Donal Fox is an internationally acclaimed classical and jazz composer, improviser and pianist. The Boston-born musician received early training at the New England Conservatory of Music and then at Berklee College of Music in the summer of 1968. The following summer, he received a scholarship to study at the Tanglewood Music Center, where he wrote classical music and performed jazz and classical piano in the presence of Leonard Bernstein and Gunther Schuller.
Among his awards are a 1997 Guggenheim Fellowship in music composition and a 1998 Fellowship from the Bogliasco Foundation. He was also nominated for the CalArts/Alpert Awards in the Arts and was the first African-American composer-in-residence with the St. Louis Symphony, from 1991 to 1992. As a visiting artist at Harvard University, he received a Certificate of Recognition from the President of
Harvard College for his contribution to the arts. In 2008, he was awarded the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Letters Academy Award in Music, and annual prize awarded to composers of "exceptional accomplishment" and "outstanding artistic achievement."
Throughout his two years as an MLK Visiting Scholar at MIT Mr. Fox was hosted by Prof. Peter Child in the Department of Music & Theatre Arts and taught Musical Improvisation (21M.335). Mr. Fox’s goal is to “revive the tradition of improvisation that characterized the performance of great composers of the past, Bach, Mozart, Liszt, and many others, but that is rare today.”