Daniel Catan's sad death – the official statement

Daniel Catan's sad death – the official statement


norman lebrecht

April 11, 2011

This just in from G. Schirmer, his publisher:


Composer Daniel Catán dies. 


Acclaimed and beloved composer
Daniel Catán passed away suddenly on
Saturday April 9 at the age of 62. He was in Austin, TX at the time where he was
teaching for a semester at the Butler School of Music, University of Texas.
Cause of death is still to be determined.


is known best for his lyrical romantic
style and especially his operas, the most recent of which, Il Postino premiered with great success at
Los Angeles Opera in September 2010, starring Placido Domingo. His second opera
Florencia en el Amazonas was frequently performed and garnered great
acclaim when it premiered at Houston Grand Opera in 1996.  Florencia en
el Amazonas
 has the distinction of being the first opera in Spanish
commissioned by a major American company. The success of that opera led to the
commission of
 Salsipuedes for Houston
Grand Opera. Catán had recently created a new chamber version of his first opera
La Hija de Rappaccini and was currently at work on his fifth
 Meet John Doe which was due to premiere in October


in Mexico, and later an American citizen, Catán studied philosophy at the
University of Sussex in England before enrolling in Princeton as a PhD student
in composition
. Following his
studies he served as music administrator at Mexico City’s Palace of Fine Arts


Catán’s death is a
great loss to the music world and to the many friends and fans who knew him to
be a very talented, kind, erudite and generous person. He lived in Pasadena,
California and was on the faculty of College of the Canyons. He is survived by
his wife Andrea Puente, three children Chloe, Tom, and Alan, and four



  • Margit says:

    I am absolutely shocked about the sudden death of Daniel Catán. I got to know him in Los Angeles, at the premiere of “Il Postino”. He was the most gentle, polite, generous person one can imagine!
    My compassion goes out to his family, most of all to his wife whom I had the pleasure and privilege to meet as well.

  • Michael says:

    This man was my proffessor last semester at COC, and he will always be remembered as one of my favorites.

  • vincent lombardo says:

    I was in contact with the composer these last six months… speaking about an opera on Nietzsche’s ZARATHUSTRA .. and working on bringing IL POSTINO to Italy, where I (an American) now live … some things were cooking … then, a collegue gave me the sad news …
    my heartfelt sympathies to all who knew this open-minded, truly creative person … may his spirit lead us all on …
    i shall miss one I can only sense to miss … this is art …

  • Maureen Dillon says:

    Daniel’s time with us in Cincinnati in 2008 was extremely important and joyous for our “Opera Family”.
    A studio production of “Rappacinni’s Daughter” at the College Conservatory of Music (University of Cincinnati) was followed by a full blown and magnificent production of “Florenzia en el Amazonas” just a few months later by the Cincinnati Opera. Three evenings I will never forget.
    In fact, “Florenzia” will always be one of the most searing, stunning, magnificent musical memories of my 40 years in the Cincinnati Opera audience.
    I also had the good luck to meet Daniel and experience his energy and generous spirit during his visits. We will surely miss him. I already do, thinking about what might have come.
    What a loss.