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Michael Daugherty

Michael Daugherty

Michael Daugherty's life

Michael Daugherty was born in 1954 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and is the son of a dance-band drummer and the oldest of five brothers, all professional musicians. He studied music composition at the University of North Texas (1972-76), the Manhattan School of Music (1976-78), and computer music at Pierre Boulez’s IRCAM in Paris (1979-80). He is one of the most commissioned, performed, and recorded composers on the American concert music scene today. His music is rich with cultural allusions and bears the stamp of classic modernism, with colliding tonalities and blocks of sound; at the same time, his melodies can be eloquent and stirring. Daugherty first came to international attention when the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Zinman, performed his Metropolis Symphony at Carnegie Hall in 1994. Since that time, Daugherty’s music has entered the orchestral, band and chamber music repertory and made him, according to the League of American Orchestras, one of the ten most performed living American composers, receiving numerous awards, distinctions, and fellowships for his music.
Daugherty has been Composer-in-Residence with the Louisville Symphony Orchestra (2000), Detroit Symphony Orchestra (1999-2003), Colorado Symphony Orchestra (2001-02), Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music (2001-04, 2006-08, 2011), Westshore Symphony Orchestra (2005-06), Eugene Symphony (2006), the Henry Mancini Summer Institute (2006), the Music from Angel Fire Chamber Music Festival (2006), and the Pacific Symphony (2010).

Daugherty's Operas

Jackie O. it's his only opera (1997).


Daugherty's Jackie O.

Quite a peculiar title the one by American composer Michael Daugherty. A mix between opera and musical, Jackie O. is based on the life of the most famous female icon of the Twentieth Century, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. She was always under the spotlight and on magazines covers, both when she was still a descendant of the polite society and as first Senator then President of the United State's wife, and also after she married the Greek multi-millionaire Aristotele Onassis, who had left his long time partner, the opera star Maria Callas, for her. A pleasant work this one, where there are famous people of the art and show business such as Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor and pop artist Andy Warhol. This is the proof that, at least in Anglo-Saxon countries, opera is still alive and it speaks a language which can still meet the favour of the public.
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