Dennis DeSantis is a composer, sound designer, author, and percussionist based in Berlin. He received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in composition from the Eastman School of Music, and also holds degrees from Yale and Western Michigan University. His principal composition teachers have included Christopher Rouse, Evan Ziporyn, and Martin Bresnick, and he has studied percussion with John Beck and Judy Moonert as well as jazz drumming with Billy Hart.
DeSantis’s electronic music has appeared on a variety of labels including Ghostly, Global Underground, Cocoon and Kanzleramt, and he has performed at clubs and venues throughout North America and Europe, as well as at the SONAR Festival in Tokyo. His original tracks and remixes regularly appear in the playlists of the world’s top DJs including such luminaries as Laurent Garnier, Funk D’Void, and Danny Howells (who selected two of his tracks for his “Miami” mix record in 2005.) In 2010, he was commissioned by the Whitney Museum of American Art to produce an evening-length electronic work for the Whitney Biennial.
As a composer of concert music, DeSantis has been commissioned and performed by Alarm Will Sound, eighth blackbird, So Percussion, the Prism Saxophone Quartet, Opus 21, and Relâche, at venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Alice Tully Hall, the Library of Congress, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Recent highlights include a commission from the Staatsoper Stuttgart for an opera with electronics and a Carnegie Hall commission to arrange the music of Autechre for chamber orchestra.
DeSantis received a Grammy certificate in 2008 for his work on eighth blackbird’s Grammy-winning strange imaginary animals.
From 2003 to 2005 DeSantis worked as a sound designer for Native Instruments. He is now Head of Documentation for Ableton.