Douglas Knehans


Douglas Knehans

With a gift for extravagant color, beautiful melodic style, clear musical form and engaging, soulfully dramatic work, the music of Douglas Knehans has gained the attention and warm appreciation of audiences and performers around the world.

Knehans’ two-piano work cascade has been performed in Steinway Hall, New York; Tokyo, Japan; Kiev, Ukraine and recorded for worldwide CD release on Ablaze Records by the virtuoso piano duo The Pridonoff Duo in a recording hailed by Fanfare Magazine as “ … effective … incisive … hauntingly beautiful … ” A disc of his early music for acoustic and electronic cello was released on Ablaze Records in the fall of 2010 which was called “ … amazingly sophisticated … very beautiful … intriguing … captivating …” by Audiophile Audition.

With a reputation for crafting large, bold works, Knehans’ latest commissions are for the violin, clarinet, cello and piano quartet enhakē, praised by BBC Music Magazine as “...a terrific quartet with a keen instinct for exciting programmes … ;” for a new violin concerto for the Australian-based Chinese violin virtuoso Jun-Yi Ma lauded by The Australian for “ … play[ing] with such insight and beauty of tone … ;” and a new cello concerto for cellist Paul York whose solo performance The New York Concert Review hailed as “… brilliant … one had to be in awe of his playing.”

Knehans 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.

A fellow of Carnegie Hall, the Victorian Council of the Arts, MacDowell Colony and Leighton Artist Colony (Banff), Knehans has won awards from the Australian Film and Television School, American Music Centre, National Endowment for the Arts and Meet the Composer. He has been a guest of the Czech-American Summer Music Institute in Prague, Czech Republic; the New Music, New Faces Festival in Krakow, Poland; and a number of others. Knehans 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 Symphony Orchestra Institute from 2005-2008. Between 2008-2010 he was Dean of the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) in Cincinnati and is currently the Norman Dinerstein Professor of Composition Scholar at CCM.

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) and was a 2012 semi-finalist for The American Prize in Composition (Orchestra-Professional Division) for his work ripple—for large orchestra. In April of 2013 he was awarded the George Rieveschl Jr. Award for Creative and/or Scholarly Work by the President of the University of Cincinnati.