Michael Nathaniel Hersch

Michael Nathaniel Hersch

Widely considered among the most gifted composers of his generation, Michael Hersch continues to write music of tremendous power and invention. His work has been conducted in the U.S. and abroad by conductors including Mariss Jansons, Alan Gilbert, Robert Spano, Marin Alsop, Carlos Kalmar, Yuri Temirkanov, Giancarlo Guerrero, James DePreist and Gerard Schwarz; and has been performed by the major orchestras of Cleveland, Saint Louis, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Baltimore, Dallas, Cincinnati, Seattle, Oregon, Singapore, and ensembles including the String Soloists of the Berlin Philharmonic, and the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, among others. He has written for such soloists as Garrick Ohlsson, Thomas Hampson, Midori, Boris Pergamenschikow, Shai Wosner, Walter Boeykens, Peter Sheppard-Skaerved, Michael Sachs, and Daniel Gaisford. His solo and chamber works have appeared on programs throughout the world - from the Chamber Society of Lincoln Center to the Philharmonie in Berlin; from the British Museum and the Dartington New Music Festival in the U.K., to the Romaeuropa Festival in Italy; from Tanglewood in Boston to the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan.

Recent commissions have included major works for the Cleveland Orchestra, and a new song cycle for baritone Thomas Hampson. In 2012, Mr. Hersch’s string quartet, his 50-minute Images from a Closed Ward, commissioned by the Blair String Quartet, received premiere performances in New York, Philadelphia and Nashville. Mr. Hersch's second piano concerto, along the ravines, commissioned by pianist Shai Wosner and the Borletti-Buitoni Trust (BBT)  received its premiere with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra with Mr. Wosner as soloist in the spring of 2012. In the fall of 2011, the Transit Circle series presented an all-Hersch recital at Merkin Concert Hall in New York. Mr. Hersch is currently completing work on his first opera, On the Threshold of Winter, a monodrama in two acts for soprano and mixed ensemble.

Born in Washington D.C. in 1971, Michael Hersch first came to international attention at age twenty-five, when he was awarded First Prize in the American Composers Awards. The award resulted in a performance of his Elegy, conducted by Marin Alsop in New York's Alice Tully Hall in early 1997. Later that year he became one of the youngest recipients ever of a Guggenheim Fellowship in Composition. Mr. Hersch has also been the recipient of the Rome Prize (2000), the Berlin Prize (2001) and both the Charles Ives Scholarship (1996) and Goddard Lieberson Fellowship (2006) from the American Academy of Arts & Letters, three A.S.C.A.P. Morton Gould Awards, and many other honors.  Mr. Hersch was a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center, the Norfolk Festival for Contemporary Music, and the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan. He studied at the Peabody Institute of Music in Baltimore, with additional studies at the Moscow Conservatory in Russia. He currently heads the Department of Composition at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University.

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