Daniel Lentz was born in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. He attended Saint Vincent College where his principal teacher was Rembert Weakland, now the Archbishop of Milwaukee. After graduation from St. Vincent (B.A.), he attended Ohio University (M.F.A.), Brandeis University, and Stockholm University where he was a Fulbright Fellow (the first in Electronic Music). He received a Composition Fellowship to study at Tanglewood in the summer of 1966 where he worked with Roger Sessions and George Rochberg. Following his tenure as a Fulbright Fellow in Stockholm, Lentz accepted a position as a Visiting Lecturer in Music Composition at the University of California at Santa Barbara. While at UC Santa Barbara, Lentz formed the "conceptual music" ensemble the California Time Machine. The CTM performed extensively on the West Coast of the USA and toured Europe in 1969 and 1970.
In 1972 Lentz won the First Prize in the International Composers Competition (Stichting Gaudeamus) in Holland. He was the first American to win the First Prize in the then 37-year history of the competition, and the youngest ever to win.
In 1973 Lentz founded and directed the performing ensemble the San Andreas Fault. This ensemble of eight singers and players (with Lentz conducting) toured Scandinavia, Great Britain, and the Continent in 1974, 1976 and 1978. Its repertoire consisted of only pieces especially composed for it (by Budd, Eister, Stock, Strange, Lentz and others). The SAF recorded with Swedish Radio, Danish Radio, Norwegian Radio, VPRO Radio in Holland, Belgian Radio, WDR Radio in Cologne, Germany, and Radio France in Paris.
From 1979 throgh 1982 Lentz made several tours of Eastern and Western Europe as a soloist. In 1979-80 he received a grant from the Deutscher Akademischer Austausdienst (D.A.A.D.) to live and work in West Berlin. In 1982 he moved to Los Angeles where he founded the Daniel Lentz Group. Since then the DLG has toured the US and Europe on many occasions and in 1991 completed a highly successful tour of Japan. Most recently (summer, 1994) the Group completed a tour of Eastern Europe.
Besides his compositional work with and for the DLG, Lentz has also received commissions and composed works for many other performing organizations, most recently for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Meet the Composer-Readers Digest Fund, Present Music Ensemble of Milwaukee, Institute for Studies in the Arts in Arizona, Collage of Boston, the Abel-Steinberg-Winant Trio, the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, The Los Angeles Philharmonic New Music Group, West German Radio, Japan's Interlink Festival (with DLG), and others (including many individual performers). He has also been the recipient of many awards and grants, including the California Arts Council, the Creative Arts institute of the University of California at Berkeley, the Howard Foundation of Brown University, the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the Sunflower Foundation (New York), the Seed Fund (Santa Barbara, California), the Arts International, three FGIA grants and three SCRA grants from Arizona State University, and five grants from the National Endowment for the Arts.
In addition to his recorded discography, video presentations of his work have been seen on Alive From Off Center (PBS), the Preview Pavilion at Expo 86 in Vancouver, BC, NHK-TV in Japan, NOS-TV in Holland, BBC-TV in England, West German Television, and on many local television stations in the US and abroad. Most recently, a 45-minute video production of his wolfMASS was done for Czech Television with Czech director David Sis.
In 1991 Lentz moved from Los Angeles to the Sonoran Desert north of Phoenix, Arizona.
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