Douglas Knehans

Douglas Knehans

Norman Dinerstein Professor of Composition Scholar

Emery Hall

4232

CCM Composition, Musicology & Theory - 0003

Professional Summary

Douglas Knehans’s music is about complex relationships that are dramatically established and drawn over large timeframes through a technique he calls deep line. The surface and expressive impact of his music though is about richness and color and critics see it that way too when they say his 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)

Though first known through his collaboration with director Barrie Kosky in the Opera Australia production of his The Ascension of Robert Flau (1990), he is perhaps best known for his orchestral compositions. In this music the study of orchestral mass, expressive impact and sonic brilliance drive his musical language. Additional to Knehans’s eight large works for orchestra, his music has come to the attention of soloists and orchestras through his four symphonies and twelve concertos for instrument or voice and orchestra. Knehans’s orchestral and other compositions, including opera, have been performed worldwide at major music festivals and been included on a number of solo and compilation recordings.

Knehans’s creative work in both orchestral and vocal music as well as chamber music and electro-acoustic music draws on his three major sources of theoretical interest—the study of time and memory; the study of human emotion; and the study of the organic and natural world. These elements can—and again through the use of time, memory and emotion— easily be drawn into a deeper and more crypto-spiritual world of the psycho-emotional by utilizing organic and natural world metaphors for our deeper human existence and struggles.

His music 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 all of his study at ANU, Queens and Yale, Knehans held 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.

Education

DMA, Yale University, School of Music New Haven, CT, 1996 (Music Composition (Jacob Druckman), Orchestration (Jacob Druckman), Electronic Music and Music Technology (Jonathan Berger, Jack Vees), Schenkerian Analysis (Allen Forte))

MMA, Yale University New Haven, CT, 1993 (Music Composition (Jacob Druckman and Jonathan Berger), Orchestration (Jacob Druckman), Electronic Music and Music Technology (Jonathan Berger, Jack Vees), Music Analysis (Robert P. Morgan))

MA-Mus, Queens College, City University of New York New York, NY, 1991 (Music Composition (Thea Musgrave); Computer Music (Hubert Howe))

BA-Mus, Canberra School of Music, Australian National University Canberra, Australia, 1980 (Flute (David Cubbin, Margaret Crawford, Vernon Hill), Composition (Don Banks, Larry Sitsky, Donald Hollier))

Positions and Work Experience

2010 -To Present Norman Dinerstein Professor of Composition Scholar, CCM, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH

2008 -To Present Director and Producer, Ablaze Records, Australia and USA

2008 -2010 Dean, College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH

2008 -2010 Director, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors, Cincinnati, OH

2008 -2010 Director, Cincinnati Opera Board of Directors, Cincinnati, OH

2008 -2010 Director, American Classical Music Hall of Fame Board of Directors, Cincinnati, OH

2000 -2008 Professor of Music, Director and Head of School, Conservatorium of Music, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

2000 -2006 Chair, Member, Board of Directors, Australian Music Examinations Board, Melbourne, Australia

2000 -2006 State Chair (Tasmania), Australian Music Examinations Board, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

2005 -2008 Artistic Director, Australian International Summer Orchestra Institute, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

2006 -To Present Expert Assessor, Australian Research Council, Australia

1993 -1999 Associate Professor of Music Area Head, Music Composition, Theory and Electronic Music, School of Music, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA

Research and Practice Interests

Knehans’s creative work in both orchestral and vocal music as well as chamber music and electro-acoustic music draws on his three major sources of theoretical interest—the study of time and memory; the study of human emotion; and the study of the organic and natural world. These three seemingly disparate areas of research coalesce naturally through music. This is because music is based in time and memory; it uses emotion as a major pathway for laying down of musical memory, emotional response, and time comparisons of ideas as they progress through a work, while utilizing the organic and natural world as an evocative, correlative surface for music. These elements can—and again through the use of time, memory and emotion— easily be drawn into a deeper and more crypto-spiritual world of the psycho-emotional by utilizing organic and natural world metaphors for our deeper human existence and struggles.

The creation of sound worlds of great paradox is thus a huge fascination for Knehans. The outward representation of inner psycho-emotional dynamics is of particular interest to him. In seeking to allow fruitful pathways for the understanding and meaning of works, he is increasingly drawn to summative and simple natural or organic symbols and signifiers that allow for a certain ‘pre-coding’ of a work in the mind of the listener: one that relies on time and memory, emotional response and intellectual engagement with organic and natural world metaphors.

