American composer Douglas Pew (b. 1980) is noted for his ability to strike at the root of the emotional world through his music “with a showman’s touch and a poet’s soul” (Jake Heggie). His music has been heralded as “stunning…magical” (Washington Times) and “sensual, other-worldly, expressive and showcasing a rich harmonic pallet, sure to connect with audiences, while saying something fresh, profound and meaningful” (Scott Holden, pianist).
Douglas and librettist Dara Weiberg will have their newly commissioned one-act opera, “Penny”, premiered at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. The work was commissioned by Washington National Opera and will be performed by the WNO’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists as a part of the American Opera Initiative. Joining the production team is Manitoba Chamber Orchestra Music Director, Anne Manson, and Shakespeare Theater Company in Washington D.C. Associate Director, Alan Paul. In preparation for the premiere, “Penny” will be workshopped in the summer of 2014 at the Glimmerglass Opera Festival.
Pew and Weinberg’s first opera, “A Game of Hearts” was similarly commissioned by Washington National Opera. After it’s premiere at the Kennedy Center in 2012 and subsequent performance by the NANOWorks Opera Company in Cincinnati, OH, it was selected for performance at the 2014 Opera America New Works Forum in New York City.
Additionally, Douglas has received commissions and performances from ensembles such as the Cincinnati Bach Ensemble, Polish Chamber Choir, Atlanta Opera, Miami University Men’s Glee Club, and the Timpanogos Symphony Orchestra, among others. He has received multiple awards including a Barlow Endowment commission, 1st prize in the 2009 SCI/ASCAP Student Composers Commission Competition, Musica Sacra International Choral Composition Competition in Poland, ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers Award, Susan and For Schumann Fellowship at the Aspen Music Festival, and the Tangeman Sacred Music Center.
Douglas holds Masters and Doctoral degrees from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of music as well as a post-graduate certificate from the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw, Poland where he studied with internationally acclaimed composer Paweł Łukaszewski under the auspices of a Fulbright Grant. Douglas currently lives in the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area where he teaches at Northern Kentucky University, is composer-in-residence at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, and is active as a local conductor and vocalist. His music is published by Boosey & Hawkes, Jackman Music Corporation, Blue Shore Music and HolySheetMusic.com