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Apex international music competition Judge Team --Mr. Kelly





Michael is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and The Juilliard School.Praised as “expressive and dynamic” and “vocally splendid”, American baritone Michael Kelly is sought-after for his riveting interpretations of recital, concert and operatic repertoire.

Mr. Kelly has recently performed at Santa Fe Opera, Carnegie Hall, with New York City Opera, the New World Symphony, Seattle Symphony and the Cincinnati May Festival. He performed Bernstein’s Mass with the Mostly Mozart Festival under the baton of Louis Langrée, and gave the world premier of a new chamber work by David Del Treidici at NYC's Symphony Space. In recent seasons he has been heard in Schubert’s Die Schöne Müllerin with celebrated guitarist David Leisner, The role of Hannah Before in Kaminsky’s As One, the role of Figaro in The Barber of Seville, Papageno in Mozart's Magic Flute, Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, and the title role in the NY premier of Carlyle Floyd’s newest opera Prince of Players.

An avid interpreter and supporter of new music, he has given world premieres by Matthew Aucoin, David Del Tredici, Mohammed Fairouz, John Gover, Laura Kaminsky, Ben Moore, Tobias Picker among others. Kelly is a passionate recital and chamber music interpreter, and was a founder and artistic director of NY’s SongFusion and the Room to Breathe concert series. He can be heard on multiple recordings as well as a documentary called Secret Music, celebrating the life and compositions of David Del Tredici.

Captivating audiences with his “exquisitely self-effacing” artistry, Mr. Kelly is a versatile and innovative vocalist, having performed with many of America’s leading orchestras and opera companies, including: The Cleveland Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Houston Symphony, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, The Mostly Mozart Festival, Opernhaus Zurich, Chicago Opera Theater, Gotham Chamber Opera, Mark Morris Dance Group, Boston Early Music Festival and Ars Lyrica. His repertoire ranges from baroque to modern, leading him to collaborate with some of today’s most celebrated composers, including Matthew Aucoin, David Del Tredici, Mohammed Fairouz, John Glover, Ricky Ian Gordon, Martin Hennessy, Laura Kaminsky, Libby Larsen, David T. Little, Lowell Liebermann, Ben Moore, John Musto, David Sisco and David Wolfson. He made his European debut with Opernhaus Zürich in Handel’s Rinaldo with William Christie and his French debut with Opéra du Châtelet. He has performed in opera, chamber and symphonic works under the batons of such conductors as Herbert Blomstedt, Michael Christie, Andreas Delfs, Jane Glover, Benton Hess, Louis Langrée, James Levine, Anne Manson, Nicholas McGegan, Steven Osgood, Leonard Slatkin, and Stephen Stubbs. Michael has also collaborated in recital with celebrated pianists David Fung, Kathleen Kelly, Malcolm Martineau, Shannon McGinnis, Spencer Myer, Jonathan Ware, Howard Watkins and Brian Zeger.

As writer, librettist and poet, Michael has collaborated on songs with John Glover and Ben Moore. Upcoming projects include opera and song collaborations with Laura Kaminsky, Tobias Picker and Kamala Sankaram.

Mr. Kelly has won first prizes in 2013’s Poulenc Competition and 2011’s Joy in Singing. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and Juilliard, and was a member of the Opernstudio at Opernhaus Zürich. In 2018, NewMusicShelf released Michael’s curated baritone volume of their New Music Anthology; a collection of art songs by living composers.Michael’s repertoire ranges from baroque to modern, leading him to collaborate with some of today’s most celebrated composers, including Matthew Aucoin, Victoria Bond, Tom Cipullo, David Del Tredici, Mohammed Fairouz, John Glover, Ricky Ian Gordon, Laura Kaminsky, Libby Larsen, Lowell Liebermann, Ben Moore, David Sisco and David Wolfson. He made his European debut with Opernhaus Zürich in Handel’s Rinaldo with William Christie and his French debut with Opéra du Châtelet. He has performed in opera, chamber and symphonic works under the batons of such conductors as Herbert Blomstedt, Michael Christie, Andreas Delfs, Jane Glover, Benton Hess, Louis Langré, James Levine, Anne Manson, Nicholas McGegan, Steven Osgood, Leonard Slatkin, and Stephen Stubbs. Michael has also collaborated in recital with celebrated pianists Brad Moore, David Fung, Kathleen Kelly, Malcolm Martineau, Shannon McGinnis, Spencer Myer, Jonathan Ware and Brian Zeger.

As an educator, Michael has maintained a private voice studio since 2004, working with singers at all levels and in an array of styles. He has given masterclasses at the conservatory and university levels focusing on both vocal technique and style and has given lectures on career pathways and entrepreneurship. He is a guest lecturer at NYU and SUNY Purchase where he works closely with student composers to help them understand how to write for the voice. Michael was a faculty member of SongFest in 2013 and is currently the Creative Director of RISE, a training program for young professional classical singers.

Michael was co-founder and Artistic Director of SongFusion, a New York-based performance art ensemble focusing on song and multi-art form collaborative programming, and currently curates the digital concert series Room | to | Breathe.

A frequent collaborator with living composers as performer, poet and librettist, he is also the curator for the widely-released baritone volume of art songs by living composers for NewMusicShelf’s Anthology of New Music.

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