Hailed as "whirlwind" (Gramophone) and "lively, engaging and moving" (Berkshire Fine Arts), the music of composer Dana Kaufman (b. Chicago, 1989) has been heard throughout North America and Europe. Her works have been featured at venues and festivals such as New York Opera Fest; Contemporary Music Center of Milan; Jordan Hall; Boston New Music Festival; soundSCAPE Festival; Charlotte New Music Festival; Spontanteous Combustion New Music Festival; Opera on Tap Chicago; Estonian Music Days (national Estonian music festival); Chosen Vale International Trumpet Seminar; Music Institute of Chicago’s Nichols Hall; College Music Society National Conference; Peoria Civic Center; Connecticut Summerfest; Atlas Performing Arts Center; Music by Women Festival; Baltimore War Memorial; International Clarinet Association's ClarinetFest; Third Eye Theatre Ensemble; North American Jewish Choral Festival; Women Composers Festival of Hartford; Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre Fall Festival; FEASt Festival; Frontwave New Music Festival; Ravinia Festival’s One Score, One Chicago Series Youth Division; and FETA Foundation Concert Series; it has also been performed by ensembles such as Great Noise Ensemble, a very small consortium, The Spatial Forces Duo, Firebird Ensemble, Verified Brass Quintet, Wet Ink Ensemble, Resound Duo, Na Wai Chamber Choir, MiamiClarinet, So Percussion, Passepartout Duo, and performers with OperaRox Productions and the Houston Grand Opera Orchestra.
From 2012-2013, Kaufman was a Fulbright Student Research Fellow in Tallinn, Estonia, where she conducted ethnomusicology research, studied composition at the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, and collected field recordings for incorporation into compositions. She is also the recipient of numerous other awards: Finalist, 2017 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards; Third Place in the 2017 American Prize Instrumental Chamber Music Student Division and Finalist in the Choral Music Student Division, 2016 Honorable Mention in the Chamber Music Student Division, and 2015 Semi-Finalist in the Opera/Theater/Film Division; University of Miami (UM) Dean’s Fellowship; New England Conservatory (NEC) Merit Awards and Scholarships; Finalist, OperaRox Productions’ New Works Competition; Amherst College Edward Poole Lay Fellowship; Winner of the Ensemble Ibis Composition Competition; Finalist in the New American Voices Composition Competition; Honorable Mention in the Boston Choral Ensemble’s Commission Competition; First Runner-Up in the Black House New Operas Project Composers’ Competition; Third Place in the Amherst College College Song Composition Competition; Eric Edward Sundquist Prize in Composition; Mikhail Schweitzer Memorial Book Award; First Place in the Music Institute of Chicago’s Generation Next Composition Competition; and is a winner of the Women Composers Festival New England Score Call and flutist Orlando Cela’s “Project Extended” Score Call. Her selected "Project Extended" work, Hang Down Your Head, was released by Ravello Records on "Shadow Etchings: New Music for Flute" in February 2018. She was also Composer-in-Residence of the Na Wai Chamber Choir and Lutheran Church of the Ascension (IL), and Hashkiveinu (co-composed with Richard Cohn) is published by Transcontinental Music Publications and performed at synagogues throughout North America.
A frequent speaker, Kaufman has delivered lectures and presentations at institutions and conferences including the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre, Tallinn University of Technology, Fulbright Enrichment Seminar in Prague on Public Space and the Arts, College Music Society Pacific Southwest Conference, College Music Society National Conference, Na Wai Conductor's Institute, Pedagogy Into Practice: Teaching Music Theory in the Twenty-First Century Conference, and the Music by Women Festival, and was a panelist for "Gender Representation in New Opera" at New Music Gathering.
Kaufman graduated magna cum laude from Amherst College in 2012 (Bachelor of Arts in Music in Russian), completed her Master of Music in Composition at New England Conservatory, and received her Doctor of Musical Arts in Composition at University of Miami Frost School of Music as the first Frost student to be a Dean’s Fellow. She is currently Visiting Assistant Professor in Music Composition at University of California, Riverside.