Equally acclaimed as a pianist and composer, Michael Brown has been described as “one of the most refined of all pianist-composers” (International Piano) and “one of the leading figures in the current renaissance of performer-composers” (The New York Times). His unique artistry is reflected in his creative approach to programming that often interweaves the classics with contemporary works and his own compositions.
A recipient of a 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Mr. Brown regularly makes solo appearances with orchestras such as the Seattle, North Carolina, New Haven, Albany, Flagstaff and Richardson Symphonies. During the 2016-2017 season, he was also selected by pianist Sir András Schiff to perform across the US and Europe, including debut solo recitals in Zurich’s Tonhalle and NYC’s 92nd Street Y.
Highlights of the upcoming 2017-2018 season include concerto appearances with the Maryland, New Haven and Erie Symphony Orchestras, as well as solo recitals at the Gilmore Keyboard Festival, Music Center at Strathmore, and the Anneliese Brost Musikforum Ruhr in Bochum, Germany. Since joining the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (CMS) Two Roster in 2015, Mr. Brown also continues as a CMS Artist on a U.S. tour, and a Lincoln Center recital with his longtime duo partner, cellist Nicholas Canellakis.
For both the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons, Mr. Brown has also been appointed the Composer-in-Residence for the New Haven Symphony, a position that will include a symphonic commission to be premiered in 2019, as well as the opportunity to mentor the upcoming generation of promising young composers. Other upcoming commissions include works for Osmo Vänskä and Erin Keefe and a clarinet quartet for a consortium of gardens around the U.S., to be premiered in 2018 at Wave Hill, Longwood, and Desert Botanical Gardens. He has also received commissions from the Maryland Symphony, Bargemusic, Concert Artists Guild, Shriver Hall, Norton Building Concerts, Pianofest in the Hamptons, and pianists Jerome Lowenthal, Roman Rabinovich, Adam Golka, David Kaplan, and Orion Weiss.
A prolific recording artist, the 2017-18 season will see the release of two new albums: one as a soloist with the Seattle Symphony and Ludovic Morlot in Messiaen’s Trois petites liturgies de la présence divine, and one as a soloist with the Brandenburg State Symphony in a world premiere recording of Samuel Adler’s First Piano Concerto for LINN Records. Other albums include an all-George Perle CD (Bridge), a debut solo recording (CAG) and collaborative albums with pianist Jerome Lowenthal (CAG), cellist Nicholas Canellakis (CAG) and violinist Elena Urioste (BIS).
A native New Yorker, Mr. Brown was the First Prize winner of the Concert Artists Guild Competition, the recipient of the Juilliard Petschek Award, and is a Steinway Artist. He has performed at Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall in NYC, the Kennedy Center in DC, Wigmore Hall in London, DeSingel in Antwerp, and the Louvre in Paris; and appeared in festivals such as Marlboro, Music@Menlo, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Ravinia, Bard, Chamber Music Sedona, and Moab. He has earned dual bachelor’s and master’s degrees in piano and composition from The Juilliard School, where he studied with pianists Jerome Lowenthal and Robert McDonald and composers Samuel Adler and Robert Beaser. Additional mentors have included Leon Fleisher and Richard Goode, as well as his early teachers, Herbert Rothgarber and Adam Kent.
In his spare time, he enjoys cooking kale, reading and obsessing over American history, memorizing obscure Woody Allen films, and dreams of walking 50,000 steps in one day.
[ July 2017 ]
My musical life began at the age of two as I danced in front of the TV to the songs of Raffi. By age three, I had listened to Billy Joel’s Piano Man so many times that I wore out the cassette tape. At four, I realized I wanted to be the reincarnation of Mozart so I embarked upon a life of exploration, some isolation, but mostly pure and utter joy.