Douglas Knehans (b. 1957, St. Louis, Missouri), received his initial music education at the Canberra School of Music in Australia's national capital, where he graduated in 1980 with a high distinction in music composition, the only such awarded that year.

Since then, he has been the recipient of numerous commissions, awards and fellowships in Australia and the U.S. Most notably, the inaugural $20,000.00 Victorian Council for the Arts Composition Fellowship (1987-88) which enabled him to write his first chamber opera the ascension of robert flau; a Bicentennial orchestral commission for the Canberra Symphony Orchestra (1988) from the Australian Bicentennial Authority; over a dozen commissions (1986-1988) for various media supported by the Australia Council Performing Arts Board; Fellowships from the MacDowell Colony (1989) and the Leighton Artist Colony (1989), a composer-in-residence grant from Meet the Composer, Inc.(1990) and scholarships and awards from Queens College, C.U.N.Y. (1990) where he gained his M.A. in composition with Distinguished Professor Thea Musgrave. Upon graduation from this institution he received the first Luigi Dallapiccola Composition Award (1991) for outstanding achievement in music composition.

After graduating from Queens College, Knehans entered the Doctoral program at Yale University where he studied music composition with Jacob Druckman, Martin Bresnick, Lukas Foss and Jonathan Berger. He graduated Yale University in 1993 earning the Woods Chandler Memorial Prize (1993) for best composition in a larger form. Knehans received his Doctoral degree from Yale University in January, 1996.

Douglas Knehans' works have been broadcast on ABC National Radio and T.V., National Public Radio and Public Broadcasting Service (USA) and his music has been commissioned and performed by some of Australia's leading ensembles and soloists including the Canberra Symphony Orchestra and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, The Elision Ensemble, The Australian Boys Choir, The Adelaide Percussions, Timothy Kain, Ariel New Music and Opera Australia. He has been featured in two books on Australian music (A Handbook of Australian Music and A Companion to Music in Australia) as well as the International Who's Who in Music and Musicians Directory (U.K.).

Since returning to the US, his music has been commissioned and performed by electronic 'cellist Jeffrey Krieger (1991), New Music New Haven (1993), 'cellist Shauna Rolston (1993) and Synchronia (1995) as well as The Seymour Group of Sydney, Australia.

His work night chains for solo electronic 'cello is featured on the CRI compact disc of the same name (CRI CD680) under the Emergency Music series. His music is published by Armadillo Edition, New Haven.

In 1993, Knehans was appointed to the University of Alabama School of Music, where he was chair of Composition, Theory and Electronic Music and Director of the SCREAM (Southern Center for Research into ElectroAcoustic Music) Studio.

In 2000, Knehans was invited to participate in the Czech-American Summer Music Institute in Prague. During this three week residency in Prague he also visited Terezin and Auschwitz/Birkenau. These visits gave rise to the composition of his shoah requiem for soloists, choir and orchestra, the introit of which was performed as part of the 2001 Incontri di Musica Sacra Contemporenea events in Bari, Taranto and Rome Italy. In 2002, his work seraphic ride was given its world premier at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. by soloists from the National Symphony Orchestra. 2003 saw his new work rive played in Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Hobart Australia as well as in London for the American Music Center and in Athens and Thessoloniki by the acclaimed Verdehr Trio. In 2005, Knehans was invited to return to the 2005 Incontri di Musica Sacra Contemporanea where his work for mezzosoprano and orchestra in questi giorni was given in L'Aquila and Rome. Prior to this trip, his work lamentation, for string orchestra was premeired in Hobart as part of the Ten Days on the Island International Arts Festival. In 2006, he was invited to the New Music - New Faces Festival in Cracow, Poland where he lectured on new music and composition and his work rive was given its Polish premiere by the Verdher Trio. Resulting from this performance he was invited to the Music Premieres of the Season Festival in Kiev, Ukraine, 2007 and to lecture in electro-acoustic composition at the Academy of Music in Cracow, Poland and the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance in Israel in 2007.

Between 2000-2006 he has been the Tasmanian State Chair, Federal Board member and Executive Director (Syllabus Development) Music Craft of the Australian Music Examinations Board. He has been Professor of Music and Director of the University of Tasmania Conservatorium of Music between 2000-2008 and Dean of the College Conservatory of Music (CCM) at the University of Cincinnati between 2008-2010. He is currently the Thomas James Kelly Professor of Music at CCM.