Biography


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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 studied composition primarily with composers Michael Daugherty, Bright Sheng, Evan Chambers,Frank Ticheli, Stephen Hartke and Frederick Lesemann.

Dooley's recent orchestral work includes: Mavericks (2015), inspired by the legendary surf break off the shore of Half Moon Bay in Northern California, commissioned by the American Youth Symphony, and premiered in Disney Hall in March 2015 conducted by Alexander Treger; Masks and Machines (2014), inspired by the artwork of Bauhaus artist Oskar Schlemmer and composer Igor Stravinsky, commissioned by the Charleston Symphony; Coast of Dreams (2014), inspired by early Los Angeles activist Charles Lummis, 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, and premiered in March 2013 at Carnegie Hall, conducted by Joshua Gersen ;Point Blank(2011) premiered by Santa Cruz’s Cabrillo Festival Orchestra and New York City-based new music ensemble Alarm Will Sound. 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)).

Dooley’s band compositions Point Blank (2012) and Masks and Machines (2015) were recently commissioned by consortiums organized by the University of Miami Frost Wind Ensemble conducted by Gary Green, and performed at venues such as the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) National Conference and The Midwest Clinic. Dooley’s Meditation at Lagunitas (2014) was commissioned by the American Bandmasters Association and the University of Florida, and premiered at the ABA Annual Conference. In 2012, Dooley was composer-in-residence with the Detroit Chamber Winds and Strings. This featured the premiere of Salt of the Earth (2012) for brass ensemble and percussion, conducted by H. Robert Reynolds. Dooley is currently collaborating with librettists Cameron Jackson and Jessica Cox on a new multi-media opera, Gate of Ivory Gate of Horn(2017).

Other performances of Dooley's music include those by the Charlotte Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, Naples Philharmonic, Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra, Chautauqua Festival Orchestra, American Philharmonic, the Atlantic Classical Orchestra, USC Thornton Symphony, Nu Deco Ensemble, a masterclass with Yo Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble,and a reading by the Detroit Symphony, conducted by Leonard Slatkin.

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 Composer Award for Dani’s Dance (2007) for piano trio, a fellowship to the Aspen Music Festival Composition Masterclass with Christopher Rouse.