About

Biography

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Buchanan Teaching Headshot

Hailed for his “sense of creative imperative” (The Philadelphia Inquirer) and “ability to get under the skin of [the music’s] core material” (The Scotsman), Douglas Buchanan’s works have been praised for being “filled with terrific orchestral color and weight, not to mention feeling” (The Baltimore Sun). Buchanan currently resides in Baltimore, Maryland, where he serves as Director of Music Ministries at St. David’s Episcopal Church, Music Theory and Musicology Faculty at the Peabody Conservatory, Composition Faculty at Dickinson College, and Artistic Director of the Maryland Choral Society. Buchanan has been the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including the Presser Award, an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer’s Award, and a Pi Kappa Lambda Performance Award. An active scholar, Buchanan presents regularly at conferences, including the 2015 International College Music Society Conference in Stockholm, Sweden and Helsinki, Finland, and the 2013 American Musicology Association Capital Chapter annual meeting, where he received the Lowens Award for outstanding graduate research. Previously, he co-authored two books for Continuum Publishing. He was selected as a member of the 2012 Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Student Composer Readings for his work Malleus, which subsequently won the 2012 Macht Competition for Best Orchestral Score as well as the 2013 Symphony in C Young Composer’s Award. Before assuming directorship of the Maryland Choral Society, he sang in the Baltimore Choral Arts Society with his wife, Kelly. He also enjoys microtonal interspecies improvisation with his black lab, Grover. You are invited to visit www.dbconductor.com to learn more.

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Works List

Selected Repertoire

[Medium]

 

Photo: Britt Olsen-Ecker

Recognized for his “sense of creative imperative” (The Philadelphia Inquirer) and for music “filled with terrific orchestral color and weight, not to mention feeling” (The Baltimore Sun), Douglas Buchanan is an active composer, conductor, performer, and educator in the greater Baltimore/D.C. area. He currently serves as Composition Faculty at Dickinson College, Music Theory and Musicology Faculty at the Peabody Conservatory, Artistic Director of the Maryland Choral Society, and Organist and Choirmaster of St. David’s Episcopal Church in Baltimore.

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Conducting the Maryland Choral Society; Photo: Claire Weber

As a choral conductor and performer, Buchanan was most recently appointed to serve as Artistic Director of the Maryland Choral Society, where he conducts the chorus and orchestra in performances of both canonical and contemporary compositions. He also serves as Organist and Choirmaster of Historic St. David’s Church in Baltimore, where he conducts the professional St. David’s Choir, directs the volunteer and children’s choruses, oversees the Concert and Evensong series, and coordinates the Ensemble-in-Residence program.

Buchanan’s compositions have been praised for their “ability to get under the skin of [the music’s] core material,” wherein his cross-disciplinary musicianship is evident. His works are frequently linked with poetic texts and visual art, creating a network of images, words, and music akin to the mythic experience of ritual. His piano cycle Colonnades, which included text and photography by the composer, received both a Presser Award from the Peabody Institute and an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers Award; its sequel, Welkinharmonie, for solo organ, was supported by a residency at the Shin Pond Artist’s Retreat, and will have a culminating performance in the fall of 2015 at the National Cathedral. He has also received the Macht Award for Outstanding Orchestral Composition, the Symphony in C Young Composers Award, and was a participant in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Student Composers’ Readings. An advocate for young composers, he teaches privately in Baltimore and serves as coordinator and composition mentor for the Baltimore Choral Arts Young Composers Readings.

Buchanan Presentation

Lecturing at the Sibelius Institute, Helsinki, Finland

An ardent educator, Buchanan has taught and lectured at institutions ranging from liberal arts colleges to state universities to conservatories. He remains active as a researcher, particularly in the realms of music perception and cognition, music and animal rights, music and evolution, music and meaning, and special topics in music theory (including spectralism, topoi, and rhetoric). Recent notable conference appearances include presentations and performances at the 2015 College Music Society International Conference, a paper and a lecture recital at the Ecomusicologies 2014 conference, receiving the 2013 Lowens Award for Outstanding Graduate Research from the American Musicological Society Capital Chapter, and serving as summer faculty at the Chautauqua Institute. He will present at the 2016 College Music Society National Conference in October 2016. Also a visual artist and poet, Buchanan has illustrated and co-authored books with Continuum Publishing and Lantern Books.

Buchanan is fortunate to have many opportunities to sing with and accompany his wife, Kelly, a mezzo-soprano, and also enjoys microtonal interspecies improvisation with his black lab, Grover. You are invited to visit his website, www.dbconductor.com, to learn more.

