Daniel Pinkham (1923–2006) taught at NEC from 1959 up until his death in December 2006. With his roles as a pillar of Boston's musical community and as a teacher virtually inseparable, Pinkham made his mark as a composer, conductor, harpsichordist, and organist.

A prolific, versatile, and frequently performed composer, Pinkham said of his own music: "One of the most important influences on my music has been my contact with performers, and I am most happy when writing for a specific performance. This, I suppose, explains why I have no unperformed music. I have always been interested in making music technically accessible." Pinkham's catalog includes four symphonies and other works for large ensembles; cantatas and oratorios; concertos for piano, piccolo, organ, violin, and trumpet; theater works and chamber operas; chamber music; electronic music; and scores for 20 television documentaries. In 2003, the premiere of his orchestral work based on Robert McCloskey's classic Boston-based picture book Make Way for Ducklings sealed his status as a Boston icon. Among many national marks of recognition: Fulbright and Ford Foundation fellowships and membership as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Pinkham served as Music Director at Boston’s historic King’s Chapel for 42 years and founded the church's highly regarded concert series. At NEC, during his time as chair of what was then called the Early Music department, he also led the NEC Collegium Musicum. Among the instruments he gave to NEC, he was able to hear a recently donated Bennett & Giuttari continuo organ used in NEC choral concerts during the fall 2006 semester, shortly before his death.

A.B., Harvard College, A.M., Harvard University; hon. Litt.D., Nebraska Wesleyan University; hon. D.Mus., NEC, Adrian College, Westminster Choir College, Ithaca College, and Boston Conservatory. Composition with Walter Piston, Aaron Copland, Arthur Honegger, Samuel Barber, Nadia Boulanger; organ with E. Power Biggs; harpsichord with Putnam Aldrich, Wanda Landowska. Also faculty of Simmons College, Boston University, and Visiting Lecturer at Harvard University.