Daniel Matei is a New York based Hungarian-Romanian percussionist, composer, improviser with a keen interest in the collaborative and ever-evolving nature of music. The non-canonic, inherently creative character of percussion has always fascinated Daniel, as it has allowed him to explore new ways of soundmaking.

He just received his master’s degree from Manhattan School of Music’s Contemporary Performance Program, where he studied with David Cossin and John Ferrari. During his studies there, he performed Here and There, a theatrical solo piece by Roger Reynolds that Daniel workshopped with Steven Schick as well as the composer. While at MSM he also worked with composition faculty Reiko Fueting on creating immersive multimedia works that synthesize spatialized electro-acoustic music and abstract visuals. His other main creative focus has been combining elements of Hungarian and Romanian folk music with various aesthetics of contemporary classical music.

Daniel completed a double bachelor’s degree program at Bard College in Italian Studies and Percussion. Studying with Sō Percussion greatly broadened his conception of music composition and solidified his passion for ensemble playing, and in Italian Studies, he chose to explore Italian Futurism and its particular interest in language as sound. Daniel completed his thesis on this subject, based on original archival research in Milan, Italy, and composed a chamber piece, Noi Vogliamo…, based on The Art of Noises, a Futurist manifesto by Luigi Russolo.

These days he is most excited about his current and upcoming collaborations with colleagues from the Bang on a Can Summer Festival and the Sō Percussion Summer Institute: Molly Herron, Erich Barganier, Michelle Hromin, and the TACETi Ensemble. He looks forward to bringing more of his original music to life with the help of his partner Madeline Hocking, and long-time Bard friends Jon Collazo, Petra Elek, Juliana Maitenaz, and Michael Knox.