Dr. Dominique Schafer

Dr. Dominique Schafer

Assistant Professor
Director of Electroacoustic Music
College of Performing Arts; Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music
Expertise: Electroacoustic Music; Composition;
Office Location: Oliphant Hall 305
Phone: (714) 744-7669
University of California, Los Angeles, Bachelor of Arts
University of California, Los Angeles, Master of Arts
Harvard University, Ph.D.


A native of Fribourg, Switzerland, Dominique Schafer is a composer whose breadth of musical expression encompasses both the acoustic instrumentations and the electro-acoustic media. Schafer’s music has been performed in the US, Asia, Latin America and Europe by ensembles and performers such as the Arditti String Quartet, Dinosaur Annex Ensemble, Ensemble Fa, Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), Talea Ensemble, Frances Marie Uitti, Alarm will Sound, the Callithumpian Consort, Orchestre National de Lorraine (France), E-Mex ensemble (Germany), Modern Art Sextet, Garth Knox, and the California EAR Unit, and at festivals such as Musica Nova Finland, June in Buffalo, Acanthes Festival, and Festival Archipel Geneva. Recent projects include a commissioned work for the Taipei Chinese Orchestra (TCO), a chamber work for the New York Washington Square Contemporary Music Series, and a new orchestra work for the Cottbus Philharmonia for the 2013/14 season.

In 2012 Schafer was awarded a 12-month Swiss fellowship to reside at the Atelier Jean Tinguely of the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, France. His compositions have received international recognition, and he is the recipient of numerous awards, which include a 2nd place of the Kempten Orchesterverein composition competition in Germany, the Adelbert Sprague Composition Award, the George Arthur Knight Composition Prize, twice regional winner of the ASCAP/SCI commission competition, and grants from the American Music Center. He was also a finalist of the Queen Marie José International Composition Competition, of the 33rd and 36th International Competition in Electroacoustic Music (Trivium) Bourges, France, and of the Fifth Seoul International Competition for Composers.  At Festival Archipel Geneva, his Ashes in the Air II for tenor recorder and electronics, a work composed to be projected into an eight-channel surround space, was premiered.  The saxophone and percussion duo piece Triplex Unity was released by the Yesaroun’ Duo on CD.  Schafer has been a repeat participant at the Acanthes summer festival in France where his chamber orchestra piece Am Rande des Schattens was premiered in 2005. He gave formal presentations about his work at, among others, the Darmstadt International Courses for New Music, Yonsei University (Seoul), the Etchings Festival (France), and at the Paris Conservatory (CNSMDP).

Schafer’s primary mentors in composition include Paul Reale, Mario Davidovsky, Magnus Lindberg, Julian Anderson, Helmut Lachenmann, Brian Ferneyhough, and Chaya Czernowin. Schafer holds a PhD degree in Composition from Harvard University, and BA and MA in Composition from University of California, Los Angeles. Other studies include electronic music (with Hans Tutschku), computer-assisted composition (with Joshua Fineberg), jazz performance (with Max Jendly), and film score and conducting (with Jerry Goldsmith). An avid advocate for teaching and communicating knowledge to young students, he was awarded the Certificate of Distinction in Teaching at Harvard University two years in a row.

