Danielle Sofer

viola - piano - voice - electronics


Country Kildare / Ireland

E-mail: daniellessofer@gmail.com


Date of Birth: June 11, 1984 (Ithaca, NY)

Nationality: USA, Israel

Residence: Ireland, Austria

photo: Randy Ahart

music bio


Educated formally as a violist and pianist, I abandoned performance in graduate school in order to pursue an academic career in music history and theory, but somehow I have never been able to completely remove myself from a performing role. I currently play with the City of Dublin Chamber Orchestra and sing with Cuore Chamber Choir.


I began playing the piano at 2 years old in a small music academy in State College, Pennsylvania. I won tickets to a performance of Mahler's 5th through a "guess the composer portrait" contest at the school. At the show, I sat in the first row and jumped up and down the entire concert.


At 12, my family and I relocated to Israel, where I pursued my first serious studies in music at The Reut School of Arts (Haifa, Israel), and later at the High School for Arts and Design of the Women’s International Zionist Organization (WIZO), where I worked with Haim Permont, Eitan Steinberg, Yinam Lif, and Daniel Akiva, honing my skills as a composer, performer, and budding music theorists. Full disclosure, I failed my first intervals test in 7th grade, but aced the final and never looked back. By the age of 20 I graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts from the State University of New York at New Paltz with concentrations in both piano and viola, studying with Ruthanne Schempf and Carole Cowan. I also majored in music therapy, completing practicums in Kingston, NY.


In 2008 I received a Masters of Music in Piano Performance from Binghamton University, where I studied with Michael Salmirs. As a pianist I have performed primarily as a chamber musician, including performances on National Public Radio in the US, the Graz Laptop Ensemble (Austria), at the St Mark's Summer School (South Marborough, MA), Apple Hill (Keene, NH), Stony Brook University, and in Binghamton, NY, where I co-founded the Ad Astra Ensemble. I have soloed with the New Paltz Wind Symphony.

As a violist I have participated in various festivals, including Apple Hill (under Richard “Dobbs” Hartshorne; New Hampshire, USA), Viola Days (under Tabea Zimmerman; Jerusalem, Israel), and as Violist in Residence at the St Mark's Summer School (South Marborough, MA). I studied viola with Yoram Meyouhas, Peter Sulski, Carole Cowan and Debra Moree.   

In 2016, I received my PhD in musicology (music aesthetics concentration) from the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz (Kunstuniversität), and my dissertation was awarded with distinction (“mit Auszeichnung bestanden”). I am currently living in Ireland and dividing my time between caring for my family, practicing viola, violin, and piano, reading, writing, and challenging and making visible the undisclosed, self-assumed invisible "white-supremacist capitalist patriarchy" (hooks 1997).



contemporary art





Key Achievements

  • 19 publications within the fields of musicology, music theory, ethnomusicology, sexualities, gender, hip-hop, electronic, and electroacoustic music;

  • Attracted €522,307 research funding;

  • Won 17 awards for outstanding scholarly research, including from the American Musicological Society (US), the Society for Music Theory (US), and the Orpheus Instituut (Belgium); 

  • Taken leadership of 14 international conferences since 2011;

  • Research impact recognized with invitations for 11 speaking engagements and 8 publications, and at the inaugural Women and Gender Endowed Lecture of the American Musicological Society in 2017;

  • Established diversity and equality institutional bodies, including the Maynooth University Sexualities and Gender Research Network and Maynooth’s LGBTQIA Staff Network, and interdisciplinary LGTBQ+ Music Study Groups, a research body affiliated with the Royal Musical Association, the Society for Musicology in Ireland, the British Forum for Musicology, and the Society for Music Analysis;

  • Invited in 2016 as expert on gender and technology to ‘Klang (ohne) Körper: Körperrelation und technikkulturelle Praxis im zeitgenössischen Ästhetikdiskurs’ (‘Sound without Bodies’), EU research project spanning 3 German-speaking regions, lead researcher in the Gender Embodiment Project component ‘Engineering the Musical Body: User Demographics and Techno-Musical Innovation’;

  • Recognised for teaching excellence by nomination to serve as Education Officer to the Society for Musicology in Ireland (2018-2019) working toward the fair and equitable representation of individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds;

  • 12 years’ experience university teaching, 10 courses as instructor of record and 11 co-taught courses;

  • Supervised 13 undergraduate and graduate student theses to completion;

  • Elected Chair of the LGBTQ Study Group of the Royal Musical Association (2017-2019), the research committee of the key academic body for UK musicologists.


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