Publications

Peer Reviewed Publications

Knehans, Douglas (2020. ) Cloud Ossuary (Symphony No. 4) [52 min.] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (2018. ) Glitch—for orchestra [12 min] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (2018. ) Li-brightness [10.5 min] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (2019. ) mist waves [7 min.] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (2017. ) falling air [10.5 min] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (2017. ) red silk, black water [10.5 min] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (2016. ) seven last words of Jesus Christ from the cross [16 min.] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (2016. ) unfinished earth (Symphony No. 3) [33 min.] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (2014. ) tempest-for solo flute and orchestra [18 min.] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (2013. ) black city—cello concerto no. 2 [46 min.] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (2013. ) heat .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (2013. ) lumen [35 min.] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (2012. ) a Patchen cycle-for baritone and orchestra [24 min.] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (2012. ) symbolum apostolorum [8 min] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (2012. ) backwards from winter—monodrama for soprano, electric cello, electronics and video [60 min.] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (2012. ) shimmer [7 min] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (2012. ) two looks at silence [8 min.] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (2011. ) drift [11 min.] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (2011. ) panis angelicus [6 min.] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (2011. ) cascade-concerto for orchestra (Symphony No. 2) [22 min.] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (2010. ) cascade [20 min.] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (2010. ) a Patchen cycle [24 min.] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (2010. ) missa brevis [20 min.] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (2010. ) three psalms [12 min.] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (2008. ) glow [31 min.] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (2007. ) ...mist, memory, shadow... [10 min.] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (2006. ) spin-off [9 min.] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (2006. ) soar-cello concerto no. 1 [15 min.] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (2004. ) soar [15 min] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (2002. ) ripple (Symphony No. 1) [14 min.] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (2002. ) rive [12 min.] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (2009. ) shoah requiem [120 min.] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (2000. ) bang [15 min] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (2000. ) seraphic ride [15 min.] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (1997. ) touch [7 min.] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (1996. ) spin [7 min] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (1995. ) night canticle [24 min.] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (1995. ) time processional [17 min.] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (1993. ) hell cantos [15 min] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (1991. ) une seule femme endormie [7 min.] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (1991. ) epicideum hathumode [7 min] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (1991. ) night chains [15 min] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (1990. ) the ascension of robert flau-chamber opera [51 min] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (1987. ) exiles [15 min] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (1983. ) winter steps [11 min] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Knehans, Douglas (1979. ) sonata for solo clarinet [12 min] .Alexander Street Press, ,

Other Publications

Knehans, Douglas (2017. ) phases of the wind [10 min] . Armadillo Edition

Knehans, Douglas (2017. ) barter [8.5 min] . Armadillo Edition

Knehans, Douglas (2016. ) black disfigured souls [2 min.] . Armadillo Edition

Knehans, Douglas (2014. ) temple [7 min.] . Armadillo Edition

Knehans, Douglas (2013. ) tremor [13 min] . Armadillo Edition

Knehans, Douglas (2012. ) for Hilary, in clouds… [4 min.] . Armadillo Edition

Knehans, Douglas (2012. ) mist sketches [13 min.] . Armadillo Edition

Knehans, Douglas (2012. ) ...cascade... echo... [8 min.] . Armadillo Edition

Knehans, Douglas (2011. ) Adam lay ybounden [3 min.] . Armadillo Edition

Knehans, Douglas (2010. ) the other [20 min] . Armadillo Edition

Knehans, Douglas (2009. ) le coucou sur la montagnes russes [4 min.] . Armadillo Edition

Knehans, Douglas (2005. ) in questi giorni [11 min.] . Armadillo Edition

Knehans, Douglas (2005. ) lamentation [10 min.] . Armadillo Edition

Knehans, Douglas (2002. ) Boyd panels [15 min] . Armadillo Edition

Knehans, Douglas (1999. ) Animal, Vegetable, Mineral: The Art of Frank Fleming [25 min.] . Armadillo Edition

Knehans, Douglas (1998. ) blaze - concerto for horn, strings, harp and percussion [22 min] . Armadillo Edition

Knehans, Douglas (1995. ) bone vestiges [12 min.] . Armadillo Edition

Knehans, Douglas (1994. ) ...de la fumeé... des voix... [30 min.] . Armadillo Edition

Knehans, Douglas (1994. ) dark dances – string quartet no. 2 [19 min] . Armadillo Edition

Knehans, Douglas (1994. ) the fire [9 min] . Armadillo Edition

Knehans, Douglas (1992. ) concerto for guitar, orchestra and concertino [27 min] . Armadillo Edition

Knehans, Douglas (1990. ) le cris sombre [7 min] . Armadillo Edition

Knehans, Douglas (1988. ) dawn panels [15 min] . Armadillo Edition

Knehans, Douglas (1988. ) image shift [15 min] . Armadillo Edition

Knehans, Douglas (1988. ) elegies [12 min] . Armadillo Edition

Knehans, Douglas (1987. ) a song of air [27 min] . Armadillo Edition

Knehans, Douglas (1986. ) five songs to poems of Sylvia Plath [17 min] . Armadillo Edition

