Opera and contemporary classical music composer, educator, and stage director who received the 2012 Guggenheim Fellowship. His works were noted for their psychological and emotional intensity. He focused on tonality, using serial, pitch class, and octatonic techniques.
He started composing at the age of 13 when his brother gave him a recording of "Billy Budd" by Benjamin Britten.
His opera "Shining Brow" premiered in 1992, launching his career.
He was the youngest of three sons born to visual artist, writer, and advertising executive Gwen Hagen, famed as Creative Director at the Exclusively Yours magazine. He married composer, vocalist, and visual artist Gilda Lyons, with whom he had two children, Atticus and Seamus.
He was encouraged by Leonard Bernstein to apply to Julliard after Bernstein heard his first orchestral work.