Michael Betz (b. 1992) is a composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist from Mason City, IA, currently living in Minneapolis, MN. His compositions are not limited to the concert stage and have appeared in a variety of media, including Android apps by developer Nathan Tornquist and the YouTube series Chadtronic. Comfortable in both the jazz and classical idioms, he maintains an active performance schedule as a solo and collaborative pianist in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa. Recent collaborators include soprano Sonja Tengblad and singer-songwriter Matt Alber. He also performs as a solo improvisational synthesizer player, and has played Minneapolis experimental music series such as Drone Not Drones, the Tourniquet Noise Series, and Khyber Pass Thursdays. Betz enjoyed a full 4 years as a percussionist in the St. Olaf Band and Orchestra, and currently sings bass with Magnum Chorum, Aliro Voices, and MPLS (imPulse). He teaches beginning piano, violin, and guitar lessons through the Minnetonka Music Academy.
Betz is a recipient of the 2017 Jerome Foundation for New Music grant and is Composer-in-Residence for Magnum Chorum’s 2017-2018 concert season. Three of his chamber works have received Finalist designation in the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards. In May 2015, he had commissioned works premiered by both the St. Olaf Orchestra and the St. Olaf Band. In addition to both of these works being finalists in the 2015–2016 Symphony Number One call for scores, his orchestra work Enclosure was awarded Honorable Mention in the 2017 Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute. In August 2015, he participated in the Source Song Festival, where he workshopped his song cycle “Indra’s Ear” with Libby Larsen. “Indra’s Ear” received further performances by RenegadeEnsemble at Antonello Recital Hall, Studio Z, the Baroque Room, and the Schubert Club Courtroom Concert Series in the Twin Cities. His music has also been recorded and performed by Aliro Voices, Neoteric Chamber Winds, flutist Joshua Weinberg, the Vine Orchestra, Una Vocis Choral Ensemble, the Mason City High School Symphonic Band (IA), and chamber ensembles from the University of Iowa and Roseville Area High School (MN).
Betz holds a B.M. in Theory and Composition from St. Olaf College (2015), where he studied with Timothy Mahr and Justin Merritt. In July 2013, Betz traveled to Paris to take part in the EAMA-Nadia Boulanger Summer Institute, where he studied composition with David Conte. He is a member of ASCAP.
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