updated January 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 recently served as both Visiting Assistant Professor of Music Theory and guest lecturer at the Music Colloquium series at Gustavus Adolphus College. Additionally, he has been a board member, curator and contributing composer to upstate New York's Vision of Sound.
Recent appearances of his music include performances at YoungArts Miami, Nautilus Music Theater, Idyllwild Arts Academy and St. Olaf College. He has received repeat performances from Zeitgeist, Duo Petrof, American Modern Ensemble, Vox Novus, the Definiens Project, cellist David Carter, PUBLIQuartet cellist Amanda Gookin, pianists Nicola Melville, Esther Wang & Jill Dawe, as well as presentations by Keys to the Future, the Duquesne Contemporary Ensemble and Chicago's Pianoforte Salon Series.
Commissions include new works for the Chatterton-McCright Duo, the Bridge Chamber Music Festival, Ricochet Duo, Atlantic Chamber Ensemble, 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 Definiens 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 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. His "3 preludes to missing the point" - part of a collection of piano works commissioned, performed and recorded by pianist Nicola Melville - is currently available on the Innova label. "Dilukkenjon" for two pianos - performed by Duo Petrof - was recently released on the Telefonica label and is scheduled for an additional release, as performed by pianists Stephen Gosling and Blair McMillen, later this year on American Modern Recordings, distributed through the Naxos label.
Opel holds a B.S. in music education from Ball State University, an M.M. in composition from the University of Michigan and a D.M. in composition 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.