Liptak was born in 1949 in Pittsburgh. His music has been described
as luminous and arresting, richly atmospheric,
and having transparent textures, incisive rhythms, shimmering
lightness. His compositions have been performed by the San
Francisco Symphony, the Montreal Symphony, the St. Paul Chamber
Orchestra, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the Chamber Music
Society of Lincoln Center, the Youngstown Symphony, the Sinfonia
da Camera of Illinois, the New England Philharmonic, the National
Orchestral Association, the Eastman Wind Ensemble, the Group for
Contemporary Music, EARPLAY, the Ying and Cassatt String Quartets,
the Dinosaur Annex Ensemble, the New York New Music Ensemble, the
20th-Century Consort, and by many other soloists and ensembles.
Among his music
found on recordings is Rhapsodies, commissioned for the Syracuse Society
for New Music by the Meet the Composer/Readers Digest Consortium Commissioning
Program, on the Innova CD American Masters of the 21st Century.
Other recordings include two from Albany Records featuring music written
for violinist Catherine Tait, and, with musicians from the Eastman
School of Music in collaboration with those from the Staatliche Hochschule
für Musik in Freiburg, his chamber piece Giovine vagha, i'
non senti. His music is also found recorded on Bridge Records,
including a recording of his Forlane by guitarist David Starobin.
A second Bridge recording from 2005 is entirely Liptak's music, and
includes recordings of his Ancient Songs, with baritone William
Sharp and the Dinosaur Annex Ensemble, Serenade, with saxophone
soloist Chen-Kwan Lin and a string ensemble conducted by Brad Lubman,
and Broken Cries, with the Tarab Cello Ensemble. Ice Flowers, for
violin and koto, appears on a Centaur recording featuring the duo
vio-LINK-oto. In 1994, he received a commission from the
Fromm Music Foundation for a trumpet concerto for the Rochester Philharmonic
Orchestra, which was premiered in 1996 with soloist Paul Merkelo.
Among his recent work is Concerto for Viola and Percussion for violist
John Graham; Quintet for Piano and String Quartet, which was
premiered by the Finger Lakes Chamber Ensemble in Ithaca in 2006;
Cold Litanies, a trio for flute, cello, and piano that was
written for and premiered by Trio Xia; Sonata for Cello and Piano,
written for cellist Steven Doane; and his String Quartet No. 2,
written for the Cassatt Quartet and premiered by the ensemble in Philadelphia
in 2003. His Folgore's Months, a setting of 14th-century sonnets
by the Italian poet Folgore da San Gimignano for soprano and wind
ensemble, was premiered in 2009 by Mark Scatterday and the Eastman
Wind Ensemble with soprano Tony Arnold.
In 1995 David Liptak was awarded the Elise L. Stoeger Prize, given
by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in recognition of
distinguished achievement in the field of chamber music composition.
His composition prizes include the 1986 Georges Enesco International
Composition Competition and the 1978 Minnesota Orchestra 75th Anniversary
Composers Competition; and he was a finalist in the 1982 St. Paul
Chamber Orchestra Composition Competition, the 1989 Sudler International
Competition for Wind Ensemble Composition, and the 2008 Sackler
Composition Competition. Other distinctions include awards from
the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Barlow Endowment
for Music Composition, both in 2002; he has also received the 2006
Lillian Fairchild Award. His music is published by Keiser Classical,
Alfred Music - Donald Hunsberger Wind Ensemble Library, and others.
A dedicated teacher of composition students for the past three decades,
David Liptak is Professor of Composition at the Eastman School of
Music, where he has taught since 1986. He makes his home in Rochester
with his wife, violinist Pia Liptak.