For nearly 20 years, Michael has been a visible and integral part of Vancouver’s music education community. Michael’s work in coaching opera singers throughout these years gives him a unique perspective in training pianists to have sensitivity, a keen ear, and adaptability. As a teacher, adjudicator, conductor, and coach, Michael has worked with hundreds of musicians individually, helping them to prepare performances with orchestra & conductors.
As an active performing pianist, Michael has appeared in concerts for Vancouver Opera, UBC Opera, City Opera Vancouver, Homeground Festival, Edmonton Opera, Civic Orchestra Victoria, Opera Kelowna, Burnaby Lyric Opera, Opera NUOVA, and many others. Both his playing and his compositions have been featured on CBC Radio 2 and in Festival Vancouver. He has led successful productions of shows as music director and conductor for Vancouver Academy of Music, Midwest Opera Institute (Illinois) and Opera Kelowna, among others.
In childhood, Michael started the piano late (at age 10), but earned his ARCT diploma less than five years later. From there, at 15, he began a post-secondary music program in Victoria two years early. At his request, he received the first-ever double major in music —in piano and composition— from the Victoria Conservatory, where his teacher Dr. Robin Wood described him as “a pianist with something to say”. At UBC School of Music, the double-major track was also created after a request to the Dean, and he became the first-ever double-major B.Mus.
Since returning to teaching young pianists in recent years, his students have excelled, achieving results such as First Class Honours (RCM) in advanced piano. He brings a deep enthusiasm for collaboration to his work, engaging with those he works with to bring out their best performance along with a spark for learning.