Paul Dooley's music has been described as "impressive and beautiful" by American composer Steve Reich. Mr. Dooley's path has embraced not only his Western Classical heritage, but also a cross-cultural range of contemporary music, dance, art, technology and the interactions between the human and natural worlds.
Dooley is a Lecturer in Performing Arts Technology at the University of Michigan. While at the University of Michigan, Dooley has taught courses in electronic music, co-directed the 2009 Midwest Composers Symposium and in 2010 was coordinator of the ONCE. MORE. Festival, a 50 year anniversary of the ONCE Festival of Contemporary Music. He has studied composition primarily with composers Michael Daugherty, Bright Sheng and Evan Chambers. Dooley also earned a degree in music composition at the University of Southern California where his mentors included Frank Ticheli, Stephen Hartke and Frederick Lesemann.
Dooley’s New Work (2015), commissioned by the American Youth Symphony, will be premiered in Disney Hall in March 2015 conducted by Alexander Treger. A new Chamber Symphony (2014), commissioned by the Charleston Symphony, will premiered in November 2014, conducted by Yuriy Bekker. Coast of Dreams (2014), inspired by early Los Angeles activist Charles Lummis was recently premiered by the Los Angeles-based Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra, conducted by Roger Kalia, and by the Amarillo Symphony conducted by Jacomo Rafael Bairos. Run for the Sun (2013), commissioned by the New York Youth Symphony, was premiered in March 2013 at Carnegie Hall, conducted by Joshua Gersen. Dooley’s Point Blank (2011) was premiered by Santa Cruz’s Cabrillo Festival Orchestra and New York City-based new music ensemble Alarm Will Sound.
In 2014 - 2015, Mr. Dooley’s other commissions include those from the American Bandmasters Association (Meditation at Lagunitas (2014)), a consortium of wind bands organized by the Paula Holcomb at SUNY Fredonia (Coast of Dreams (2014)), the Hyperion Duo, and the Akropolis Reed Quintet (Warp & Weft (2014)).
In 2013 - 2014, Paul Dooley was composer-in-residence with the Amarillo Symphony and in 2011 - 2012, was composer-in-residence with the Detroit Chamber Winds. This featured the premiere of Salt of the Earth (2012) for brass ensemble and percussion, conducted by H. Robert Reynolds. Other performances of Dooley's music include those by Alarm Will Sound, the Charlotte Symphony, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, Omaha Symphony, Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra, New York Youth Symphony, American Youth Symphony, Chautauqua Festival Orchestra, American Philharmonic, the Atlantic Classical Orchestra, USC Thornton Symphony, USC Wind Ensemble, University of Michigan Symphony Band, Frost Wind Ensemble, and a reading by the Detroit Symphony, conducted by Leonard Slatkin.
Dooley is also collaborating with librettists Cameron Jackson and Jessica Cox on a new, full length multi-media opera, Gate of Ivory Gate of Horn (2016). A band version of Dooley’s composition Point Blank (2012) was recently commissioned by a consortium of fourteen bands organized by Gary Green of the University of Miami Frost Wind Ensemble, and performed by the Baylor University Wind Ensemble at the 2013 College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) National Conference in Greenseboro, NC. In 2010, Mr. Dooley was commissioned by San Francisco Ballet Principle Dancers Muriel Maffre and Damian Smith to create a project for Marina Abramovic Institute West (Making Visible (2010)) directed by Cameron Jackson. San Francisco Chronicle writer Leah Garchik noticed "whispered admiration for the work" and San Jose Mercury News regarded the project as "fascinating." Other recent commissions include Scordatura Music Society (Brisé (2011)), the Pacific Symphony Youth Wind Ensemble (Forgotten Highway (2011)), and the Michigan Music Teachers Association and National Music Teachers Association (Gradus (2009)).
Mr. Dooley has received a wide range of prizes for his work, including: the 2013 Jacob Druckman Award for orchestral composition, a 2010 BMI composer award for Gradus (2009) for solo cello, a 2008 ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Award for Dani’s Dance (2007) for piano trio, a fellowship to the 2008 Aspen Music Festival Composition Masterclass with Christopher Rouse, a Regents fellowship to the University of Michigan.