Michael Hersch – composer

Noted as "one of the most fertile musical minds to emerge in the US over the past generation" by Andrew Clark of The Financial Times of London, Michael Hersch continues to write music of tremendous power and invention. Writing in The Washington Post more than ten years ago, critic Tim Page heralded the arrival on the international stage of "a Promethean creator who has been charged with relaying his particular message. He combines a mixture of urgency and facility that is dazzling."

Major recent commissions include those from the Cleveland Orchestra, baritone Thomas Hampson, and the Cabrillo Festival for Contemporary Music. Mr. Hersch’s work has been conducted in the U.S. and abroad under conductors including Mariss Jansons, Alan Gilbert, Marin Alsop, Robert Spano, James DePriest, Carlos Kalmar, and Gerard Schwarz, and has been performed by the major orchestras of Saint Louis, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Dallas, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Seattle, and Oregon, among others, and ensembles including the String Soloists of the Berlin Philharmonic, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, and the Network for New Music. During the 2002-03 season, Mariss Jansons named Mr. Hersch composer-in-residence with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. Hersch has written for such soloists as Garrick Ohlsson, Boris Pergamenschikow, Peter Sheppard-Skaerved, Daniel Gaisford, Walter Boeykens, Shai Wosner, and Midori. His work has been performed at festivals including Tanglewood, Schloss Neuhardenberg, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Musica XXI Romaeuropa Festival, and the Transit Circle Contemporary Music Series, among many others. Other commissioning organizations include Carnegie Hall, the Washington Performing Arts Society, the Kronberg Akademie, the 92nd St. Y - Tisch Center for the Performing Arts, and the Borletti Buitoni Trust.

Mr. Hersch first came to international attention at the age of 25, when he was awarded First Prize in the American Composers Awards. This resulted in a performance in New York's Alice Tully Hall early in 1997. Later that year he became one of the youngest composers ever to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship in Composition. Mr. Hersch has also received the Rome Prize, the Berlin Prize, and both the Charles Ives Scholarship and Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts & Letters. Also recognized as among today's most formidable pianists, he has performed throughout the U.S. and Europe.