Press Kit | Photo Gallery | Video Gallery | Home
"... a wonderful and dazzling vehicle for large orchestra. This sophisticated, wildly inventive album is a masterpiece."—Global Music Awards on Knehans disc CONCERTOS
With a gift for extravagant color, beautiful melodic style, clear musical form and engaging, soulfully dramatic work, the music of award winning composer 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; UIC Recital Hall, Chicago; Tokyo, Japan; Kiev, Ukraine and recorded for worldwide CD release on Ablaze Records by the virtuoso piano duo The Pridonoff Duo.
Knehans’ music is about immediacy, drama, power, playfulness, architecture, harmonic structure, melodic expressiveness and more importantly depth and dimension. His music is about both love and life and a number of important critics see it that way too when they say his music “… tells an exciting story, ever- intensifying in color, thematic ideas, texture and tempo.” (The Washington Post); and whose orchestral music “…is radiant and multicolored. This is music of tremendous imagination. Knehans scores with a masterly hand, his sound paintbrush unerringly hitting the mark.” (Fanfare Magazine)
For him music is nature and natural forms—endlessly varied but centrally unified. It is relationships with people and memory—the way memory burnishes experiences and encrusts it with a sometimes deeper meaning than the original. People, nature, relationships, visceral tactility, nuance, yearning, heartbreak, tenuousness, drama, power, weakness, enervation, completion, memory and more. These are the elements that now play into his music—the elements of life. These elements also take on technical and expressive meaning in his music through metaphoric pairings with nature and natural forms.
His voice is influenced by his Australian-American training which was focused primarily on European music in his Australian undergraduate study at the prestigious Australian National University, and then American music in his American study at Queens College with Thea Musgrave—again also underscoring the European roots of his voice— and then at Yale with Pulitzer prize winning composer Jacob Druckman.
After completing music studies at ANU, Queens and Yale, Knehans had a professorship at the University of Alabama; was Director and Head of School at the University of Tasmania Conservatorium of Music in Australia and then was appointed the Dean of the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. He is currently the Norman Dinerstein Professor of Composition Scholar at CCM.
He currently lives and work in Cincinnati Ohio with my wife Josephine and two children Katarina and Joshua as well as the director of their household, their small dog Honey. He is a political junky interested in cooking, wine, natural and organic food; and a vegan and committed animal rights advocate who enjoys travel, art, architecture and music.