is a composer, pianist, scholar, and teacher based in Ann Arbor, MI.
Michael’s compositional voice draws on an omnivorous brew of influences: jazz and New Orleans music, classical music old (Renaissance polyphony) and new, Jewish liturgy and klezmer, and South Indian Classical music.
Highlights of the 2016–17 season include commissions by the American Repertory Theater, the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, a consortium of wind ensembles led by the University of Michigan, Harvard University’s Band and Choruses, and saxophonist Emmett Rapaport, as well as additional performances by the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, the Boise Philharmonic, the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, the Masterworks Chorale and Orchestra, and chamber ensembles around the United States.
In recent years, Michael’s music has been commissioned and performed by ensembles such as the Minnesota Orchestra, the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra, Alarm Will Sound, the 21st Century Consort (the resident new music ensemble of the Smithsonian institution), the Concord Chorus and Orchestra, the Contemporary Directions Ensemble (UMich), the Vocal Essence Ensemble Singers, and the New York Virtuoso Singers.
Michael has received honors from organizations such as BMI, ASCAP, and the American Composers Forum. As a scholar, Michael’s research interests include the philosophy of music (especially aesthetics, epistemology, and ethics), pedagogy, early music, jazz, New Orleans music, and the classical music of South India. Current work includes a dissertation project on musical epistemology (the philosophy of musical knowledge). His scholarly articles have been published in journals such as Music Theory Online and Indiana Theory Review, and he has presented his work at regional and national conferences. In March 2016, Michael gave the keynote address at the Bowling Green State University Graduate Conference.
Michael earned his BA from Harvard in 2009, where he directed the Harvard Chamber Singers and founded and directed the Harvard Jazz Collective. As a jazz pianist, he has performed in concerts and master classes with Herbie Hancock, Joshua Redman, Roy Haynes, Roy Hargrove, Don Byron, and many others. He spent the 2009-2010 academic year in Chennai, India studying South Indian classical singing and vina playing. While living in Chennai, Michael and his wife, Allie, lived and worked at an NGO that provides a wide array of human services, and upon returning to the United States they founded a non-profit organization that sponsors education and living expenses for child victims of human trafficking. If you are interested in learning more, please click here for additional information.
Michael is currently working towards a Ph.D. in Music Theory and Composition at the University of Michigan, where he has worked with Bright Sheng, Paul Schoenfield, Michael Daugherty, and Evan Chambers.
Born and raised in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, Michael is an unapologetic fan of Boston sports.