William (Leslie) Douglas. Composer, bassoonist, pianist, teacher, b London, Ont, 7 Nov 1944; ARCT (piano) 1962, B MUS (Toronto) 1966, M MUS performance and composition (Yale) 1969. He studied bassoon with Nicholas Kilburn at the University of Toronto. A Woodrow Wilson Fellowship enabled him to study bassoon with Robert Bloom and composition with Mel Powell and Yehudi Wyner at Yale U. In 1969 at Tanglewood he received a Margaret M. Grant Award for his String Quartet (1968). On a Canada Council grant he studied 1969-70 in England. He taught 1970-7 at the California Institute of the Arts and in 1978 became the director of the music dept at Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colo. He has composed some 60 etudes (mostly for voice, though some are for any instrument) in four sets - Rock Etudes, Bebop Etudes, Latin Etudes, and Swing Etudes, of which only the Rock Etudes have been published (Music for Percussion 1987). Most of Douglas' other compositions are for chamber ensemble, and many have been recorded (see Discography - Jewel Lake includes 14 compositions by Douglas, Begin Sweet World has 6 including the title track, and New York Counterpoint has 3).
In the summer of 1976 Douglas toured as bassoonist with Peter Serkin's group, Tashi, with whom he recorded. In 1973 he began touring as pianist, bassoonist, and composer with the clarinetist Richard Stoltzman. In 1986 they toured Europe and were featured performers in the Adelaide Festival in Australia, and in 1990 they visited Tokyo and Hong Kong.