Dónal Rafferty headshot

Dónal Rafferty

Technology Administrator

Dónal Rafferty was born in Dublin Ireland and has been obsessed with music ever since hearing Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony on his grandfather’s stereo when he was 6 years old. His earliest musical training was singing with The Palestrina Choir from age 7, at which time he also started piano lessons and music theory classes, and later picked up the clarinet. Many years later in 2013, he emigrated from Ireland and headed to California to pursue his dreams.

Dónal composes for a wide variety of musical ensembles and in various styles. His music has been performed by ensembles such as Lontano, Concorde, Crash Ensemble, the Taylor Festival Choir, Charleston Symphony Orchestra and the Hollywood Studio Symphony Orchestra. His music has been performed in Europe and the USA and has been used in content by Google. His musical style is well-informed by his classical training, demonstrates a command of a range of idioms (including the Celtic music of his homeland), and is enhanced by a broad awareness and understanding of contemporary musical styles.  He has been supported by Culture Ireland and The Arts Council of Ireland.

As a film music composer, Dónal constantly seeks to explore new artistic territory.  His score for the short film I Am (2022) explored darker territory in a story based in isolation and self-doubt. His score for the short film The Merger (2022) channeled primal and primitive influences to support the film’s sardonic portrayal of toxic masculinity. His score for the upcoming short film Room 107 (2023) encapsulates the fragility and vulnerability of a youth suffering through depression and unable to connect with family.

Dónal has been a featured composer in Film Independent's IndieLink Composers workshop multiple times. He is a Fellow of the Los Angeles Film Conducting Intensive (LAFCI) workshop where he trained with Angel Velez, Conrad Pope, Emilie Bernstein, and Leonard Slatkin. In 2022-23, Dónal was a mentee of the prestigious Society of Composers & Lyricists Los Angeles Mentor Program. He recently worked with award-winning film composer Edward Shearmur on scoring the Netflix feature film Uglies.

Dónal is a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community and currently resides in Los Angeles California.  He is a member of the Society of Composers & Lyricists and the American Society of Composers & Publishers (ASCAP).