Dan Lis is a composer and arts administrator who fuses rock and contemporary compositional aesthetics to create dynamic, rhythmically-driven music. Through collaboration, releasing albums, and writing about composition on his blog Composer’s Toolbox, he aims to further contemporary music as an eclectic and unafraid medium.


He graduated summa cum laude from The Hartt School, where he studied composition with Dr. David Macbride, Dr. Robert Carl, Ken Steen, and Dr. Tawnie Olson, and jazz guitar with Rich Goldstein.

While an undergraduate he presented original compositions at two colloquia, received The Burton Family Scholarship in Composition, the Richard Kountz Trust Scholarship in Composition, a Junior Regent award, the Hartt Music Theory Department Award, and became a member of Alpha Chi National Honors Society. He also participated in a masterclass with composer William Bolcom and taught an afterschool program in composition to students at Bristow Middle School.

He has been commissioned by the 016 New Music Ensemble and the Alturas Duo, among others. In 2014 he had music used in a masterclass with the JACK Quartet. His debut album entitled “Soul Refuge” was released in September 2013, blending natural sounds and original virtual instruments. His second album, “Exercise Music”, was released in April 2014. His third album consisting of his masters thesis, a requiem entitled “fraternity with all those good and beautiful things,” will be released in July 2016.

He taught at Northern Connecticut Community Music School until 2015, and is currently the Registrar at The Hartt School Community Division (HCD). He enjoys designing and implementing registration policies and processes that further the mission of the HCD: to enrich lives through innovative and unparalleled performing arts education.

He is also currently pursuing a Master of Music in Composition degree at The Hartt School, studying with Dr. Larry Alan Smith and Ken Steen. He is published by DWL Publishing.