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Douglas J. Cuomo

Douglas J. Cuomo

Country of origin: United States of America
Birthday: February 13, 1958

About Douglas J. Cuomo

Black Diamond Express Train to Hell is jolting, haunting, varied, infectious. Frankly, it is ingenious. - Jay Nordlinger, The New Criterion

Critics have described the music of Douglas J. Cuomo (www.douglasjcuomo.com) as “eighteen minutes of velocity and ecstasy. . . mesmerizing . . . fiercely American in the sense of Whitman, Hart Crane and Ives.” as well as “hugely effective musically, as well as awe-inspiring”, “irresistble” and “awesome”.

Cuomo has composed for concert and theatrical stages, television, and film. His expressive musical language, with its arresting juxtapositions of sound and style, is a natural outgrowth of his eclectic background and training. He became a professional guitarist while still in his teens, alternating years of college—studying jazz, world music, and ethnomusicology at Wesleyan University in Connecticut – with years on the road playing in jazz, pop and funk bands.

Recent premieres include: Black Diamond Express Train to Hell, a double concerto for cello, sampler, which was premiered by the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, with Maya Beiser as soloist (2010); the highly acclaimed chamber opera Arjuna's Dilemma at the BAM Next Wave Festival (2008); Only Breath, commissioned and performed by Maya Beiser, at The International Festival of Arts & Ideas, Ravinia, Carnegie Hall and others (2008); Kyrie commissioned and performed by Chanticleer, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Temple of Dendur  (2007); and Fortune, commissioned and performed by The Young Peoples Chorus of New York City (2007).  Work for television and film includes: themes for Sex & The City (HBO), NOW with Bill Moyers (PBS), Wide Angle (PBS), music for Homicide: Life On The Street, and others.

Recent projects include Winter's Journey, based on Wilhem Mueller's Winterreise poetry cycle, for mezzo-soprano Beth Clayton, electronics and two instrumentalists, commissioned by Music-Theatre Group. His latest opera Doubt, based on the play by John Patrick Shanley who also wrote the libretto, premiered at Minnesota Opera in January of 2013, conducted by Christopher Franklin and directed by Kevin Newbury and featuring Matthew Worth, Christine Brewer, Adriana Zabala and Denyce Graves.

Cuomo has received numerous grants and awards including:  OPERA America Opera Fund Grant; Two National Endowment of the Arts awards for Artistic Excellence in the Creation and Development of New Work; American Music Center's Composer Assistance grant;  Resident Artist Fellow at The MacDowell Colony The Hermitage Foundation, and Blue Mountain Artist Colony; New York State Council for the Arts recording grant; Argosy Foundation Grant; Mary Flagler Carey Charitable Trust for development, and others.

Cuomo also performs as a guitarist with his band, playing jazz interpretations of his film and television work at venues including Birdland, The Knitting Factory and others.  He has lectured widely, at institutions including New York University, Wesleyan University (CT), University of Miami  (FL), University of California at San Diego, Hunter College, Hofstra University, The Asia Society (NY), the University of Memphis and the Rubin Museum (NY).

Cuomo's music is published exclusively by Schott Helicon Music.



Born in Tucson, AZ
Began professional music career, touring the US with a Las Vegas show band.
"Atomic Opera", Cuomo's first major stage work, premieres at Ohio Theatre, NYC.
Composed theme and score to NBC's "Homicide: Life on the Street".
Composed theme and score to HBO's "Sex and the City".
Composed theme and incidental music for PBS's "Now with Bill Moyers".
"You Are Only An Instrument" debuts at The Joyce Theatre in New York City.
"Kyrie" premieres with Chanticleer, recorded on the album "And On Earth, Peace: A Chanticleer Mass".
"Arjuna's Dilemma" premieres at Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival.

"Fortune", for children's chorus and soloist, debuts with Young People's Chorus of New York.

"Only Breath", for solo cello and electronics, debuts with Maya Beiser and is toured on her program "Provenance".
"A Far Playground", for viola or cello and piano, premieres at New York City's Merkin Concert Hall.
"Black Diamond Express Train to Hell" debuts with American Composers Orchestra, featuring Maya Beiser, conducted by George Manahan.

Violinist Shem Guibbory and percussionist Rex Benincasa debut "Slowly She Turns" in New York City.
"Doubt", a chamber opera based on the play by John Patrick Shanley who also wrote the libretto, debuts at Minnesota Opera conducted by Christopher Franklin and directed by Kevin Newbury.