David Maki

Professor and Coordinator, Theory and Composition

David Maki is an alumnus of the NIU School of Music, where he earned the B.M. in music composition in 1989. He holds graduate degrees in composition from the University of Iowa (M.A.) and the University of Michigan (D.M.A).

Maki’s compositions have been performed widely at regional, national and international venues. His music has been described as “fresh and unusual” by All Music Guide, “vivid, introspective” by American Record Guide and “meditative and beautiful” by Fanfare. Recordings of his music can be found on the Albany Records, Avid Sound Recordings and Parma Recordings labels.

He enjoys finding inspiration from nature, literature, arts, design and a wide variety of music in order to compose multi-layered works that speak clearly. His harmonic language varies from lushly tonal to jaggedly chromatic all within clear formal structures, but always specific to each project. Rhythmic and melodic layering over varying tempo relationships lead to shifting textures within coherent structure.

Maki has substantial experience as a pianist and collaborative artist performing a variety of genres including classical, jazz and new music; he has toured Scandinavia twice as pianist with Amerikan Laulajat.

He is enthusiastically involved in the classroom at NIU, teaching all levels of music theory and aural skills, as well as theory electives and private composition instruction.


D.M.A., University of Michigan


  • Music Theory
  • Aural Skills
  • Composition



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Austyn V. Menk
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