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Called “astounding,” (Boston Musical Intelligencer) and “a rising star,” (Bay Area Reporter) cellist Justin Dougherty performs as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States and abroad.

Mr. Dougherty is a serious advocate of the music of our time and the expansion of the cello repertory. He has made premieres of nearly forty new works by composers such as David Rakowski, Gunther Schuller, Steven Stucky, and Andy Vores, and has commissioned two dozen unaccompanied and chamber music works by composers including Emily Cooley, Dominick DiOrio, Bruce Trinkley, and members of Boston’s Fifth Floor Collective. Since 2010, he has made more than 200 performances of his ongoing new-music recital project Queering the Pitch, including performances in New York's Carnegie Hall. Mr. Dougherty celebrated the Benjamin Britten centenary with more than twenty performances of the composer’s three Suites for Cello, and in 2015 began a recital series featuring rarely-performed works written or arranged for solo cello, from the Renaissance to the modern day.

Mr. Dougherty has collaborated with cellists Yo-Yo Ma and Guy Fishman, pianist Judith Gordon, and violinists Risa Browder and Stanley Ritchie, among others. He frequently performs with Chamber Cartel, a Georgia-based ensemble committed to new, contemporary music. In 2009, Mr. Dougherty joined with his long-time friend, soprano Meredith Mecum, to form the Counterpointe Duo expressly to develop and perform the repertory for their soprano-cello combination. 

Mr. Dougherty is a sought-after teacher and maintains a large private studio of young cellists in the Atlanta, GA area. He is on the string faculty at the prestigious William Pu Music Academy and has previously taught at The Grier School (PA), Roma Academy of Music and Art, and University of Georgia Community Music School. His students have occupied principal chairs in the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra, Emory Youth Symphony, and Georgia Youth Symphony Orchestra. Other students have played in the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, Beethoven Chamber Orchestra, Harrisburg Symphony Youth Orchestra, and others. Former students have gone on to study music at distinguished schools of music such as Oberlin Conservatory, Indiana University, Columbus State University, and the University of Michigan. Mr. Dougherty has presented lectures and masterclasses and been in residence at numerous colleges and universities, including the University of South Florida and his alma mater, Penn State University. 

Justin Dougherty holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Pennsylvania State University, a Master of Music degree from The Boston Conservatory, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Georgia. While at The Boston Conservatory Mr. Dougherty was the assistant to his mentor, the renowned cellist Rhonda Rider. His other teachers include Kim Cook, Judith Eissenberg, and Robert Nairn.

Mr. Dougherty is a lapsed vegetarian who lives and spends his practice time in suburban Atlanta. If it isn’t too hot you can find him running along one of Atlanta's many rail-trails, chilling at the dog park with his twelve-year-old Maltese, Mylo, or out enjoying all the great wine and food that the south has to offer.

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