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Douglas Knehans (1957-    )

Douglas Knehans, composerDouglas Knehans has been writing music for over thirty years for all media from orchestra and opera to electronic, dance and vocal music. He holds degrees from the Australian National University; Queens College, CUNY where he graduated with the Luigi Dallapiccola Composition Award (1991) for outstanding achievement in music composition and Yale University, where he won the Woods Chandler Memorial Award for best composition in a larger form among others. Knehans has been a fellow of Carnegie Hall, the Victorian Council of the Arts, MacDowell Colony and Leighton Artist Colony (Banff), has won awards from the Australian Film and Television School, American Music Centre, National Endowment for the Arts and Meet the Composer and has fulfilled commissions for a wide variety of works from orchestral, to chamber music, opera, dance, choral, electronic and film. He has been a guest of the Czech-American Summer Music Institute in Prague, Czech Republic; New Music, New Faces Festival in Krakow, Poland; the Australian International Summer Orchestra Institute in Hobart, Australia; the Premieres of the Season Festival in Kiev, Ukraine and the Accent Festivals in Cincinnati, USA. His music for the short film A Song of Air, commissioned by the Australian Film Institute, was screened at the prestigious Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival and over a dozen others world wide. Knehans’ works have been broadcast on Australian National Radio and TV, PBS, NPR, RAI (Italy) Radio and Television and National Radio and Television of Ukraine. He has been commissioned to write specifically for Australian Broadcasting Corporation Radio and Television programs and his music to the PBS documentary Animal, Vegetable, Mineral was nominated for an EMMY award. Knehans has taught composition, music theory and electronic music while on the faculties of the University of Alabama, the University of Tasmania (Australia) and the University of Cincinnati. He has also been a visiting professor of composition at the Australian National University (1981 and 2004) National University of Singapore (2006) and the Krakow Academy of Music, Poland (2007) and has delivered lectures on his music at New York University and Yale University. He was Director of the University of Tasmania Conservatorium of Music from 2000-2008, created and was the inaugural Artistic Director of the Australian International Summer Orchestra Institute from 2005-08. Between 2008-10 he was Dean of the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati and is currently its Norman Dinerstein Professor of Composition Scholar. Knehans was recently named Composer of the Year 2013 by the Ohio Music Teachers Association and was a 2011 winner of the International Music Prize for Excellence in Music Composition (Athens, Greece). His latest commissions are from concert:nova for a new short work for a collaboration with the Cincinnati Ballet; from the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra (Australia) for …mist, memory, shadow…, a work for string orchestra and solo violin; glow, a double concerto (clarinet and violin) for Elsa and Walter Verdehr; the other, a solo cello sonata for Paul York, and cascade, a two piano work for the Pridonoff Duo. Knehans has recently been a special guest of the Premieres of the Season Festival in Kiev, Ukraine, where the Kiev Piano Duo gave the European premiere of cascade. This work has also been performed in Steinway Hall, New York; Tokyo, Japan, and recorded for worldwide release on Ablaze Records. The Verdehr Trio also recorded his work rive on Crystal Records, and piano virtuoso Michael Kieran Harvey has recorded his Boyd panels for Move Records (Australia). His music for electronic cello is also featured on the CRI Emergency Music series. A disc of his music for acoustic and electronic cello was released on Ablaze Records in the fall of 2010.

