Douglas Geers

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Geers concerto performance, 2006Click HERE for a shorter version of Geers' biography.

Reviewers have described the music of
Douglas Geers as "...glitchy... keening... scrabbling... contemplative" (Steve Smith, New York Times), "kaleidoscopic" (Andrew Lindemann Malone, Washington Post), "fascinating...virtuosic...beautifully eerie" (Jim Lowe, Montpelier Times-Argus), "..expertly showy..." (David Cleary, New Music Connoisseur), "...Powerful..." (Neue Zuericher Zietung), "virtuosic exuberance" (Computer Music Journal), "...arresting...extraordinarily gratifying..." (Dierdre Donovan,, and have praised its "shimmering electronic textures" (Kyle Gann, Village Voice.) Geers’ work focuses on creative integration of new technologies and multimedia dimensions into concert music, with a continuing emphasis on interactive electroacoustic works.

Mr. Geers has written nearly one hundred works and has had hundreds of known performances of his music worldwide, on concerts in North and South America, England, Ireland, Scotland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Greece, Romania, Turkey, Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea, China, Australia, as well as TV, radio, and the Internet.

Geers’ works have been performed in wide range of venues across the world, including Merkin Hall (NYC), Miller Theater (NYC), Metrònom (Barcelona), Cankarjev Dom Performing Arts Center (Ljubljana), Pick-Staiger Concert Hall (Chicago), Oscar Peterson Concert Hall (Montreal), George Enescu Concert Hall (Bucharest), Rigiblick Theater (Zürich), Theater an der Sihl (Zürich), the Auditorium of the National Conservatory of Lille (Lille, France), University of Paris VIII (France), Humbolt University (Berlin), La MaMa Experimental Theater (NYC), Ted Mann Concert Hall (Minneapolis), the Banff Center for the Arts (Banff, Canada), John Jacob Niles Center for American Music (Lexington), Pollack Hall (Montreal), Theater Weimar (Malmö), Elebash Hall (NYC), Cedar Cultural Center (Minneapolis), Frederick Lowe Theater (NYC), Staller Center for the Arts (Stony Brook, NY), HERE Arts Center (NYC), Chelsea Museum (NYC), Merce Cunningham Dance Studios (NYC), Southern Theater (Minneaoplis), Taplin Hall (Princeton), DCTV (NYC), Lerner Hall (Cincinnati), and many more.

Geers’ music has been chosen and performed on a wide range of prestigious national and international concerts and festivals, including the International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) World Music Days, the Bourges Festival Synthese, the annual International Computer Music Conference (works selected for performance fourteen times), Discoveries (Glasgow), the Society for Electroacoustic Music in the United States (works selected twelve times), ASCAP’s Through the Walls composer showcase, the Festival of Creativity and Free Culture (Ljubljana), the Sonic Divergence Festival (Chicago), the Seoul International Computer Music Festival (Korea), the International Festival of Electroacoustic Music (NYC), Sotto il Cielo D’Estate (Italy), Cycle de concerts de Musique par ordinateur (France), ÉuCuE Concert Series (Montreal), All Ears Contemporary Music Festival (London), Devantgarde Festival (Munich), Kulturkiosken (Galve, Sweden), the DIEM Mix.02 festival (Denmark), the American Festival of Microtonal Music (NYC), Festival Unicum (Slovenia), Spark Festival (Minneapolis), New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, the American Composers Alliance Festival (NYC), The College Music Society National Conference (Miami), The Third Practice Festival (Richmond), Electronic Music Midwest (Illinois and Kansas City), the JUMP series (NYC) Serial Underground (NYC), and the NODUS concert series (Miami).  Other presenters of performances of his music include the Swiss National Television Network (SF 1), Humbolt Universität (Berlin, Germany), Experimentalstudio der Heinrich-Strobel-Stiftung (Freiburg, Germany), the Fulbright Foundation, Composers Collaborative, Vox Novus, and MANY (Musicians and Artists in New York). 

