Doug Perkins specializes in new works for percussion as a chamber musician and soloist. His performances have been described as “terrific, wide-awake and strikingly entertaining” by the Boston Globe and he has been declared a “percussion virtuoso ” by the New York Times. He has appeared at venues of all types including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Millennium Park, the Alaskan Tundra, Central Park Lake, and countless others.
Over the last 15 years, Doug has commissioned and premiered over100 pieces works and with such composers as David Lang, Steve Reich, Paul Lansky, John Luther Adams, Nathan Davis, Larry Polansky, Christian Wolff, Glenn Kotche, Sofia Gubaidulina, and Tristan Perich. He founded the percussion quartet So Percussion and the Meehan/ Perkins Duo, and performs regularly with Signal, eighth blackbird, the Chicago Symphony’s MusicNOW, and others.
Doug’s critically acclaimed recordings as a soloist, conductor, producer, and member of the Meehan/ Perkins Duo and So Percussion can be heard on the Bridge, Cantaloupe, Harmonia Mundi, New Focus, and New World labels. They have been called “brilliant” by the New York Times and named to numerous Top10 of the Year lists. He produced John Luther Adams’ Inuksuit and it was named one of 2013’s top records by NPR, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the New Yorker, New Music Box, and Time Out New York. His latest record of Tristan Perich’s Parallels was named one of Rolling Stone’s 20 Best Avant Records of 2015.
Lately, Doug has been organizing large-scale events that encourage a sense of community and new ways of experiencing live music. His production of Iannis Xenakis’ Persephassa in and around Central Park Lake and John Luther Adams’ Inuksuit in New York City were named Top Ten Performances in 2010 and 2011 by the New Yorker, New York Magazine, and Time Out NY. Alex Ross called Inukuit at the Park Avenue Armory, “one of the most rapturous listening experiences of my life”. He also recently directed the premiere of John Luther Adams’, Sila, at Lincoln Center. Most recently, Doug premiered Tristan Perich’s, Drift Multiply, at the Red Bull Festival in New York and recorded it for an upcoming release in the fall of 2020.
Doug is an Associate Professor of Music and the Director of Percussion at the University of Michigan. He is additionally an Associate Professor of Music at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee. Previously, he was the Founder and Director and founder of the Chosen Vale International Percussion Seminar, served with eighth blackbird as an Artist-in-Residence at the University of Chicago, and was previously on the faculty of Dartmouth College where he taught percussion and directed the Contemporary Music Lab and the concert series The Way to Go Out.
Doug received his Bachelor’s degree from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Masters and Artist Diploma degrees from Yale University, and his Doctorate from Stony Brook University. His principal percussion teachers were Jack DiIanni, Jim Culley, and Robert Van Sice.