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Douglas Knehans : Represented Artist

Music, for me, is about full engagement of the visceral, affective, aural and intellectual parts of our natures and putting that into sound.

Random Audio Sample: Unfinished Earth : full orchestra by Douglas Knehans, from the CD Unfinished Earth

Photo of Douglas Knehans


Douglas Knehans has recently been a special guest of the Musical Premieres of the Season Festival in Kiev, Ukraine, where the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine gave the world premiere of his orchestral work ripple. This work has also been recorded for worldwide CD release on ERM Media Masterworks of the New Era series, distributed by Naxos. The Verdehr Trio has recorded his work rive on Crystal Records, and piano virtuoso Michael Kieran Harvey has recorded his Boyd panels for Move Records (2008). His music for electronic cello is featured on the CRI Emergency Music series, now distributed by New World Records. A CD of his music for acoustic and electronic cello will be released on Ablaze Records in 2010.

His latest commissions are from the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra for ...mist, memory, shadow... (a new work for string orchestra and solo violin) and a new double concerto, glow (clarinet and violin), for Elsa and Walter Verdehr.

Knehans holds degrees from the Australian National University, Queens College (City University of New York), 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.

He has been featured in three books on Australian music (A Handbook of Australian Music, Directory of Australian Composers, and Sound Ideas: Australian Composers Born Since 195, A Guide to Their Music and Ideas) as well as the International Who's Who in Music and Musicians directory (UK).

Knehans has been a fellow of the Victorian Council of the Arts, the MacDowell Colony and the Leighton Artist Colony (Banff), and has won awards from the American Music Centre and Meet the Composer. He 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 Musical Premieres of the Season Festival in Kiev, Ukraine, and the Accent 09, Accent 10 and Accent 11 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 at over a dozen other festivals worldwide. Knehans's works have been broadcast on Australian national radio and TV, PBS TV, NPR, RAI (Italy) radio and television, and national radio and television in the Ukraine. He has been commissioned to write specifically for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's radio and television programs, and his music to the PBS documentary Animal, Vegetable, Mineral was nominated for an Emmy award.

Knehans was a visiting professor of composition at the National University of Singapore (2006) and the Krakow Academy of Music, Poland (2007). He was Director of the University of Tasmania Conservatorium of Music from 2000-2008, and he created and was the inaugural Artistic Director of the Australian International Summer Orchestra Institute from 2005-2008. Between 2008-2010 he was Dean of the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) in Cincinnati. He is currently the Thomas James Kelly Professor of Music at CCM.

In September 2010, Knehans was awarded third prize (no first prize was awarded) at the 1st International Composers Competition Musica Religiosa in the Czech Republic for his Three Psalms for a cappella SATB choir.

Douglas Knehans — current to March 2011

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Cascade (duos: 2 pianos) (2010) Commissioned by the Pridonoff Duo
...mist, memory, shadow... : for solo violin and strings (2008) Commissioned by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.
soar : cello with piano (2004) Commissioned by Christian Wojtowicz.
rive : for clarinet, violin and piano (2002) Commissioned by Verdehr Trio, Michigan State University.
bang : for six instrumentalists and electronics on compact disc (2001) Commissioned by Seymour Group.
seraphic ride : for nine instruments (2001) Commissioned by National Symphony Orchestra, Washington, D.C., USA, for Kennedy Center Millenium Music Series.

Analysis & Media

- Video: "Bang" by Douglas Knehans