MICHAEL SCHACHTER (b. 1987 in Boston, MA) is a composer, writer, and pianist.

Described as “magnificent,” “arresting,” and “exquisitely layered” by the New York Times, Michael’s music amalgamates the formative influences of his omnivorous musical background: the strains of Jewish cantillation, performing piano concerti, leading jazz combos, accompanying musicals and gospel groups, conducting Renaissance choral music, and studying Karnatak music in Chennai, India.

His music-theatrical show, The Black Clown, premiered with a sold-out four-week run at the American Repertory Theater to kick off their 2018–19 season. Co-created with starring bass-baritone Davóne Tines and directed by Zack Winokur, the category-resistant work realizes the poetic vision of Langston Hughes’ dramatic monologue. In July 2019, the production moved to Lincoln Center as part of the Mostly Mozart Festival. More recently, Grammy-nominated violinist Tessa Lark and the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra premiered Michael’s Violin Concerto: Cycle of Life, based on the massive glass-and-metal installation by Richard Jolley at the Knoxville Museum of Art.

Upcoming projects include a collaborative composition with Caroline Shaw, Tyshawn Sorey, and Carlos Simon for bass-baritone Davóne Tines and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, as well as a new work for Grammy-winning choir Conspirare and the Miró Quartet.

Michael’s music has been commissioned and performed by ensembles such as the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, Boise Philharmonic, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, Naples Philharmonic, Bloomington Symphony, Alarm Will Sound, 21st Century Consort, Brentano Quartet, Rolston Quartet, Concord Chorus and Orchestra, Masterworks Chorale and Orchestra, Vocal Essence Ensemble Singers, New York Virtuoso Singers, and chamber groups and collegiate ensembles around the country, at venues including Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, the Smithsonian Institute, the San Francisco Center for New Music, Hill Auditorium (Ann Arbor), Sanders Theatre (Cambridge), National Sawdust and Roulette (Brooklyn), the Big Ears Festival, the Rockport Chamber Music Festival, San Diego Symphony’s “Hearing the Future” Festival, and the Ojai Festival for Contemporary Music.

Michael recently completed a three-year term as Junior Fellow in the Harvard University Society of Fellows. His scholarly interests include the philosophy of music (especially aesthetics, epistemology, and ethics), pedagogy, early music, jazz, and the classical music of South India. His research has been published in leading journals such as Music Theory Online, Analytical Approaches to World Music, The Indiana Theory Review, and Music and Literature, and he has presented his work at regional and national conferences. He is currently working on a major project on the philosophy of musical knowledge.

Michael and his family are based in Burlington, VT. Outside of his musical work, he enjoys reading, traveling, taking in culture, playing and following sports, and horsing around with his two young sons.

Copyright 2013-22 by Michael Schachter. michael.schachter [at] gmail.com