Daniel Sawler

Born in Rochester, New York, Daniel Sawler is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music with both a bachelor’s degree in composition, graduating with distinction (2018), and a master’s in music theory pedagogy (2020). Daniel has been teaching music theory and composition at ECMS since 2013 and has since developed the school’s counterpoint curriculum, as well as participated in revisions of the fundamentals course. In addition to his teaching at ECMS, he also teaches music theory and aural skills for Eastman Experience: Summer Classical Studies.

Daniel is a recipient of the Jack L. Frank Award for Excellence in Teaching (2020), the ESM Graduate Award (2018–2020), the Howard Hanson Tuition Scholarship (2014–2018), the Kent Kennan Endowed Scholarship (2015–2018), the Alice K. Whitney Scholarship (2015–2018) the Lola J. Bergner Scholarship (2015–2016), the Paul Sacher Scholarship (2014–2018), and the Fairy Godmother’s Piano Scholarship (2014–2015). He has also received the Bernard Rogers Memorial Prize (2018) and was a finalist in the BMI Young Composers Competition (2017). He studied composition under Oliver Schneller, David Liptak, Robert Morris, Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, and Margaret Henry. He has also participated in masterclasses with Jo Kondo and Juan Trigos and worked collaboratively with Musica Nova and ESM/ECMS faculty including Carol Rodland, Pia Liptak and Howard Spindler. In addition to his studies in composition and music theory, he studied piano performance under classical/jazz pianist Tony Caramia at Eastman as well as Matthew Robey of ECMS. Daniel was a student at ECMS as well, receiving his pre-collegiate diploma in musical studies in 2013.

Daniel’s research interests include theory pedagogy through the lens of Comprehensive-Musicianship, especially with regard to pre-collegiate education, and the application of Schenkerian analysis to the music of Sergei Rachmaninoff. He has developed music theory courses which include additional discussions of history, politics, jazz, pop, film music, and composition with the goals of diversifying his student’s understanding of Western music theory.

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