COMPOSITIONS                                                            Knehans Links     ~ ~ ~     Works by Genre
The Tempest, incidental music (1979)
Sonata for Solo Clarinet (1980) [w/optional amplification]
Five Songs to Poems of Sylvia Plath, voice and piano (1981) [arr. for voice and orch, 1983; voice and ensemble, 1986]
Ku-ring-gai Chase, TV score (1982) [commissioned by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation]
Winter Steps, orchestra (1983)
Song of the Raven Night, 6-part TA chorus, organ, 2 pianos and 4 percussionists (1984)
Seven Nursery Songs for Taliesen, voice and guitar (1984)
String Quartet (1984, withdrawn)
The Ratbag Shearers, SSA choir, rocks, chains and piano (1986) [staging optional]
St. Luke Magnificat, double chorus (1986)
Orichalcum Fanfare, double trombone choir (1986, withdrawn)
Exiles, mixed sextet and 2 stereo tapes (1987)
A Song of Air, film score (1987)
In Light, orchestra (1987, withdrawn)
Image Shift, flute, violin, cello and piano (1988)
Dawn Panels, percussion quartet (1988)
Elegies for Merilee, double bass and tape (1988)
The Ascension of Robert Flau, chamber opera (1990)
Le cris sombre, youth ensemble (1990)
Epicideum hathumode, chorus (1991)
Night Chains, electronic cello and digital effects (1991)
Une seule femme endormie, voice and singing cellist (1991)
Concerto for Guitar, Orchestra and Concertante Group (1992)
Hell Cantos, 14 solo players [fl, ob, cl, bsn, tpt, hn, bass trom, perc (1), pf, 2 vlns, va, vc, db] (1993)
Time Processional, wind ensemble (1995) [In Memoriam Witold Lutoslawski]
Night Canticle, electronic cello, synthesizer, digital effects and computer (1995)
Bone Vestiges, piano (1995)
The Fire, processed soprano voice, MIDI violin, digital effects and computer (1995)
Spin, acoustic cello and pre-recorded electronic sounds on compact disc (1996)
Bang, sextet and electronics on compact disc (1997)
Touch, piano and electronics on compact disc (1997)
Blaze, concerto for horn, strings, harp and percussion (1998)
...de la fumeť... des voix..., harpsichord and electronics on compact disc (1999)
Animal, Vegetable, Mineral: The Art of Frank Fleming, TV score (1999) [commissioned by PBS Television]
Seraphic Ride, mixed nonet [fl, ob, cl, perc (1), harp, pf, vln, va, vc] (2001)
Ripple, dance piece, orchestra (2002)
    - Ripple, orchestra (2002)
Rive, violin, clarinet and piano (2002)
Dark Dances, string quartet (2002)
Boyd Panels (5 pieces), piano (2002)
Songs to Poems of e.e. cummings, mezzo-soprano and piano (2002)
Lamentation, string orchestra (2004)
Shoah Requiem, SATB soloists, chorus and orchestra (2005)
Soar, cello and orchestra (2006)
Soar, cello and piano (2006)
Spin-off, clarinet and electronics (2006)
...mist, memory, shadow..., violin and string orchestra (2007)
Glow, double concerto for violin, clarinet and orchestra (2008)
The Lullaby Project, lullabies for voice and piano (2008 -     )
Le Coucou sur la montagnes russes,ballet (2009)
Three Psalms, chorus (2010)
Missa brevis, chorus and organ (2010)
Cascade, 2 pianos (2010)
Cascade - concerto for orchestra (2011)
Drift, oboe and string orchestra (2011)
Panis angelicus, chorus (2011)
The Other, cello (2011)
A Patchen Cycle, baritone and piano (2011)
…cascade… echo…, orchestra (2012)
symbolum apostolorum, chorus (2012)
Two looks at silence, chorus (2012) [text: English and Latin translations of "Silence" by A.S. Kline]
Shimmer, woodwind quintet (2012)
for Hilary, in clouds…, violin and piano (2012)
Mist Sketches, piano (2011)


WORKS BY GENRE                                                            Knehans Links     ~ top of page ~
Dramatic/Theater
The Ratbag Shearers, SSA choir, rocks, chains and piano (1986) [staging optional]
The Ascension of Robert Flau, chamber opera (1990)
Ripple, dance piece, orchestra (2002)
Le Coucou sur la montagnes russes,ballet (2009)

