Composer Douglas Boyce’s music draws on Medieval and Renaissance traditions and modernist aesthetics, building rich rhythmic structures that shift between order, fragmentation, elegance, and ferocity. Many of his works have direct historical, literary, or philosophical touchstones; others focus on foundational features of performance– ordered and disordered temporalities, technical virtuosity, improvisation, spatialization, and the relation of soloist to ensemble.
Throughout, his approach remains deeply humanistic– its topic is the self in history, in performance, performing the act of constructing itself and its world.
He has been awarded the League of Composers ISCM Composers Award (2005), the Salvatore Martirano Prize (2006), the Robert Avalon Prize (2010), and a Fromm Commission (2012). He holds degrees from Williams College, the University of Oregon, and the University of Pennsylvania. He is associate professor of music at the George Washington University, and is a founding member of counter)induction, a composer/performer collective.
At MacDowell in 2017, Boyce completed a new work for clarinet and piano, A Book of Etudes, Quire 5, No. 1, which premiered in New York later that year. He also began work on The Winter Journey, which would premiere in 2018 by the piano/percussion quartet Yarn|Wire.
During his 2023 Fellowship, he completed two works: Small Philosophies, for voice and guitar, written for the Bowers Fader Duo, setting poems by MacDowell Fellow Jennifer Chang, to be premiered in October 2023; and On the Phenomena of Dance, for flute and guitar, written for the BlackBox ensemble for performance in 2024. He also began work on Perfidia | Sonata, for violin and piano, to be premiered on four continents in Spring 2024.