A native of Fribourg, Switzerland, Dominique Schafer is a composer whose breadth of musical expression encompasses both the acoustic instrumentations and the electroacoustic media. His music has been performed in the USA, Asia, Latin America and Europe by ensembles and performers such as the Arditti String Quartet, Dinosaur Annex Ensemble, Ensemble Fa, Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), Talea Ensemble, Frances Marie Uitti (cello solo piece played with two bows), Alarm will Sound, the Callithumpian Consort, Orchestre National de Lorraine (France), E-Mex ensemble (Germany), Modern Art Sextet, Jeremias Schwarzer, and the California EAR Unit, and at festivals such as Musica Nova Finland, June in Buffalo, and Festival Archipel Geneva. Recent commissions include an orchestra work for the Philharmonia of the state-theater Cottbus, Germany (premiered in 2013), a new work for the quartet Inverspace, and a nonet for Ensemble Proton Bern’s 2014/15 season. His collaboration with Marco Fusi to write a new work for viola d’amore was recently awarded a grant from New Music USA.
His compositions have received international recognition, and he is the recipient of numerous awards, which include the Fromm Music Foundation Commission Award, Adelbert Sprague Composition Award, George Arthur Knight Composition Prize, twice regional winner of the ASCAP/SCI commission competition, and second prize of the Kempten Orchesterverein composition competition in Germany, and grants from the American Music Center. In 2011-12 Dominique Schafer was awarded a 12-month fellowship from Switzerland to reside at the Atelier Jean Tinguely of the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, France. He was also a finalist of the Queen Marie José International Composition Competition, of the 33rd and 36th International Competition in Electroacoustic Music (Trivium) Bourges, France, and of the Fifth Seoul International Competition for Composers. At Festival Archipel Geneva, Schafer’s Ashes in the Air II for tenor recorder and electronics, a work composed to be projected into an eight-channel surround space, was premiered. His saxophone and percussion duo piece Triplex Unity was released by the Yesaroun’ Duo on CD. Schafer was a repeat participant at the Acanthes summer festival in France where he studied electronic music led by the atelier d’informatique musical (IRCAM) in 2004, and where his chamber orchestra piece Am Rande des Schattens was premiered in 2005. He has also participated in the composition courses led by Karlheinz Stockhausen in Kürten, Germany. In 2006 Schafer formally presented his work at the Darmstadt International Courses for New Music.
Dominique Schafer holds a PhD degree in Composition from Harvard University, and BA and MA in Composition from University of California, Los Angeles. His primary mentors in composition include Paul Reale, Mario Davidovsky, Bernard Rands, Magnus Lindberg, Julian Anderson, Helmut Lachenmann, Brian Ferneyhough, and Chaya Czernowin. He has been teaching composition and music theory at institutions including Harvard University, University of Rhode Island, and the Etchings Festival (Auvillar, France). He was recently appointed as Assistant Professor of Composition and Theory at the Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music of Chapman University, California.