BMI Foundation Composer-in-Residence


Michael Gilbertson


• Michael moved to the Bay Area in 2017 and holds a faculty position at the SF Conservatory of Music

• He has written three works for the SFCO: Graffiti (2018), The Beautiful and the Good (2018) and Jigsaw (2019). He is currently working on Denial, a major work to be premiered by the SFCO, Volti, and the Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choir on our April 2020 MainStage concert set.

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The San Francisco Chamber Orchestra is extremely grateful for the generous support of the BMI Foundation for our Composer-in-Residence Michael Gilbertson. The BMI Foundation was founded in 1985 and is committed to supporting the creation, performance, and study of music through awards, scholarships, grants, and commission.

Michael Gilbertson is the BMI Foundation Composer-in-Residence with the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra and teaches at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He holds degrees from The Juilliard School of Music where he studied composition with Samuel Adler, John Corigliano, Christopher Rouse, and from Yale, where he studied with Aaron Jay Kernis, Martin Bresnick, David Lang, Ezra Laderman, Hannah Lash, and Christopher Theofanidis.

Gilbertson’s works have been programmed by the Minnesota Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Washington National Opera, Albany Symphony, San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, Grand Rapids Symphony, River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, Symphony in C, New England Philharmonic, Cheyenne Symphony, Juilliard Orchestra, Yale Philharmonia, Sioux City Symphony, Dubuque Symphony, Michigan Philharmonic, Lafayette Symphony, Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony, Aspen Contemporary Ensemble, and professional choirs including Musica Sacra, The Crossing, and The Esoterics.

In March 2016 he was Musical America Magazine’s featured Artist of the Month. Gilbertson’s opera Breaking, a collaboration with playwright Caroline McGraw, was commissioned by the Washington National Opera and premiered at The Kennedy Center in November, 2013. He has twice composed and conducted ballets for the New York City Ballet’s Choreographic Institute, working with choreographers David Morse and Daniel Baker. His fifth ballet, a collaboration with choreographer Norbert De La Cruz, was premiered by the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet in July, 2013.

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