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Douglas Boyce writes chamber music that draws on Medieval and Renaissance traditions and modernist aesthetics, building rich rhythmic structures that shift between order, fragmentation, elegance, and ferocity.  His approach is deeply historical and broadly philosophical.  Many of his works have an direct historical touchstone, such as his  Etude on 'Pymalion qui moult subtilz estoit' (A Book of Etudes, Quire 4, No. 1) which features quotations of and elaborations on music from 15th century Cyprus, or La Deploration for clarinet, violin, and cello, which couples Josquin's lament on the death of Ockeghem with works of his own teacher Robert Suderburg, synthesizing jazz and Renaissance approaches. Other works draw on sources from antiquity, such as the string quartet Alcyone, a partially spoken setting of a tale of Ovid's Metamorphoses, or Tethys, a violin concerto which links the sea-goddess to geological time and tectonic change.

Literature and philosophy are also significant points of articulation: The Winter Journey, a current project commissioned from the ensemble Yarn|wire, is based on a short story by George Perec; the story itself  takes the form of a 19th century fairytale of memory and loss, and so the new composition will involve transformation of the French and German art-song tradition of the 19th and early 20th century. A song cycle focused on settings of American poets (Jorie Graham, BJ Ward, Wallace Stevens) entwines with the poems fragments from philosophers (James, Aristotle, Husserl, Bergson). The piano trio Fortuitous Variations draws upon the language of William James and C.S. Peirce in inspiration, organization, character markings, and movement titles. This approach and the works themselves connect to many aspects of the scholarship in the humanities, including history, anthropology, literary studies, and philosophy.

His works have been praised many times in the press.  Regarding his Quintet “l’homme armé”, Allan Kozinn wrote “he couches [the medieval melody] in such thoroughly modern scoring that the ear is lured to other things, including the juxtaposition of eerie string writing with playful material for the clarinet and piano, or the lively interplay among all five instruments.” (The New York Times March 12, 2005.) Regarding A Book of Songs (2006), the Stephen Brookes wrote “[they] can only be described as drop-dead beautiful. Easily the most captivating works on the program, these songs of love and death are extraordinarily well written and insightful.” (The Washington Post May 23, 2006)  Regarding La Déploration, Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim wrote that "...the violinist, cellist... and clarinetist... spread out throughout the crypt. Against vaporous harmonics and ghostly fragments of Renaissance music played by the strings, [a] warm, clear clarinet announced itself as very much alive as it sashayed in and out of blues territory and laughed in the face of their mournful keening." (The New York Times May 17, 2015.)

He has been awarded the League of Composers ISCM Composers Award (2005), the Salvatore Martirano Prize (2006), and the Robert Avalon Prize (2010), and a Fromm Commission (2012). He is a MacDowell Fellow in Winter 2017, and an Avaloch Music Farm Fellow in Fall 2017. His music has been performed by  counter)induction, Aeolus Quartet, Inscape Chamber Orchestra, Redlight Music, Dan Lippel, Robert Baker, Trio Cavatina, Edge Ensemble/Contemporary Music Forum (DC), pianists Ieva Jokubaviciute (Shenandoah University), Alice Belem (State University of Minas Gerais), and Ning Yu; cellists Elise Pittenger (Federal University of Minas Gerais) and Schuyler Slack (Richmond Symphony) and Lori Barnett (George Washington University); and clarinetists David Jones (Washington National Opera), Benjamin Fingland (Dorian Winds).

He is a founding member, curator, and composer-in-residence of counter)induction, a composer/performer collective active in the New York region ( He has taught masterclasses and presented his own work at the Shenandoah University Conservatory of Music, High Point University,  Universidade Estadual de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Brazil, the Wintergreen Music Festival, and the Central Conservatory of Beijing.

Recordings & Publications
His works have been published by New Dynamic Records (Deixo | Sonata for viola and piano. counter)induction: Group Theory. 2012), Capstone Records (102nd & Amsterdam for violin, viola, and cello. Journeys. 2006), and the Society of Composers, Inc. (La Guerra de la Drìada. "Journal of Music Scores,” Vol. 36. 2005.) A forthcoming portrait CD on New Focus Records (“Fortuitous Variations” (Spring, 2018) features performances by counter)induction, Trio Cavatina, and the Aeolus Quartet.

Education and Academic Positions
Douglas Boyce is Associate Professor of Music at the George Washington University. He teaches composition, musicianship, theory, history, philosophy of music.  He has had many administrative roles, including Department Chair, Dean's Council, Faculty Senate, Corcoran Vision Working Group (Chair), and convener of a college wide Arts Initiative. He establish the Stanley Yeskel Memorial Concert Series and successfully launched the GW Summer Piano Institute, now the Corcoran Chamber Music Institute.
He holds a BA in music and Physics from Williams College (1992), an MM in composition from the University of Oregon (1996), and a PhD in Composition from the University of Pennsylvania (2000). His dissertation piece, Disputatio Inter Manum Calamumque arranges 16 players spatially into three smaller ensembles; this began an interest in the spatial elements of concert performance that has reappeared in La Deploration, Displacements, and Alcyone.  His doctoral essay examined the polytextual 13th-century motets of the Montepelier Codex examining relations between text and music, and the refrain as a locus for formal ‘breakage’ in both the music and text.  He studied composition with Dr. Robert Suderburg (1990-92), Andrew Jaffe (1990-92), Dr. Kathryn Alexander (1995-96). Dr. Robert Kyr (1993-95), Dr. James Primosch (1999-2000), Dr. Anna Weesner (1998-1999). Dr. George Crumb (1996-1997).
As an individual artist he has received support from the Alan and Margot Blank Foundation, GWU, Chamber Music America, and the Fromm Foundation. His work with counter)induction has received support from the Presser Foundation, New York State Council for the Arts 2005-2014 , the Alice M. Ditson Fund, Amphion Foundation, Argosy Foundation, Cary Fund for New Music 2011, Meet The Composer, Mary Cary Flagler Trust.