Born in Nigeria (the son of missionaries), Noel Da Costa moved with his family to the Caribbean Islands when he was three before moving to New York City at the age of 11. He was a student of Countee Cullen at Junior High School 139 in Harlem, which inspired him to pursue a life in the arts.
Da Costa studied at Queens College and Columbia University before earning a Fulbright to study composition with Dallapiccola in Italy.
Da Costa taught at several universities and conducted and played the violin in addition to composing.
--Christie Finn Sources: New World Records liner notes and Lucius R. Wyatt's article in the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians