Student Composer wins Marshall Scholarship

December 3, 2009

William Dougherty will study music composition at the Royal College of Music

William Dougherty, a Boyer College of Music and Dance composition major and Honors student, has been awarded a Marshall Scholarship to study music composition at the Royal College of Music, London.

Marshall Scholarships finance young Americans of high ability to study for a degree in the United Kingdom. Up to 40 scholars are selected each year to study at the graduate level at a UK institution.

“William demonstrates an exceptional love of music, and an unusually broad knowledge of music literature,” said professor of music theory Jan Krzywicki. “From Arvo Pärt to Prokofiev to Bach to Brahms to Wolfgang Rihm, he is always listening to new literature — exploring and absorbing.

Hailing from Ellicott City, Md. Dougherty began his studies of piano at the age of 5 and composition at 16. In his senior year of high school, he was mentored in music composition by Eric Stewart, a student at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore.

An avid reader, Dougherty uses current world events to influence his compositions. While studying abroad in Vienna, Austria, Dougherty composed a work for cello and soprano set to a poem by Iraq War Veteran Brian Turner. “Eulogy” tells the story of a young solider, overcome by the horrors of war, who commits suicide. It was premiered in the Palais Corbelli in Vienna, Austria in December 2008.

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