Music Professor Tapped for National Council on the Arts

Daniel Asia is founder and director of the university's American Culture and Ideas Initiative, which celebrates the impact of fine arts in American culture.
Feb. 18, 2020
Daniel Asia, professor of music
Daniel Asia, professor of music

President Donald Trump has nominated Daniel Asia, a professor in the University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music, to serve a six-year term as a member of the National Council on the Arts.

Asia joined the University of Arizona in 1988 and currently serves as a professor of composition and head of the Music Composition program. He is founder and director of the university's American Culture and Ideas Initiative, which celebrates the impact of fine arts in American culture.

"I couldn't be more delighted," Asia said. "The high arts give us more of an understanding of who we are as human beings. Creating in this realm takes more time and is often harder, but it offers deeper and lasting rewards. I'm flattered to be able to help in any way that I can."

Asia received an Academy Award in Music from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2010. His numerous honors include a United Kingdom Fulbright award and a Guggenheim Fellowship, awarded by the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation to those who have "demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts."

Asia's orchestral works have been commissioned or performed by symphonies in cities including Tucson, Cincinnati, Seattle, Milwaukee and Phoenix.

"In the last 10 or 15 years, I have been very concerned about the state of high culture, and whether there will be room for it in the cultural landscape," Asia said. "I will bring to the council my interest in making sure that there's a space in the larger culture for the greatest of high culture."

Asia's nomination now goes to the United States Senate for consideration.

The 18-member National Council on the Arts advises the chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts on agency policies and programs, and makes recommendations on grants, funding guidelines and leadership initiatives. It also recommends individuals and organizations to receive the National Medal of Arts, a presidential award recognizing outstanding contributions to the arts.