Groups that have performed Geers’ music include Ensemble Fa, Speculum Musicae, Ensemble Pi, the NODUS Ensemble, The Radio-Television Orchestra of Slovenia, the Princeton University Laptop Orchestra (PLOrk), the Verge Ensemble, the NEXt Ens, Zeitgeist, Sønreel, The New York University New Music Ensemble, the University of Minnesota Jazz Ensemble.  Noteworthy performers include Blair McMillen, Keith Kirchoff, Maja Cerar, Jinsoo Lim, Lisa Bahn, Saul Bitran, Jed Distler, Esther Lamneck, Kamala Sankaram, Roland Burks, James Rollins, Shiau-uen Ding, Chihiro Shibayama, Regie Cabico,
Jenna Espisito, Darryn Zimmer, Matthew Polashek, Steve Cohn, and Greg Beyer.  A list of recent and upcoming performances is here.

Geers live performanceRecent major works include Inanna, a 90-minute “concert play, ” premiered in a series of performances at the Rigiblick Theater in Zürich, Switzerland, September 2009; an opera, Calling, premiered in a series of fifteen performances at the La Mama Experimental Theater in New York City in fall, 2008; a work for laptop orchestra, Sweep, premiered in Chicago in 2008 and subsequently performed in Princeton, Minneapolis, and New York City; a violin concerto, Laugh Perfumes, premiered in Slovenia in fall 2006.

Of the recent works, Inanna is a 90-minute "concert play" that premiered in a series of performances in Zürich, Switzerland in September, 2009; Sweep was a commission from the Princeton University Laptop Orchestra (PLOrk), and involved the entire group playing with Nintendo Wii remotes as their instruments.  Geers' opera Calling was premiered in a series of fifteen performances at the La MaMa ETC in New York City, September 12-28, 2008, and received much press and positive reviews.  Geers' violin concerto Laugh Perfumes was premiered by the RTV Orchestra of Slovenia (Evan Christ, conductor; Maja Cerar, violin) on the final concert of the 2006 Festival Unicum in Ljubljana, Slovenia.  This performance broadcast live on Slovene national radio and was later shown twice on Slovene National Television.  

Poster for the opera CallingMr. Geers has worked extensively in the field of computer music, achieving many honors. In particular, for several years he has been exploring the combination of computer-generated sounds with traditional instruments and visual media, and many of these works have received prominent performances: The International Computer Music Association has chosen him many times for concert performances at the ICMC, its annual festival to recognize the leading talents in this field.  Mr. Geers has also had several performances by SEAMUS (Society for Electroacoustic Music in the United States).  

Geers has won numerous grants and awards, including a 2009 Bush Foundation Fellowship Finalist award, a 2008 Argossy commission award, a 2007-2008 McKnight Composer Fellowship, the Jerome Foundation 2007 Composers Commissioning Project prize, a 2003 residency from the Experimentalstudio der Heinrich-Strobel-Stiftung des Südwestrundfunks (Germany), a major project grant in 2002 from the Zürich Hochschule für Musik und Theater (Switzerland), the Jerome Foundation 2001 Composers Commissioning Project prize, a Fulbright Scholarship 2000-2001, the 2000 Roth-Thomson Award, several awards from Meet the Composer, ASCAP, and NYSCA, as well as from sources including the Ditson Fund, Columbia University, 
Composers Collaborative, Inc., the Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Minnesota, the McKnight Foundation, and the Mellon Foundation.

Douglas Geers was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio (USA). He studied via scholarships at Xavier University (B.A. in English and Music), the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (M.M.), and Columbia University (D.M.A., 2002). At Columbia, Geers studied composition and computer music with Fred Lerdahl, Tristan Murail, Brad Garton, and Jonathan Kramer. During the 2000-2001 academic year Mr. Geers lived in Oslo, Norway, working in residence at the NOTAM computer music studios at the University of Oslo, via a Fulbright Foundation fellowship. From 2002-2009 he was employed an Assistant (2002-2008) and Associate (2008-2009) Professor of Composition and Director of the Electronic Music Studios at the University of Minnesota (Twin Cities), USA. Beginning in fall 2009, Geers became an Associate Professor of Music and Director of the 
Center for Computer Music at the City University of New York's Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music.  He is also a member of the music faculty of the Graduate Center, the Manhattan-based doctorate-granting division of CUNY.

In addition to his composition, Geers is co-founder and performer in the electroaacoustic trio Sonreel and is a co-founder and co-Director of the Electric Music Collective, an internationally-based group of electroacoustic composer-performers. In 2003 he created the annual Spark Festival of Electronic Music and Arts, which he directed for seven years, 2003-2009. 

Geers has also has worked as a staff writer for New York Concert Review, and as a contributor to Gramophone, Electronic Musician Magazine, Array, the Computer Music Journal, and the SEAMUS Journal.