Biography

Dan LocklairDan Locklair (b. 1949), composer, is a native of Charlotte, North Carolina (USA). He holds a Master of Sacred Music degree from the School of Sacred Music of Union Theological Seminary in New York City and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. Presently, Dr. Locklair is Composer-in-Residence and Professor of Music at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

The music of Dan Locklair is widely performed throughout the U.S., Canada and abroad, including performances in England, Germany, France, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, Sweden, Korea, Japan, Finland and Russia. His prolific output includes symphonic works, a ballet, an opera and numerous solo, chamber, vocal and choral compositions.

Dr. Locklair’s many awards have included consecutive ASCAP Awards since 1981, a Kennedy Center Friedheim Award, an Aliénor Award, the New Music Award from the Omaha Symphony Society, two North Carolina Composer Fellowship Awards and the top Barlow International Competition Award for 1989. In 1992, Dr. Locklair became the first American composer ever to be invited to and have music performed at the thirty-five year old Czech Festival of Choral Arts in Jihlava, Czech Republic and, again at the invitation of the Czech government, was invited to return to be a part of this Festival during 1997. In its Centennial Year, Dr. Locklair was named 1996 AGO Composer of the Year by the American Guild of Organists, a distinguished honor awarded yearly to an American composer who has not only enriched the organ repertoire, but who has also made significant contributions to symphonic and concert music.

His 1995 composition, Since Dawn (A Tone Poem for Narrator, Chorus and Orchestra based on Maya Angelou’s On the Pulse of Morning), is the first musical setting of Maya Angelou’s well-known and important poem commissioned for the 1993 Inauguration of U.S. President Bill Clinton. One of the movements of his Rubrics, one of the most frequently programmed pieces of late 20th century American organ music, was performed at the funeral of President Ronald Reagan.

Dan Locklair’s music has been premiered and/or performed by such ensembles as the Helsinki Philharmonic (Finland), the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, The Louisville Orchestra, the North Carolina Symphony, the Kansas City Symphony, the Winston-Salem Symphony, the Western Piedmont Symphony and Salisbury (NC) Symphony, the Gregg Smith Singers, the BBC Singers, the St. Thomas Choir of Men and Boys (New York City), the Cathedral Choral Society (Washington, DC), the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, the Elmer Iseler Singers of Toronto, the Chicago Ensemble, The Oxford Players (UK), the Omaha Symphony, as well as by harpsichordists Igor Kipnis and Jukka Tiensuu, organists Marilyn Keiser, Thomas Murray, John Scott, Thomas Trotter and many others.

His commissions have included works for Arizona MusicFest, the Knoxville Symphony, the North Carolina Dance Theatre, the Binghamton Symphony, two American Guild of Organists’ National Conventions (1992, 1996), the Association of Anglican Musicians, the Choral Art Society (Portland, Maine), the Virginia Chorale and Symphony (for the 2007 Virginia Festival of American Voices, Resident Composer), Casavant Frères (for this important organ builder’s 125th Anniversary in 2004), an IBM commission for the Binghamton Youth Symphony, the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, the Mallarmé Chamber Players, the Bel Canto Company and a Barlow Endowment Commission.

In addition to performances of Dr. Locklair’s music in such halls as New York’s Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall, Disney Hall in Los Angeles and Washington’s Kennedy Center and National Gallery of Art, his music has been programmed on major festivals throughout the world, including the Aspen Music Festival, Spoleto U.S.A., the Chautauqua Festival, Interlochen, the Brevard Music Center (Composer-in-Residence, 1989, 2002 seasons), Southern Cathedrals Festival (England), Warsaw Autumn (Poland), Vendsyssel Festival (Denmark), the Bergen Festival (Norway) and the Internationale Orgelwoche Nürnberg Musica Sacra festival (Germany). Broadcasts of his music have been heard world-wide over Voice of America, Vatican Radio, Finnish Radio, the BBC, Czech Radio, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, With Heart and Voice and American Public Media’s Performance Today, St. Paul Sunday and Pipe Dreams.

Dan Locklair’s music is commercially available on the Koch, Naxos, Ondine, Albany, Gasparo, Capstone, Priory, Regent, Arsis, Titanic, Raven, Pro Organo, Gothic, Loft, ACA Digital, Pro Arte Fanfare, Orion and Opus One labels. His primary publishers are Ricordi [Boosey & Hawkes and Hal Leonard, U.S. agents] and Subito Music Publishing. He is listed in numerous biographical dictionaries, including the International Who’s Who In Music, Contemporary American Composers, Dictionary Of Distinguished Americans, Dictionary Of International Biography and Baker’s Biographical Dictionary Of Musicians (1996 ed.).

A professional organist at the age of fourteen, Dan Locklair’s past organ recitals have included New York City performances at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, St. Thomas Church and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Prior to coming to Winston-Salem, from 1973 to 1982 he was Church Musician of First Presbyterian Church in Binghamton, New York, and an Instructor of Music at Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York.

His former teachers have included Joseph Goodman, Ezra Laderman, Samuel Adler and Joseph Schwantner (composition), as well as Donna Robertson, Robert Baker and David Craighead (organ).

Dan Locklair lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina with his wife, Paula Welshimer Locklair, Vice President of Old Salem Museums and Gardens.