Michael Daugherty

Guest Artist

Multiple Grammy Award-winning composer Michael Daugherty has been praised by The Times (London) as “a master icon maker” with a “maverick imagination, fearless structural sense, and meticulous ear.” His orchestral music, recorded by Naxos, has received six Grammy Awards, including Best Contemporary Classical Composition in 2011 for Deus ex Machina for Piano and Orchestra, and in 2017 for Tales of Hemingway for Cello and Orchestra. Recent commissions include new orchestral works for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Omaha Symphony, the Santa Rosa Symphony and a concerto for violinist Anne Akiko Meyers. The League of American Orchestras ranks Daugherty as one of the 10 most performed living American composers.

Born in 1954 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Michael Daugherty is the oldest of five brothers, all professional musicians. They grew up in a musical household, with a father who played the drums in dance bands and a mother who sang in musical theater productions. As a young man, Daugherty studied composition with many of the preeminent composers of the 20th century, including Jacob Druckman, Earle Brown, Bernard Rands and Roger Reynolds at Yale University (1980-1982), Betsy Jolas at the Paris Conservatory and Pierre Boulez at IRCAM in Paris (1979-1980) and György Ligeti in Hamburg (1982-1984). From 1980-1982, Daugherty was also an assistant to jazz arranger Gil Evans in New York.

After teaching from 1986 to 1991 at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Oberlin, Ohio, Daugherty became Professor of Composition at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he is a mentor to many of today’s most talented young composers.

Photo of Michael Daugherty by Yopie-Prins

Michael Daugherty