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Meeting Pete Seeger at the Peabody Conservatory Hooding Ceremony

Recognized for his “sense of creative imperative” (David Patrick Stearns, The Philadelphia Inquirer) and for music “filled with terrific orchestral color and weight, not to mention feeling” (Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun), Douglas Buchanan (b. 1984, Westfield, NY) is an active composer, conductor, performer, and educator in the greater Baltimore/D.C. area. He currently serves as Composition Faculty at Dickinson College, Music Theory and Musicology Faculty at the Peabody Conservatory, Artistic Director of the Maryland Choral Society, and Organist and Choirmaster of St. David’s Episcopal Church in Baltimore. He completed his DMA in Composition under the tutelage of Michael Hersch at the Peabody Conservatory, receiving the Philip D. Glass Prize in Composition and the Edward T. Cone Memorial Award in Music Theory. Previous degrees include Composition (M.Mus., the Peabody Conservatory), Music Theory Pedagogy (M.Mus., the Peabody Conservatory), and Piano Performance (B.Mus., the College of Wooster), where he trained as an organist and choral conductor with John Russell, and as an instrumental conductor with Jeffrey Lindberg and Nancy Ditmer.

As a choral conductor, Buchanan was most recently appointed to serve as Artistic Director of the Maryland Choral Society, where he conducts the chorus and orchestra in performances of both canonical and contemporary compositions. He also serves as Organist and Choirmaster of Historic St. David’s Church in Baltimore, where he conducts the professional St. David’s Choir, directs the volunteer and children’s choruses, oversees the Concert and Evensong series, and coordinates the Ensemble-in-Residence program.

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Conducting the Massed Choirs of Old St. Paul’s

Previously he served as Director of Music at Historic Old St. Paul’s Episcopal Church—where he conducted the St. Paul’s Choir of Men and Boys, the second oldest choir of its kind in the nation under his tenure—and prior to that at served at St. Mark’s-on-the-Hill Episcopal Church. In February 2014 he conducted the opening performance for the American Choral Directors Association’s Eastern Division Conference; he has also been named three times as Music Director for the annual convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland. He is in frequent demand as a clinician, and has led workshops for ACDA Voices United, The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, and the Baltimore Choral Arts Society. Recent performance highlights as an organist and pianist include presenting J.S. Bach’s Aria with Diverse Variations (“Goldberg”) on the Baltimore Bach Marathon, and recitals at the First Presbyterian Church of Dallas, the Church of the Epiphany (D.C.) Concert Series, and the Washington National Cathedral.

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Performing “Welkinharmonie” at the Church of the Epiphany, Washington, DC

Buchanan’s compositions have been praised for their “ability to get under the skin of [the music’s] core material” (The Scotsman), wherein his cross-disciplinary musicianship is evident. His works are frequently linked with poetic texts and visual art, creating a network of images, words, and music akin to the mythic experience of ritual. His piano cycle Colonnades, which included text and photography by the composer, received both a Presser Award from the Peabody Institute and an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers Award; its sequel, Welkinharmonie, for solo organ, was supported by a residency at the Shin Pond Artist’s Retreat, and was performed by Buchanan in October 2015 on the Organ Recital Series at the Washington National Cathedral. Other notable collaborations include: commissions from the Peabody and Annapolis Operas, the Montreat Music conference, Rhymes with Opera, and Shostakovich collaborator Yevgeny Yevtoshenko; residencies with the LUNAR ensemble and the Broken Consort; and performances and readings by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the Baltimore Choral Arts Society, the Peabody Children’s Chorus, the Peabody Symphony Orchestra (which awarded Buchanan the Macht Award for Outstanding Orchestral Composition), the Hebrides Ensemble, and the Symphony in C (which granted Buchanan their Young Composers Award for his work Malleus). Previous composition study includes lessons with Libby Larsen, Nicholas Maw, Chen Yi, Sally Beamish, Alasdair Nicolson, Jack Gallagher, and Melissa Hui, and masterclasses with Christopher Rouse, Christopher Theofanidis, and Karel Husa. An advocate for young composers, he teaches privately in Baltimore and serves as coordinator and composition mentor for the Baltimore Choral Arts Young Composers Readings.

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Lecturing at the 2014 Ecomusicologies Conference

An ardent educator, Buchanan has taught and lectured at institutions ranging from liberal arts colleges to state universities to conservatories. In addition to his work at Peabody and Dickinson, he has taught at Towson University and has given guest lectures at Johns Hopkins University, the University of Baltimore, SUNY Fredonia, and the Shenandoah Conservatory, and will teach as part of the Johns Hopkins University Krieger School of Arts and Sciences Odyssey Advanced Academic Program in the Fall of 2016. He remains active as a researcher, particularly in the realms of music perception and cognition, music and animal rights, music and evolution, music and meaning, and special topics in music theory (including spectralism, topoi, and rhetoric). Recent notable conference appearances include presentations and performances at the 2015 College Music Society International Conference, a paper and a lecture recital at the Ecomusicologies 2014 conference, receiving the 2013 Lowens Award for Outstanding Graduate Research from the American Musicological Society Capital Chapter, and serving as summer faculty at the Chautauqua Institute. Also a visual artist and poet, Buchanan has illustrated and co-authored books with Continuum Publishing and Lantern Books.

Buchanan is fortunate to have many opportunities to sing with and accompany his wife, Kelly, a mezzo-soprano, and also enjoys microtonal interspecies improvisation with his black lab, Grover. You are invited to visit his website, www.dbcomposer.com, and blog, www.dbcomposerblog.wordpress.com, to learn more.

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