Knehans, Douglas (1986. ) st. luke magnificat [32 min] . Armadillo Edition

Knehans, Douglas (1986. ) the ratbag shearers [15 min] . Armadillo Edition

Knehans, Douglas (1984. ) seven nursery songs [6 min] . Armadillo Edition

Knehans, Douglas (1984. ) song of the raven night [9 min] . Armadillo Edition

Knehans, Douglas (1983. ) five orchestral songs to poems of Sylvia Plath [17 min] . Armadillo Edition

Knehans, Douglas (1982. ) Ku-ring-gai Chase [30 min] . Armadillo Edition

Knehans, Douglas (1981. ) five songs to poems of Sylvia Plath [17 min] . Armadillo Edition

Knehans, Douglas (1979. ) incidental music to 'the tempest' [31 min] . Armadillo Edition

Book Chapter

Frankham, Noel and Knehans, Douglas (2009 ) The Visual and Performing Arts as a Postdoctoral Workplace Beyond Doctorates Downunder: Maximising the Impact of Your Doctorate from Australia and New Zealand .(pp. 63-71).Camberwell, Victoria, Australia, ACER Press (Co-Author)

Honors and Awards

2013 -2013 Recipient, George Rieveschl Jr. Award for Creative and/or Scholarly Works, University of Cincinnati University of Cincinnati President's Office Status:Recipient Level:University Type:Recognition

2019 -2019 ISCM World Music Days Tallinn, Estonia—Official Selection USA Section Touch—for piano and fixed format electronics ISCM USA Status:Recipient Level:International Type:Recognition

2017 -2020 Member—Fulbright Specialist Roster Status:Recipient Level:International Type:Recognition

2018 -2018 Global Music Awards—Triple Silver Medalist 3 Silver Medals for Unfinished Earth CD Status:Recipient Level:International Type:Recognition

2018 -2018 Clouzine International Music Awards Best Classical Album for Unfinished Earth CD Status:Recipient Level:International Type:Recognition

2018 -2018 International Music Awards Best Contemporary Classical Album for Unfinished Earth CD Status:Recipient Level:International Type:Recognition

2016 -2016 Global Music Awards Gold Medal-Best in Show for Concertos CD Status:Recipient Level:International Type:Recognition

2015 -2015 The American Prize Second Prize Orchestra Professional Division Status:Recipient Level:National Type:Recognition

2013 -2013 Ohio Music Teacher’s Association Composer of the Year OMTA Status:Recipient Level:State Type:Grant

2012 -2012 The American Prize Semi-finalist, Orchestra (Professional) Division Status:Recipient Level:National Type:Recognition

2011 -2011 Winner—International Music Prize for Excellence in Composition Athens (Greece) Status:Recipient Level:International Type:Recognition

2010 -2010 1st International Sacred Choral Music Composition Competition Third prize for Three Psalms International Sacred Choral Music Composition Competition Status:Recipient Level:International Type:Recognition

1999 -1999 National Symphony Orchestra/NEA/ Alabama State Arts Council Composers Commission Prize NEA Status:Recipient Level:National Type:Grant

Professional Affiliation

2013 -To Present: Member­, The Recording Academy (NARAS)(The Grammy Awards), Los Angeles, CA

2008 -2010: Director, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors, Cincinnati, OH

2008 -2010: Director, Cincinnati Opera Board of Directors Cincinnati Opera, Cincinnati, OH

2008 -2010: Director, American Classical Music Hall of Fame Board of Directors ACMHF, Cincinnati, OH

2010 -To Present: Member­, American Composers Forum ACF, Minneapolis, MN

2010 -To Present: Member­, American Society for Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), New York, NY

1994 -1997: Member­, International Society for the Study of Time,

1990 -1997: Member­, American Composers Alliance, New York, NY

2010 -To Present: Member­, American Society for Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), New York, NY

1986 -To Present: Fully Represented Member, Australian Music Centre, Sydney, Australia

2000 -2008: Member­, National Association of Chairs of Tertiary Music Schools (NACTMUS), Australia

Other Information

SELECTED RECORDINGS

2020


Knehans Smaldone—Double Portrait 
All of the Above ensemble; HU Jiangbing, sheng; William R. Langley, conductor



Backwards from Winter 
Judith Weusten, soprano; Antonis Pratsinakis, electric cello; Douglas Knehans, electronics


2018


KNEHANS—Unfinished Earth 
Gareth Davies, flute; Brno Philharmonic Orchestra; Mikel Toms, conductor


2015


Douglas Knehans—Concertos 
Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic; Christopher Lyndon Gee; Brno Philharmonic Orchestra, Mikel Toms



Douglas Knehans—Lux Dei 
CCM Chorale; Christina Haan, organ; Brett Scott, conductor


2010


Douglas Knehans—Fractured Traces-New Music for Cello 
Jirí Hošek, cello; Jeffrey Krieger, electric cello; Paul York, cello; Christian Wojtowicz, cello
,