is a composer, pianist, theorist, and teacher based in Ann Arbor, MI.


March 2015

Michael will compose a new chamber work to be premiered at Carnegie Hall as part of the 2015/2016 New York Youth Symphony First Music Commissions.

Michael appears as a pianist at Castleton, accompanying Davone Tines at the A Time to Break Silence benefit event hosted by Alec Baldwin.

Anna Rae Schierbeek performs Michael’s “Prelude” for solo cello at the Schneebeck Concert Hall, University of Puget Sound.

February 2015

Michael’s new orchestral version of Five-Six-Seven-Eight is premiered by Yaniv Segal and the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra at performances in Bonita Springs and Marco Island, Florida.

The 21st Century Consort premieres Michael’s new arrangement of Joni Mitchell’s “Night in the City” at the Smithsonian Institute.

The University of Michigan’s Contemporary Directions Ensemble, conducted by Christopher Kendall, performs Michael’s arrangement of “Blackbird” at Britton Recital Hall in Ann Arbor.

January 2015

The Minnesota Orchestra perform Freylekhe Tanzen on their “Future Classics” concert at Orchestra Hall in Minnesota, broadcast live by Minnesota Public Radio.

December 2014

Five-Six-Seven-Eight is featured on Chicago Public Radio’s Relevant Tones.

November 2014

The VocalEssence Ensemble Singers perform My River Runs to Thee at four different Minnesota cities as part of their “River Songs and Tales with Mark Twain” tour.

October 2014

The 21st Century Consort will be premiering Michael’s new arrangement of the Beatles’ “Blackbird” at the Smithsonian Institute. Click here for more details.

Ken Kiesler and the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra record Rhapsody in Maize and Blue at Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor. Check out the fantastic YouTube video here!

July 2014

Michael’s new work, Five-Six-Seven-Eight, premiered by Alarm Will Sound at the 2014 Mizzou International Composers Festival.

The Aurea Silva Trio will be premiering Michael’s Trio for Flute, Bassoon, and Piano at the White Lake Chamber Music Festival in early August.

June 2014

Michael’s new commissioned composition, My River Runs to Thee, will be premiered by Tesfa Wondemagegnehu and the VocalEssence Ensemble Singers on their upcoming “River Songs and Tales with Mark Twain” tour around Minnesota.

May 2014

Michael has been commissioned by the Concord Chorus to write a new choral-orchestral work for their 2015-2016 season.

March 2014

Michael’s Three Wallace Stevens Songs are premiered by Harold Rosenbaum and the New York Virtuoso Singers in Merkin Hall, NYC, on a program featuring premieres by Thea Musgrave and others. Click here to see the listing in the NY Times.

February 2014

The Minnesota Orchestra is back! Michael’s Freylekhe Tanzen will be featured on a “Future Classics” concert during the 2014-2015 season.

January 2014

The University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Kenneth Kiesler, performs Rhapsody in Maize and Blue at the University of Michigan “Collage” concert at Hill Auditorium, featuring Michael as piano soloist.



Michael’s music draws from an eclectic brew of influences including jazz and New Orleans, Renaissance polyphony, Jewish liturgy and klezmer, and South Indian classical music. Recent performances include 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 Vocal Essence Ensemble Singers, and the New York Virtuoso Singers. Current projects include a NYYS First Music commission for a new chamber work to be premiered at Carnegie Hall, a choral-orchestral setting of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s poetry for the Concord Chorus, and a recital-length song cycle based on Langston Hughes’ poetry for bass-baritone Davone Tines. In 2013, on the occasion of a historic partnership with the Gershwin family, the University of Michigan commissioned him to compose a mash-up of the University’s fight song “Hail to the Victors” and Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.” The resulting “Rhapsody in Maize and Blue” was premiered by Kenneth Kiesler and the University Symphony Orchestra in a concert featuring singer Audra McDonald. Michael has received honors from organizations such as BMI, ASCAP, and the American Composers Forum.

Born and raised in Massachusetts, young Michael frequently embarrassed his parents by singing loudly at restaurants. He 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 more 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. He watched the Red Sox win Game 6 of the World Series at Fenway Park this past fall and can now die in peace.

Copyright 2013-15 by Michael Schachter. michael.schachter [at] gmail.com