Michael, a native of Davis, CA, enjoys performing as a soloist as well as collaborating with a wide range of artists within many different musical communities. He is a recent alum of Ensemble Connect — a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education. The fellowship brings together many facets that Michael is passionate about: performing, teaching, outreach, and developing unique roles as a creator and presenter.
Michael has performed throughout New York, the United States, and Europe in a variety of venues, including Carnegie’s Weill Hall, Steinway Hall, Bernard Haitink Hall, Subculture, Merkin Hall, and the Mondavi Center. His performances have also been featured on WQXR, WFMT, and Wisconsin Public Radio. A proponent of New Music, he has premiered works by major American composers such as Meredith Monk and Stacy Garrup, and worked with other major composers like Kaija Saariaho Martin Bresnick. His most recent partnerships include collaborations with composers Gity Razaz, Jeremy Flowers, and Timo Andres.
Michael holds a deep interest in developing concert formats and styles that integrate large audience exchanges into live performances. Following this vision, he cofounded Golden Gate Music Bridge with fellow pianist Elizabeth Dorman, a new initiative based in San Francisco that aims to provide public high school students with skills in leadership and community engagement through interactive chamber music concerts. Michael is also a member of The Bridge Arts Ensemble.
Michael is a Doctoral Candidate at Stony Brook University under Gilbert Kalish, where he served on the Pre-College music theory faculty and managed the undergraduate piano program, teaching chamber music and solo piano majors as Head Piano Teaching Assistant. Among other honors, Michael has been awarded the Theodore Rehl Prize by Lawrence University and the Gilbert Kalish Scholarship by Stony Brook University. Michael is also engaged in a wide variety of music making, including working with Electronic Media and Performance, Improvisation, Jazz, and Rock, always searching for a career that can connect and expand.
Michael frequently receives comments and questions about his hands due to his enlarged fingers. He developed pachydactyly, or thick finger syndrome, when he was young, causing the skin around his fingers and below his first knuckles to significantly thicken. His condition does not actively inhibit his performances to his knowledge, though it does make ring shopping more difficult.