updated April 2015
Doug Opel explores amalgamations of rock, jazz, pop and electronica to develop a compositional language that is at once, dark and humorous, controlled and chaotic, classical and contemporary.
The 2013 Composer-in-Residence at the University of Wyoming's New Frontiers Music Festival, Opel has also served as Visiting Assistant Professor and Guest Lecturer at Gustavus Adolphus College, as well as board member, curator and contributing composer to upstate New York's Vision of Sound.
Recent appearances of his music include performances at National YoungArts Week, Nautilus Music Theater and Idyllwild Arts Academy. Past presenters of his work include New York's Keys to the Future, the DUMBO Dance Festival in Brooklyn, Chicago's Pianoforte Salon Series and the Duquesne Contemporary Ensemble. Opel has received repeat performances from such artists and ensembles as Zeitgeist, Duo Petrof, American Modern Ensemble, Vox Novus, the Definiens Project, cellists David Carter and Amanda Gookin, and pianists Nicola Melville, Esther Wang & Jill Dawe.
Among Opel's commissions are new works for the Chatterton-McCright Duo, singer/actor Eric Morris, the Bridge Chamber Music Festival, Ricochet Duo, Atlantic Chamber Ensemble, the Chautauqua Institution, MATA, pianists Robert Satterlee and Nicola Melville, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and bass-baritone Timothy Jones. He has also written for former Kronos Quartet and solo artist/cellist Jeffrey Zeigler and the ensemble Intersection.
In 2009, he was selected as Definien's C3 (Composer Commission Competition) winner. The resulting piece, "Soul Settings: Triptych 1"- utilizing the poetry of Minnesota-based poet William Reichard - received its premiere in 2010 at the Fresno New Music Festival. He is also a recipient of the 2003-04 Aaron Copland Award, a residency that allows emerging composers to work uninterrupted and in privacy at Copland House - the last home of Aaron Copland.
Opel's "3 preludes to missing the point" can be found on Melville's Dozen, a collection of piano pieces commissioned, performed and recorded by pianist Nicola Melville [Innova Recordings]. "Dilukkenjon" for two pianos, appears both on Duo Petrof's 88x2 [Telefonica], and the newly released Powerhouse Pianists II, featuring American Modern Ensemble pianists Stephen Gosling and Blair McMillen [American Modern Recordings].
Opel holds a B.S. from Ball State University, an M.M. from the University of Michigan and a D.M. in from Indiana University. He studied composition with Ernesto Pellegrini, David Foley, Kamran Ince, George B. Wilson, William Albright, Don Freund, Jeff Hass, Eugene O'Brien and Claude Baker and piano with Marjorie Meredith, Pia Sebastiani and Dickran Atamian. He has also studied with U.K. composers Oliver Knussen and Colin Matthews.
He currently resides in Northfield, Minnesota.