American Gothic (composition)

American Gothic is an orchestral composition by the American composer Michael Daugherty.[1] The approximately 20-minute work is composed in three movements inspired by the paintings of the Iowan artist Grant Wood (1891-1942).[2] Daugherty is a native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa,[3] where the piece premiered on May 4, 2013, at Cedar Rapids' Paramount Theatre, with Timothy Hankewich, conductor.[4]


January (1939) Grant Wood, setting of Michael Daugherty's 2nd movement, "Winter Dreams"

Piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, English horn, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, contrabassoon, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion (3 players), harp, piano, and strings.[5]


  1. On a Roll
  2. Winter Dreams
  3. Pitchfork


The world premiere of American Gothic received a strongly favorable review, noting the 1,000+ listeners in attendance and the enthusiastic reception of Daugherty's groundbreaking foray into orchestral bluegrass in the third movement.[6]


  • Michael Daugherty -- American Gothic (2014)[7]


  1. ^ "Michael Daugherty Wins Best Contemporary Classical Composition". The Recording Academy. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  2. ^ Album notes. Orchestra Iowa and Timothy Hankewich. Michael Daugherty: American Gothic. (2014) Copyright--Orchestra Iowa/Iowa Arts Media (735885407223).
  3. ^ Clague, Mark (November 26, 2013). Daugherty, Michael (Kevin). New Groves Dictionary of American Music (2nd edition, Vol 2 ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 548–550. ISBN 9780195314281.
  4. ^ Nollen, Diana. "REVIEW: Daugherty's American Gothic paints new pictures with thrilling sonic sweeps". Hoopla. The Gazette/KCRG. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  5. ^ "Michael Daugherty". Bill Holab Music. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  6. ^ Nollen, REVIEW
  7. ^ Orchestra Iowa and Timothy Hankewich


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