Michael Hall

Michael Hall lives in Chicago and has performed and taught across Europe, Asia and the United States. Described by the New Music Connoisseur as “utterly masterful,” and Chamber Music Today as having “superb technique,” he recently made his Chicago Orchestra Hall solo debut and concluded a recital tour to Vienna, Austria and Udine and Tolmezzo, Italy. Hall has been a featured performer at the Thailand International Composition Festival in Bangkok, the Positano Chamber Music Festival in Italy, the Vianden International Chamber Music Festival in Luxembourg and the Composer’s Concordance Series in New York City.

Twice he has presented world premieres at International Viola Congresses at Minneapolis and Reykjavik, Iceland, performed at the 2014 Primrose International Festival in Los Angeles, and presented to critical acclaim the North American premiere of Chen Yi’s, Xian Shi, the first viola concerto written by a Chinese composer, with the Chicago Composers Orchestra, and earlier with the Chiang Mai Philharmonic in Thailand.

Future performances include solo appearances at the 2016 New Music Gathering, the inaugural Ear Taxi Festival, May String Festival in Bandung, Indonesia, 2016 UMKC Summer Composition Workshop, 2016 Thailand International Composition Festival, the American Viola Festival at Oberlin and performing Mozart’s “Sinfonia Concertante” with the Northwest Symphony Orchestra. 

Compositions written for Michael Hall include three recently released commercial recordings: Narong Prangcharoen’s Antahkarana, Mara Gibson’s Canopy and James Mobberley’s “Subject To Change Without Notice,” which received accolades from the American Record Guide, Fanfare Magazine, the NewMusic Box and “I Care If You Listen.” Other notable solo premieres have included works by Marta Ptaszynska, Matthew Burtner, Antonio Celso Ribeiro, Michelle McQuade Dewhirst, Christian Ellenwood, Jean-David Caillouet, David Vayo, Seth Boustead, Eric Malmquist and Yu Pengfei. In addition to presenting the Asian premieres of works by Elliott Carter, Zhou Long, Shulamit Ran and Nico Muhly, Hall has championed the music of Alfred Schnittke, Stephen Paulus and Kee Yong Chong. 

Future premieres of solo works written for Hall include compositions by Eric Moe, Amy Williams, Mary Kouyoumdjian, Rob Deemer, Chaipruk Mekara, Milicia Djordjevic, Luke Gullickson, Ilya Levinson and a trio by David Vayo. Commercial recordings can be found on the Delos, Centaur, Acoma, Clarion, Vienna Modern Masters, and Albany Records labels. 

Hall has performed on Thailand’s PBS-TV, National Public Radio’s “Live From Studio A” and WFMT’s new music program Relevant Tones. Hall regularly performs with the Chicago Philharmonic, Joffrey Ballet, Ravinia Festival, Baroque on Beaver Island Music Festival, and the Chicago Composers Orchestras. He has also worked with members of Ensemble Del Niente, Fonema Consort and newEar Contemporary Chamber Ensemble. 

Additional solo performances include the Philadelphia Salon Series, Frequency Series at Constellation, Sonict New Music Series, Carriage Barn Series, Bennington College, PianoForte Salon Live Series, Open Ground Series, South Loop Music Festival, 360º Series, CUBE New Music Series and and his third residency at the University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory Summer Composition Workshop, where he will be a featured performer. Hall will also be making his sixth appearance at the Thailand International Composition Festival in Bangkok. 

An avid chamber musician, Hall was a founding member of the Lake String Quartet, Ensemble-in-Residence at Yellowstone National Park. He has also performed at numerous summer festivals, including the Grand Teton Festival, the National Orchestral Institute, Kneisel Hall Chamber Music School, and the Aspen Music Festival, where he was a winner in the Indiana-Aspen Concerto Competition. 

Michael believes strongly in the expressive power of collaborating with diverse disciplines in the arts. Collaborations with dancers and visual artists led to guest recitals and lectures at the Nelson Atkins Museum, Kansas City Art Institute, Chicago Renaissance Society, Musical Bridges Program and the Experimental Sound Studio. Cross-curricular interests naturally led to Michael’s Young Composers Project, funded by the City of Chicago with a Neighborhood Arts Grant. The project combined Howard Gardner’s concepts of Multiple Intelligences with the basic building blocks of music to teach math and creative writing to children grades K-6 in public elementary schools on Chicago’s South Side. Other awards include grants from USArtists International and the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation.

Hall teaches on the faculty of VanderCook College of Music, and has served on the faculties of Illinois Wesleyan University, Chicago Academy for the Arts, Guilford College, Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra and taught adjunct at the University of Chicago. Additionally, Hall is the Director of Education for the Bandung Philharmonic in Indonesia, and serves on the Board of the American Viola Society. Hall received his Doctorate degree from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, graduated from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music with a Masters and received his Bachelor degree from Ball State University. His teachers include Michelle LaCourse, Scott Rawls, Peter Kamnitzer, Linda Geidel and the LaSalle and Tokyo string quartets. 

Hall plays a viola made by Ferruccio Varagnolo. Hall and his wife, Kristine, who is the most inspiring 5th grade teacher in Chicago Public Schools, have two daughters. Hall has logged over 3,000 miles hiking through the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and other mountain chains throughout the world, is an avid amateur photographer, loves dark chocolate and recently completed the Chicago Marathon.