Recognized for his “sense of creative imperative” (The Philadelphia Inquirer) and for music “filled with terrific orchestral color and weight, not to mention feeling” (The Baltimore Sun), Douglas Buchanan is an active composer, conductor, performer, and educator in the greater Baltimore/D.C. area. In addition to teaching in the Musicology and Music Theory Departments at the Peabody Conservatory, he serves as Contributing Composition Faculty at Dickinson College, Artistic Director of the Maryland Choral Society, and Organist and Choirmaster of St. David’s Episcopal Church in Baltimore.  An ardent educator, Buchanan has taught and lectured at institutions ranging from liberal arts colleges to state universities to conservatories. He remains active as a researcher, particularly in the realms of music perception and cognition, music and animal rights, music and evolution, music and meaning, and special topics in music theory (including spectralism, topoi, and rhetoric).

Recent notable conference appearances include presentations and performances at the 2015 College Music Society International Conference, a paper and a lecture recital at the Ecomusicologies 2014 conference, receiving the 2013 Lowens Award for Outstanding Graduate Research from the American Musicological Society Capital Chapter, and serving as summer faculty at the Chautauqua Institute. He will present at the 2016 College Music Society National Conference in October 2016.

Also a visual artist and poet, Buchanan has illustrated and co-authored books with Continuum Publishing and Lantern Books.

As a choral conductor and performer, Buchanan was most recently appointed to serve as Artistic Director of the Maryland Choral Society, where he conducts the chorus and orchestra in performances of both canonical and contemporary compositions. He also serves as Organist and Choirmaster of Historic St. David’s Church in Baltimore, where he conducts the professional St. David’s Choir, directs the volunteer and children’s choruses, oversees the Concert and Evensong series, and coordinates the Ensemble-in-Residence and Composer-in-Residence programs.

Buchanan’s compositions have been praised for their “ability to get under the skin of [the music’s] core material,” wherein his cross-disciplinary musicianship is evident. His works are frequently linked with poetic texts and visual art, creating a network of images, words, and music akin to the mythic experience of ritual. His piano cycle Colonnades, which included text and photography by the composer, received both a Presser Award from the Peabody Institute and an ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composers Award; its sequel, Welkinharmonie, for solo organ, was supported by a residency at the Shin Pond Artist’s Retreat, and had its culminating performance in the fall of 2015 at the National Cathedral. He has also received the Macht Award for Outstanding Orchestral Composition, the Symphony in C Young Composers Award, and was a participant in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Student Composers’ Readings. An advocate for young composers, he teaches privately in Baltimore and serves as coordinator and composition mentor for the Baltimore Choral Arts Young Composers Readings. Buchanan is fortunate to have many opportunities to sing with and accompany his wife, Kelly, a mezzo-soprano, and also enjoys microtonal interspecies improvisation with his black lab, Grover. You are invited to visit his website,, to learn more.