Bruce, and Martin Moretto.
As an educator, Lippel is particularly interested in demystifying the contemporary repertoire for guitarists, and the guitar for composers. He has given masterclasses and presentations to guitar departments at many institutions including the Hanns Eisler Hochschule in Berlin, Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, Sydney Conservatorium of Music (Australia), San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music, New York Classical Guitar Society, and Syracuse University and guest lecture presentations to composition departments at the University of Texas at Austin, DePaul University, New York University, University of California at Davis, Roosevelt University (Chicago), University of South Carolina, and Manhattan School of Music, as well as a presentation to the 2016 Guitar Foundation of America conference on guitar and electronics repertoire. His scholarly articles have been published by Soundboard and Guitar Review, and he has won grants from the Aaron Copland Foundation's Recording and Performing Ensembles Funds, Meet the Composer, Mikhashoff Trust for New Music, and FIMIC (foundation for support of Finnish music). He was on faculty at Bowling Green State University in Ohio teaching classical guitar from 1999-2001. Lippel received the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from the Manhattan School of Music, under the guidance of David Starobin, writing his dissertation on the guitar works of Mario Davidovsky. Prior to that, he received Bachelors and Masters degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music, working with Jason Vieaux and John Holmquist, and was an undergraduate at the Oberlin Conservatory in Stephen Aron's studio, taking secondary jazz lessons with Bob Ferrazza. He was a first prize winner in the ASTA competition, as well as a prize winner in the Rantucci Guitar Competition. Lippel studied with Ricardo Iznaola and Sharon Isbin at the Bowdoin and Aspen Festivals respectively, and before enrolling in college he studied with David Leisner and Nicholas Goluses.
(amended list of composer colleagues who have written new works for or involving Lippel): Dai Fujikura, Peter Gilbert, Ryan Streber, Nico Muhly, Tyshawn Sorey, Peter Adriaanz, Wang Lu, Seung-Won Oh, Douglas Boyce, Kyle Bartlett, Sergio Kafejian, Nathan Davis, Reiko Fueting, Vineet Shende, Ethan Wickman, Karola Obermueller, John Link, Mikel Kuehn, Orianna Webb, Ken Ueno, Scott Miller, and Du Yun)
- Synchronisms #10 and Festino: Seminal Works for Guitar by Mario Davidovsky (D.M.A. Dissertation 2006 Manhatan School of Music)
- A Guide to the Guitar Works of Poul Ruders (Classical Guitar 2004)
- An Introduction to Two Seminal Guitar Works by Mario Davidovsky (Soundboard 2015)
- Shifting Aesthetics (Guitars International 2010)