Orchestra
Winter Steps, orchestra (1983)
In Light, orchestra (1987, withdrawn)
Ripple, orchestra (2002)
Lamentation, string orchestra (2004)
Cascade - concerto for orchestra (2011)
…cascade… echo…, orchestra (2012)

Band
Time Processional, wind ensemble (1995) [In Memoriam Witold Lutoslawski]

Soloist(s) w/Orchestra
Concerto for Guitar, Orchestra and Concertante Group (1992)
Blaze, concerto for horn, strings, harp and percussion (1998)
Soar, cello and orchestra (2006)
...mist, memory, shadow..., violin and string orchestra (2007)
Glow, double concerto for violin, clarinet and orchestra (2008)
Drift, oboe and string orchestra (2011)

Chorus w/Orchestra
Shoah Requiem, SATB soloists, chorus and orchestra (2005)

Choral
Song of the Raven Night, 6-part TA chorus, organ, 2 pianos and 4 percussionists (1984)
The Ratbag Shearers, SSA choir, rocks, chains and piano (1986) [staging optional]
St. Luke Magnificat, double chorus (1986)
Epicideum hathumode, chorus (1991)
Three Psalms, chorus (2010)
Missa brevis, chorus and organ (2010)
Panis angelicus, chorus (2011)
symbolum apostolorum, chorus (2012)
Two looks at silence, chorus (2012) [text: English and Latin translations of "Silence" by A.S. Kline]

Chamber
String Quartet (1984, withdrawn)
Orichalcum Fanfare, double trombone choir (1986, withdrawn)
Exiles, mixed sextet and 2 stereo tapes (1987)
Image Shift, flute, violin, cello and piano (1988)
Dawn Panels, percussion quartet (1988)
Le cris sombre, youth ensemble (1990)
Hell Cantos, 14 solo players [fl, ob, cl, bsn, tpt, hn, bass trom, perc (1), pf, 2 vlns, va, vc, db] (1993)
Bang, sextet and electronics on compact disc (1997)
Seraphic Ride, mixed nonet [fl, ob, cl, perc (1), harp, pf, vln, va, vc] (2001)
Rive, violin, clarinet and piano (2002)
Dark Dances, string quartet (2002)
Soar, cello and piano (2006)
Shimmer, woodwind quintet (2012)

Instrument and Piano
Soar, cello and piano (2006)
for Hilary, in clouds…, violin and piano (2012)

Solo Instrument
Sonata for Solo Clarinet (1980) [w/optional amplification]
Elegies for Merilee, double bass and tape (1988)
Night Chains, electronic cello and digital effects (1991)
Night Canticle, electronic cello, synthesizer, digital effects and computer (1995)
Spin, acoustic cello and pre-recorded electronic sounds on compact disc (1996)
Spin-off, clarinet and electronics (2006)
The Other, cello (2011)

Piano/Harpsichord
Bone Vestiges, piano (1995)
Touch, piano and electronics on compact disc (1997)
...de la fumeť... des voix..., harpsichord and electronics on compact disc (1999)
Boyd Panels (5 pieces), piano (2002)
    - Meditation at Pulpit Rock
    - Crucifixion and Rose
    - Shoalhaven Light - late afternoon
    - The Magic Fish
    - Black River
Cascade, 2 pianos (2010)
Mist Sketches, piano (2011)

Vocal
Five Songs to Poems of Sylvia Plath, voice and piano (1981) [arr. for voice and orch, 1983; voice and ensemble, 1986]
    - The Couriers
    - Poppies in October
    - You're
    - Poppies in July
    - Ariel
Seven Nursery Songs for Taliesen, voice and guitar (1984)
Une seule femme endormie, voice and singing cellist (1991)
The Fire, processed soprano voice, MIDI violin, digital effects and computer (1995)
Songs to Poems of e.e. cummings, mezzo-soprano and piano (2002)
The Lullaby Project, lullabies for voice and piano (2008 -)
A Patchen Cycle, baritone and piano (2011)

