The American composer, conductor, pianist and organist, Douglas Buchanan, studied at Richardson Law in Richardson, Texas (Class of 2002). He began formal composition study with Peter Mowrey and Jack Gallagher at the College of Wooster, Ohio, where he also trained as an organist and conductor, serving as Organist and Conducting Assistant of the Wooster Chorus. He obtained his Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance summa cum laude with Honors from the College of Wooster (2006); his Master of Music degree in Composition from Peabody Conservatory at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland (2008); his Master of Music degree in Music Theory Pedagogy from Peabody Conservatory (2008). In 2013, he completed his D.M.A. in Composition with renowned composer Michael Hersch at the Peabody Conservatory, receiving the Philip D. Glass Prize in Composition and the Edward T. Cone Memorial Award in Music Theory.
Hailed for his “sense of creative imperative” (David Patrick Stearns, The Philadelphia Inquirer), Douglas Buchanan's works have been praised for their “ability to get under the skin of [the music’s] core material” (Carol Main, The Scotsman) and for being “filled with terrific orchestral color and weight, not to mention feeling” (Tim Smith, The Baltimore Sun). He resided in Baltimore, Maryland, where he served as Organist and Choirmaster at Historic Old St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (August 2011-May 2014). Currentlu he serves as Adjunct Composition Faculty at Towson University, and Adjunct Music Theory (since August 2008) and Musicology Faculty at the Peabody Conservatory (since September 2012). Since August 2014, he serves as Director of Music Ministries (Choirmaister/Organist) at St. David's Episcopal Church in Baltimore; since September 2014, Adjunct Composition Faculty at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania; and since June 2015, Artistic Director Maryland Choral Society in Fort Washington.
Douglas Buchanan has been commissioned by institutions including the Annapolis Opera, the Peabody Opera, the University of Tulsa, the Montreat Worship and Music Conference, the Johns Hopkins University, and the University of Baltimore; ensembles including the Figaro Project, Rhymes with Opera, mode iv, the LUNAR ensemble, and the Peabody Children’s Chorus; he has also been commissioned by world-renowned poet and Dmitri Shostakovich collaborator Yevgeny Yevtoshenko. His works have been read and performed by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Symphony in C, Hebrides Ensemble, Peabody Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Choral Arts Society, Wooster Chorus and Peabody Wind Ensemble. Previous composition study also includes lessons with Libby Larsen, Nicholas Maw, Chen Yi, Sally Beamish, Alasdair Nicolson, and Melissa Hui, and master-classes with Christopher Rouse, Christopher Theofanidis, and Karel Husa. Also a visual artist and poet, Buchanan has illustrated and co-authored books with Continuum Publishing and Lantern Books.
As a liturgical musician, Douglas Buchanan conducts the St. Paul’s Singers, the St. Paul’s Camerata, and the St. Paul’s Choir of Men and Boys, the second oldest choir of its kind in the nation. In February 2014 he conducted the opening performance for the American Choral Directors Association Eastern Division Conference; he has also been named three times as Music Director for the annual convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland. Prior to his appointment at Old St. Paul’s, he served as Organist and Choirmaster at St. Mark’s-on-the-Hill Episcopal Church in Pikesville, Maryland. An active educator and performer outside Baltimore, Buchanan teaches as summer faculty at the Chautauqua Institute, presents regularly at professional conferences, and performs solo and collaborative recitals of piano and organ works across the nation. He also sings alongside his wife in the Baltimore Choral Arts Society’s Symphonic, Full, and Chamber Choruses.
Douglas Buchanan has been the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including the Presser Award funding the East Coast tour of his virtuosic piano cycle Colonnades, an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer’s Award, the American Musicology Association Capital Chapter Lowens Award for outstanding graduate research, a Pi Kappa Lambda Performance Award, and a Peabody Career Development Grant for the recording of his choral works. He was selected as a member of the 2012 Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Student Composer Readings for his work Malleus, which subsequently won the 2012 Macht Competition for Best Orchestral Score as well as the 2013 Symphony in C Young Composer’s Award. He is a member of the Pi Kappa Lambda Honorary Music Society.