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Dominick DiOrio

Bloomington, IN      

Dominick DiOrio is an innovative young composer and conductor who has won widespread acclaim for his contributions to American music. Whether leading an ensemble or crafting a new score, DiOrio brings equal passion and determination to his work in vocal and instrumental music.

As a composer, DiOrio has been hailed for a keenly intelligent, evocative style, which shows “a tour de force of inventive thinking and unique colour” (Gramophone). In 2014, DiOrio won the American Prize in Composition with the judges praising “his depth of vision, mastery of compositional technique, and unique style.” His works have appeared at major venues around the world including the Sydney Opera House, Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall — as well as in Austria, Canada, China, Finland, Hong Kong, Ireland, South Korea, Sweden, and the UK — and have been performed by internationally renowned solo artists including Nathan Gunn, Yvonne Gonzales Redman, and Craig Hella Johnson. DiOrio’s recent commissioning partners include the Cincinnati Vocal Arts Ensemble & Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, The Choral Arts Society of Washington, “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band, and several universities including Princeton, Smith, and the Universities of Michigan, Oregon, and Illinois.

An equally accomplished conductor, DiOrio made his Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall debut when he was 28 years old. He has conducted performances with ensembles around the world, from the Young People’s Chorus of New York City and the Houston Chamber Choir to Allmänna Sången and Ars Veritas. He collaborates often with some of today’s leading composers including Caroline Shaw, Christopher Theofanidis, Tawnie Olson, and Sven-David Sandström, and his repertoire spans the gamut of path-breaking works from the 20th and 21st centuries, including such major works as James MacMillan’s Seven Last Words, Steve Reich’s The Desert Music, David Lang’s the little match girl passion, Sofia Gubaidulina’s Sonnengesang, and Krzysztof Penderecki’s St. Luke Passion, which he had the honor of preparing for the composer in November of 2017.

DiOrio is currently based in Bloomington, Indiana, where he is an associate professor of music on the conducting faculty at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. His duties include leading the select chamber chorus NOTUS, which champions the music of living composers. Under DiOrio’s direction, NOTUS has performed across the nation, including invited performances at regional and national conferences and at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. In September 2018, Innova Recordings released NOTUS’ debut album, NOTUS: Of Radiance & Refraction, featuring the world premiere recordings of five commissioned works. NOTUS is honored to be one of only 24 choirs in the world invited to perform at the 12th World Symposium on Choral Music in Auckland, New Zealand in July 2020.

DiOrio earned his Doctorate of Musical Arts in conducting from the Yale School of Music, and he published his DMA research on Penderecki’s St. Luke Passion in The Choral Scholar. He also received his MMA and MM in conducting from Yale and a BM in composition summa cum laude from Ithaca College. He has presented lectures at major conferences including the Nordic Choral Conference (Malmö, 2015) and the 11th World Symposium on Choral Music (Barcelona, 2017). DiOrio has served on the Board of Directors for Chorus America, as President-Elect and Treasurer for the National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO), and as Chair of the Standing Committee on Composition Initiatives for ACDA.


A Ghost Through the Winding Years (2013) for baritone and piano.

A nostalgic journey that explores the heights and depths of a relationship discovered, lived, and lost.

In “A Ghost Through the Winding Years”, we follow a nameless protagonist as he wrestles with emotions that run the gamut of loneliness, nostalgia, staleness, elation, anxiety, and depression. A song cycle on ten poems of Sara Teasdale for baritone and piano.

Performance credits:
Connor Lidell, baritone
Nikolay Verevkin, piano

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The Captured Goddess (2013) for soprano, viola, and piano

A bleak setting portraying the sad and awful realization of lost innocence.

The Captured Goddess is a bleak setting of Amy Lowell’s poem of the same name. Written for soprano Misha Penton, the work grew out of our collaboration on Klytemnestra. It was designed as a “couture song” to fit Misha’s voice. Its words about the objectification and usurpation of women resonate deeply with Maggie’s project “Reassemble with Care.”

Performance credits:
Monica Dewey, soprano
Leonardo Vásquez Chacón, viola
Nikolay Verevkin, piano

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And the barriers had vanished (2011) for soprano and cello

A bracing work about equality, relationship, and love for soprano and cello.

This work is an exploration of the many facets of love in hiding. The texts are diverse, drawn from a selection of poets whose words touch on themes of passion, coming-of-age, secrecy, forbidden desire, and exultation. I borrow the entirety of the “Andante lento” from Britten’s Second Suite for Cello so that I may allow the text to draw parallels with Britten’s own internal conflicts

Performance credits:
Rachel Mikol, soprano
Graham Cullen, cello

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NewMusicBox Articles

NewMusicBox February 25 2019 | By Dominick DiOrio
‘Singers and Musicians’ Part 2: On Conductors, Identity, and Musical Segregation

Every identity comes with inherent biases, assumptions, and privileges to varying degrees. A helpful exercise is to take an identity and think of the immediate mental image that comes to...

NewMusicBox February 18 2019 | By Dominick DiOrio
On Networking: A National Conference Preview

For five days, choral leaders will meet in one place and be inspired by performances, attend interest sessions presented by teachers they admire, and forge new connections that—for the composers...

NewMusicBox February 11 2019 | By Dominick DiOrio
Writing for “The Chorus”: Text, Dynamics, and Other Occupational Hazards

In order to guide us all toward a more perfect harmony in writing for the chorus, and because writing for the chorus is often neglected in the training of composers...

See more of Dominick DiOrio's articles on NewMusicBox.