Incidental/Film
The Tempest, incidental music (1979)
Ku-ring-gai Chase, TV score (1982) [commissioned by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation]
A Song of Air, film score (1987)
Animal, Vegetable, Mineral: The Art of Frank Fleming, TV score (1999) [commissioned by PBS Television]

Electronic
Exiles, mixed sextet and 2 stereo tapes (1987)
Elegies for Merilee, double bass and tape (1988)
Night Chains, electronic cello and digital effects (1991)
The Fire, processed soprano voice, MIDI violin, digital effects and computer (1995)
Night Canticle, electronic cello, synthesizer, digital effects and computer (1995)
Spin, acoustic cello and pre-recorded electronic sounds on compact disc (1996)
Bang, sextet and electronics on compact disc (1997)
Touch, piano and electronics on compact disc (1997)
...de la fumeť... des voix..., harpsichord and electronics on compact disc (1999)
Spin-off, clarinet and electronics (2006)


KNEHANS  LINKS                                                            Works by Genre      ~ top of page ~
Douglas Knehans Interview (Chris McGovern, The Glass)

Composer's website   . . .   contact Douglas Knehans:  here
Knehans @ Twitter

Knehans @ Wikipedia
Knehans @ Ablaze Records
Knehans @ American Composers Forum
Knehans @ American Music Center
Knehans @ Australian Music Centre
Knehans @ Classical Archives
Knehans @ Classical Composers Database
Knehans @ composition:today
Knehans @ Composition 2011
Knehans @ Facebook
Knehans @ The Glass
Knehans @ Google+
Knehans @ InstantEncore
Knehans @ LinkedIn
Knehans @ MusicWeb International
Knehans @ MySpaceMusic
Knehans @ The New York Times
Knehans @ ReverbNation
Knehans @ University of Cincinnati

Publisher
Knehans @ Composer's website
Knehans @ Armadillo Edition
Knehans @ Australian Music Centre

Streaming Audio
Knehans @ Composer's website
Knehans @ Classical Archives
Knehans @ last.fm
Knehans @ MySpaceMusic
Knehans @ ReverbNation
Knehans @ SoundCloud

Recordings
Knehans @ Composer's website    also    here
Knehans @ Ablaze Records
Knehans @ Amazon.com
Knehans @ ArkivMusic
Knehans @ CD Baby
Knehans @ CD Universe
Knehans @ ClassicsOnline
Knehans @ Discogs
Knehans @ itunes
Knehans @ Move Records

Video
Knehans @ YouTube
Knehans @ Google Video

Reviews
Cascade (for two pianos) is a substantial work...effective...incisive...hauntingly beautiful..."
    - Radu A. Lelutiu, Fanfare Magazine (Apr 06, 2012)

"I was particularly impressed with Knehans's setting of the poem called "You're". His music is brilliantly catchy and eerily bright, providing an extra dimension to Plath's heavily condensed imagery."
    - Harvey Mitchell, The Australian (Dec 02, 1986)

"...had a gift of pulse and kinetic impetus that propelled [his] music onward..."
    - Chang Tou Liang, The Straits Times, Singapore (Nov 03, 2009)

Night Chains by Douglas Knehans, was like a Hitchcock soundtrack gone truly psycho: wildly inventive.
    - The Miami Herald (Apr 18, 1994)

Winter Steps is a witty, ambitious, inventive and passionate work... a brief and powerful piece...
    - Richard Rand, The Tuscaloosa News (Feb 28, 1996)

"While a nicely shaped account of Sculthorpe's Grief Singing opened the concert, a sometimes growling, sometimes melancholic rendition of Douglas Knehans's Rive beautifully closed it out.""
    - The Washington Post (Oct 31, 2006)

"The piece [seraphic ride] tells an exciting story, ever-intensifying in color, thematic ideas, texture and tempo."
    - The Washington Post (Jun 24, 2002)
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