Michael DaughertyOn Our Show: February 19, 2011
Birth Year: 1954
Origin: Cedar Rapids, IA
About Michael Daugherty:
In 2011, composer, pianist and teacher Michael Daugherty won three Grammy Awards for the piano concerto “Deus Ex Machina,” a sonic tribute to trains, and Metropolis Symphony, an album inspired by Superman. According to the League of American Orchestras, he is one of the ten most performed contemporary composers in this country.
His chamber music and symphonic works are packed with references to spaghetti Western movies, Elvis Presley, Rosa Parks, President Abraham Lincoln’s funeral train, and even Barbie dolls.
As one of five sons of a jazz-rock drummer and a mother who was a singer with local theater productions in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Michael grew up in a diverse musical household that produced a number of professional musicians. Michael’s influences are wide-ranging, from James Brown to György Ligeti, and he has created a uniquely American classical sound.
He studied music composition at the University of North Texas (1972-76), the Manhattan School of Music (1976-78) and computer music at Boulez’s IRCAM in Paris (1979-80). He received his doctorate from Yale University in 1986 where his teachers included Jacob Druckman, Earle Brown, Roger Reynolds, and Bernard Rands. During this time, he also collaborated with jazz arranger Gil Evans in New York, and pursued further studies with composer György Ligeti in Hamburg, Germany (1982-84). After teaching music composition from 1986-1990 at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Daugherty joined the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance in Ann Arbor, Michigan where, since 1991, he has been a mentor to many of today’s most talented young composers.
Daugherty is a frequent guest of professional orchestras, festivals, universities, and conservatories and his orchestral music has been conducted by dozens of top conductors around the world.
Michael has received numerous awards, distinctions, and fellowships for his music including a Fulbright Fellowship (1977), Kennedy Center Friedheim Award (1989), Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters (1991), fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (1992) and the Guggenheim Foundation (1996), the Stoeger Prize from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (2000) and the Michigan Governor’s Award (2004) the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra Composer’s Award (2005), and the A. I. duPont Award (2007).