Recent Creative, Scholarly Work and Publications

"Vers une présence réelle... ", for nine instruments, performed by L'Ensemble Contrechamps Genève, conductor Michael Wendeberg, at Festival Archipel 2017, March 25, Geneva.
"Vers une présence réelle..., for nine instruments, performed by L'Ensemble Contrechamps Genève, Michael Wendeberg, conductor, at the Gare du Nord, March 27, 2017, Basel.
"Radiant Flux", for quartet (revised version), premiered by Inverspace Ensemble, at the New Horizon Concert series, April 13, 2017 at the Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music at Chapman University, Orange, CA.
"Clair-obscur", new work for solo viola d'amore, premiered by Marco Fusi, April 19, 2017, at the Spectrum New York City.
"Cendre", for solo bass flute and eight-channel electronics, Sara Andon performed at the HEAR NOW Music Festival, in collaboration with People inside Electronics (PIE), performed April 28, 2017, Throop Hall, Pasadena, CA.
"Aufwind" for solo piano, performed by Vicki Ray at the Roy and Edna Disney/Calarts Theater (REDCAT), Los Angeles, February 23 2016, commissioned by Piano Spheres (world premiere).
Atlantic Center for the Arts (ACA), residence as associate artist. Public presentation of composition.
Piano Spheres Workshop, moderated by KPFK host John Schneider at the Boston Court. Workshop, and discussion of commissioned work Aufwind with Vicki Ray, February 2016.
"Cendre" for bass flute and eight channel electronics, performed by Gianni Trovalusci, New Horizon Concert Series, Salmon Hall Chapman University, March 3, 2016, 8:00pm (California premiere).
"Aufwind" for solo piano, performed by Vicki Ray, New Horizon Concert Series, Salmon Hall Chapman University, April 25, 2016.
"Radiant Flux" for quartet, performed by Ensemble Inverspace, UiTM Annex concert hall, Kuala Lumpur, April 29, 2016 (World premiere).
New York premiere of "Cendre", for bass flute and interactive eight-channel electronics, at the 2015 New York Electroacoustic Music Festival. Performance by invited Italian guest artist Gianni Trovalusci.
Russian premiere of "Vers une présence réelle...", for nine instruments, at the Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall, St. Petersburg, performed by Ensemble Proton Bern, on the opening concert of the International Music Festival ReMusic.
"Cendre", for bass flute and interactive eight-channel electronics received its Italian premiere, performed by Gianni Trovalusci, at the EMUFest (International Electroacoustic Festival) at the Conservatorio Santa Cecila, Rome, October 3, 2015.
"Many Returns", a trio for violin, cello, and piano, premiered by Ensemble Proton Bern's Birthday Concert Event "Viel Glück!" at the Dampfzentrale, Bern, December 7, 2015.
World premiere of "Vers une présence réelle..." for nine instruments, at the Dampfzentrale, Bern, Switzerland. Commissioned and performed by Ensemble Proton Bern.
Received commission grant for project New music for viola d’amore (57 awardees selected from 1174 entries) from New Music USA.
Resident Composer, artist residency at the Casa Pantrová, Carona. Awarded by the Swiss Musicians' Association to complete creative work (Association Suisse des Musiciens-ASM/STV).
"Triplex Unity" – (2004), duo for soprano saxophone and percussion, two performances, July 16 and 17, 2013, London premiere by the Riot Ensemble.
World premiere of "Gravity as the Source of Lightness", for full orchestra (2009/2013), commissioned by the Staatstheater Cottbus: Philharmonie, November 15 and 17, 2013. Evan Christ, conductor.
West Coast premiere of "Fluchtpunkte", for sextet, (2002) with ensemble Brightwork, October 3, 2013, at Chapman University, Orange, California.
Sept 2011 – August 2012, Composer in Residence, Cité internationale des Arts, Paris. Fellow at the Atelier Jean Tinguely Artist Residence.
July 7-14, 2012, Resident Composer, Etchings Festival 2012, Auvillar, France. Presented current works, coached performances, and taught composition lessons to 16 emerging composers.
June 26-July 4, 2011, Resident Composer, Etchings Festival 2011, Auvillar, France. Presented current works, coached performances, and taught composition lessons to 15 emerging composers.
Luminance Inflection – (2012) for chamber orchestra of traditional Chinese instruments. • commissioned by the TCO (Taipei Chinese Orchestra). • June 25, 2012, premiered by the TCO, Guangfu Auditorium, Taipei Zhongshan Hall, Taipei.
Anima, for Quintet – (2012) 11’ • Written for Ecce and the Washington Square Contemporary Music Society Concert Series, premiered by Ecce March 2, 2012, conducted by Oliver Hagen at the Tenri Cultural Institute, New York. • July 2, 2012, performance, Cité internationale des Arts, Auditorium Edmont Michelet, Paris.
Duo Preludio – (2011) Duo for viola and flute • July 1, 2011, premiered at the Etchings Festival 2011, Auvillar.
Tilted Arcs – (2010) 9’ For chamber orchestra • Written for the Wellesley Composers Conference. • July 21, 2010, premiered by the Wellsley Composers Conference Ensemble, James Baker, conductor, Wellesley, MA.