Donal Fox, Music and Theater Arts

[Donal Fox] really has shown me, through his performance at the Regattabar and through daily classroom experiences, that my growth as a musician is dependent on all aspects of my life, and that music draws upon the whole person, not simply on a series of exercises in a practice room.

ANNE GOLDBERG - a cross-registered Wellesley student of Donal Fox's improv class at MIT

Visiting Scholar 2009-2011
Hosted by Prof. Peter Child, Department of Music & Theatre Arts

Donal Fox is an internationally acclaimed classical jazz composer, improviser and pianist. His goal is to revive the tradition of improvisation that characterized the performance of Bach, Mozart, Liszt, and many others.

2009-2011 Scholars

Improvisation on Bach's Prelude in D Minor,
Book II, No 6

WQXR's "Emancipation 150": a special evening honoring the African-American experience in classical music.

The Greene Space, NYC, April 29, 2013

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.”

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