Daugherty, Michael, 1954-

Alternative names
Birth 1954-04-28

Biographical notes:

Michael Daugherty is an internationally renowned composer and Professor of Composition at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance. Daugherty graduated from North Texas State University, the Manhattan School of Music, and Yale University. He has composed numerous symphonies, chamber ensembles, concerti, and other works. Daugherty has also received the Kennedy Center's Feldheim Award, a Fulbright Fellowship, and numerous other awards and grants.

From the description of Michael Daugherty papers, 1973-2011. (University of Michigan). WorldCat record id: 768487016

Michael Daugherty is an internationally renowned composer and Professor of Composition at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance. Daugherty has composed dozens works since coming to national attention in the United States when Snap! -- Blue Like an Orange (1987) won a Kennedy Center Feldheim Award in 1989. He gained international attention in 1994 when his Metropolis Symphony was performed at Carnegie Hall. Daugherty uses sophisticated compositional techniques and complex polyrhythmic layers and is well-known for integrating electronic, jazz, rock, and contemporary American pop music with traditional concert music. From the late 1980s to mid-1990s Daugherty completed a series of compositions focused on twentieth-century American cultural icons, including Desi (1991), a Latin big band tribute to Desi Arnaz, Dead Elvis (1993), Metropolis Symphony (1988-1993) and Bizarro (1993), inspired by the Superman comic strip of the 1950s and 1960s, and Motown Metal (1994). In the late 1990s Daugherty explored geographic themes, including, Niagara Falls (1997), Route 66 (1998), and Motor City Tryptich (2000). Over the last decade, his compositions have begun to include subjects drawn from American history, including Trail of Tears (2010), Letters from Lincoln (2009), and Bay of Pigs (2006).

Daugherty's compositions have been recorded and made available by Delos, Naxos, Argo, Nonesuch, and several other recording labels. The 2011 Naxos recording of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra's performance of Metropolis and Deus ex Machina received three Grammy awards, including Best Classical Contemporary Composition. Among the many other rewards he has received are the Detroit Music Awards Outstanding Classical Composer (2007, 2009, 2010), the Stoeger Prize from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (2000), and the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra Composer's Award (2005). Daugherty has won fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (1992) and the Guggenheim Foundation (1996).

Daugherty was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1954 and attended college at North Texas State University. After graduating with a B.Mus. in 1976, he studied at the Manhattan School of Music where he received his M.Mus. in 1978. From 1979 to 1980 Daugherty studied computer music at Institut Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM) as a Fulbright Fellow. Upon returning to the United States, Daugherty enrolled at Yale University's School of Music and received his Doctor of Music degree in 1986. He taught at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music from 1986-1990 and joined the faculty of the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance in 1991. He has also been Composer-in-Residence with several symphonies and music festivals, including the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (1999-2003), Music from Angel Fire Chamber Music Festival (2006), and the Pacific Symphony (2010).

From the guide to the Michael Daugherty papers, 1973-2013, (Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan)


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  • Composers
  • Suites (Orchestra)--Excerpts--Scores
  • Composers--Michigan--Ann Arbor


  • Composers


  • Michigan--Ann Arbor (as recorded)