Guitarist Daniel Lippel, called an “exciting soloist” (New York Times), “precise and sensitive” (Boston Globe) and a "modern guitar polymath" (Guitar Review) has carved out a unique and diverse career that ranges through solo and chamber music performances, innovative commissioning and recording projects, and performances in diverse contexts across five continents. He has premiered more than fifty new solo and chamber works, many written for him, recording several on the independent label he co-founded and directs, New Focus Recordings. Lippel is the resident guitarist for two critically acclaimed new music groups: the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) since 2005 and new music quartet Flexible Music since 2003. He has been a guest with many ensembles as well, including the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra (concertino soloist in American premiere of H.K. Gruber's Busking for trumpet solo with accordion and banjo concertino), New York New Music Ensemble, Either/Or Ensemble, Dinosaur Annex, counter(induction, Red Light New Music, Argento New Music Project, Cygnus Ensemble, FretX Duo with Mak Grgic, and Dance Heigenbotham. Recent featured solo appearances include the premiere of Dai Fujikura's Sparking Orbit with the SWR Electronic Studio at the ZKM in Karlsruhe (Germany), a performance of Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez on the St. Catherine's of Siena concert series in Riverside, CT, and an appearance on the New York Guitar Seminar at Mannes. Recital highlights include the Sinus Ton Festival (Germany), University of Texas at San Antonio, Gitar Cafe (Istanbul), Ft. Worth Modern Art Museum for Guitar Guild Festival, Frikirkjan (Reykyavik), Schloss Konigs Wusterhausen (Germany), Tangents Guitar Series at the Center for New Music in San Francisco, Music from the Forefront (Bowling Green State University, Ohio), Bowdoin College Guest Artist Series (Maine), the Cleveland Classical Guitar Society at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland, Philadelphia Classical Guitar Society, and Cleveland International Guitar Festival at CIM. He performed a recital at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in Australia in October 2014 as one of two finalists in their international search for a new director of their guitar department. As a chamber musician, Lippel has performed at the Macau Music Festival (China), Teatro Amazonas (Manaus, Brasil), Sibelius Academy (Finland), Acht Brücken Festival (Cologne, Germany), Aspekte Festival (Austria), the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center, and Zankel and Weill Halls at Carnegie Hall, as well as on the Monadnock, Cooperstown, Bay Chamber, Alpenglow, and Manchester chamber music festivals. Lippel has worked closely with many eminent composers including Mario Davidovsky, John Zorn, Ursula Mamlok, and Nils Vigeland, premiered music by many others such as Alvin Lucier, Julio Estrada, Olga Neuwirth, and Stephen Jaffe, and also collaborated on new works with several of contemporary music’s most active mid-career composers, including Dai Fujikura, Peter Gilbert, Ryan Streber, Nico Muhly, Peter Adriaanz, Seung-Won Oh, Reiko Fueting, Vineet Shende, Ethan Wickman, John Link, Mikel Kuehn, Orianna Webb, Ken Ueno, and Du Yun.
In addition to New Focus, he has recorded for several labels including Kairos, Tzadik, Bridge, Albany, Centaur, Starkland, Temporary Residence, and Fat Cat. His recordings have garnered him critical acclaim from Gramophone, New York Times, American Record Guide, Classical Review of North America, New Music Box, Sequenza21, and several other publications. Lippel's recording of Bach transcriptions was listed among "Best New Releases in North America" in Gramophone's May 2006 issue, and his collaborative recording of Schubert lieder transcriptions with soprano Tony Arnold was hailed as "a strong performance that will reward the listener" (Classical Voice of North America). He has performed live in studio on several radio stations, including WBEZ Chicago, KCRW Santa Monica, WCPN Cleveland, and WFMU Jersey City.
Lippel is an active performer in non-classical contexts as well, having performed solo sets of his own music for amplified classical guitar and effects at Tokyo's O-Nest, Paris' Café de la Danse, Krakow's Unsound Festival, and the Knitting Factory in New York. As a member of the eclectic indie group Mice Parade, Lippel has appeared on the Fuji Rock Festival (Japan), Sydney Festival (Australia), Bestival (U.K.), as well as on numerous tours throughout North America, Europe, and Asia and he has recorded five albums with the group on the Fat Cat label. He performed with the Zvi Migdal Tango Ensemble from 2003-2008, appearing with the group in Buenos Aires, Pittsburgh, at the Guitar Foundation of America conference at Oberlin College, and on the Raritan Valley Music Festival and the New York Guitar Seminar. Lippel has performed with members of Stereolab, Mum, hiM, and The National, as well as in improvised contexts with instrumentalist/composers Aidan Plank, Martin Moretto, and ICE members and collaborators Peter Evans and Cory Smythe.
As an educator, Lippel is particularly interested in demystifying the contemporary repertoire for guitarists, and the guitar for composers. He has given masterclasses and presentations to guitar departments at many institutions including the Hanns Eisler Hochschule in Berlin, Curtis Institute in Philadelphia, Sydney Conservatorium of Music (Australia), San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music, and Syracuse University and guest lecture presentations to composition departments at the University of Texas at Austin, DePaul University, New York University, University of California at Davis, Roosevelt University (Chicago), and Manhattan School of Music. His scholarly articles have been published by Soundboard and Guitar Review, and he has won grants from the Aaron Copland Foundation's Recording and Performing Ensembles Funds, Meet the Composer, Mikhashoff Trust for New Music, and FIMIC (foundation for support of Finnish music). He was on faculty at Bowling Green State University in Ohio teaching classical guitar from 1999-2001. Lippel received the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from the Manhattan School of Music, under the guidance of David Starobin, writing his dissertation on the guitar works of Mario Davidovsky. Prior to that, he received degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music, working with Jason Vieaux and John Holmquist, and was an undergraduate at the Oberlin Conservatory in Stephen Aron's studio, taking secondary jazz lessons with Bob Ferrazza. Lippel studied with Ricardo Iznaola and Sharon Isbin at the Bowdoin and Aspen Festivals respectively, and before enrolling in college, he studied with David Leisner and Nicholas Goluses.