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Ingolf Dahl


Born in Hamburg, Germany to Swedish parents, Ingolf Dahl (1912-1970) began his formal music education with Philipp Jarnach at the Cologne Hochschule für Musik, with whom he studied from 1930 to 1932. Fearing the oppression of the Nazi party coming to power, he fled to Switzerland and continued his studies at the University of Zürich with Volkmar Andreae and Walter Frey. Dahl's first professional assignment out of school was as conductor and coach for the Zürich Stadttheater. In 1938, Dahl emigrated to the United States and settled in Los Angeles, where he worked as a composer and conductor for radio and film, gave lectures and piano recitals, and attended master classes with Nadia Boulanger. He became a naturalized citizen of the US in 1943, and two years later joined the faculty of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where he taught until his death. As conductor of the university's symphony orchestra, Dahl gave West Coast premieres of a wide variety of contemporary works from the US and Europe. His close collaboration with Igor Stravinsky had a significant effect on Dahl's own work, leading him to lecture, perform, and arrange Stravinsky's music as well as translate his Poetics of Music (1947). Dahl served on the faculty of the Middlebury Composer's Conference in Vermont and taught at the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood (1952-1955). In 1961 and 1962 he gave goodwill concerts in Germany sponsored by the US State Department, and from 1964 to 1966 he directed and conducted at the Ojai Festival in California. In his last years, Dahl conducted the Los Angeles Guild Opera and again the University of Southern California symphony orchestra. Among Dahl's many honors are two Guggenheim Fellowships, two Huntington Hartford Fellowships, an Excellence in Teaching Award from USC, and the ASCAP Stravinsky Award. His music has been recorded on a number of labels including Boston Records, Capstone, Centaur, Chandos, CRI, Crystal, Klavier, Nimbus, and Summit.

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