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Donal Michalsky

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Donal Michalsky (13 July 1928, Pasadena, Calif. – 31 December 1975, Newport Beach, Calif.) was an American composer and educator.

Michalsky attended the University of Southern California (USC), where he completed his Bachelor of Music, Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees. While at USC, he studied music theory with Halsey Stevens and orchestration with Ingolf Dahl. In 1958, Michalsky was selected as a Fulbright scholar and became a student of Wolfgang Fortner in Freiberg, Germany.

From 1960 until his death in 1975, he was professor of composition, theory and music history at California State University, Fullerton. During these years, he received many ASCAP awards. Michalsky’s music is characterized by lyric, Romantic lines, effective use of counterpoint with a dodecaphonic bent but with generally conservative harmonies and phrasing. His forms paraphrase traditional models.

Michalsky was tragically killed in a house fire at age 47.

- Program Note by David Cope, rev. Greg A. Steinke for Boston University Wind Ensemble concert program, 8 October 2019

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