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Michael Schelle

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Michael Schelle


Michael Schelle (born 1950, in Philadelphia, PA) is Composer-in-Residence, Distinguished Professor of Music, and founder/director of the notorious JCFA Composers Orchestra (new music ensemble) at the School of Music, Butler University, Indianapolis, IN, USA. Raised in the shadows of New York City (Bergen County, NJ), Schelle's degrees are from Villanova University (theatre), the Hartt School of Music/University of Hartford (CT), and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. His teachers have included Aaron Copland (private), Arnold Franchetti, Eric Stokes, and Dominick Argento. His works are published by Keiser Classical (formerly MMB Music (St. Louis), Indiana University Press, European American Music, American Composers Edition (NYC), and commercially recorded by CRS (Philadelphia) and Albany Records.

Schelle's music has been performed by over 300 orchestras, wind symphonies and chamber ensembles across the US and abroad including the Chicago Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Cincinnati Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Alabama Symphony, Dayton Philharmonic, the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, SONOR (San Diego), XTET (Los Angeles), the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra . . . and by dozens of American university bands and wind ensembles from northern New England to Southern California.

In 2000, Schelle conducted his Guttersnipe (for large symphonic wind ensemble), originally commissioned for the Capital University (OH) NOW Festival, across Europe including performances in Prague, Budapest, Vienna, Schladming (Austria). In March 2008, he participated in performances of his Prayer (2004, for solo cello and chamber wind ensemble) in Prague, Austria, Luxemburg, Amsterdam and Germany. In 2009-2010, Schelle was the featured guest composer with the South Shore Orchestra (Chicago) on a two-week concert tour of China (Beijing, Shanghai, Ningbo, Hangzhou, etc.) that featured his "Wright Flight" Piano Concerto (2002). In 2009 and 2010 Schelle was 2X the featured guest composer at Aichi Prefectural University and Nagoya Imperial University, JAPAN.

Michael Schelle's The End of the World, a 2011/2012 CBDNA wind ensemble consortium commission (35 university symphonic bands including Eastman, Michigan, Texas-Austin, Florida, Indiana, Arizona State, Kansas State, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina-Greensboro, New Mexico, Ithaca, Hartt, Trinity, etc.). is a 3 movement 13:00 piece inspired by Nostradamus, the Mayan calendar and the March 2011 Japanese earthquake / tsunami. The three movements are: 1. The Exhausted Sun, II. Bullet Train to Hell, III. After Afterlife.

  • The Asian premiere of E.O.W. took place in September 2012, in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), performed by KLPAC: the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Center Symphonic Band.

December 2012: The End of the World was awarded the National Band Association William D. Revelli Composition Prize

Principal wind ensemble / symphonic band commissions:

  • The End of the World (consortium: 35 university bands, see above)
  • Extraction on No. 9 (consortium)
  • King Ubu (Butler University)
  • Contraband (Indiana University)
  • Guttersnipe (Capital University)
  • Seven Steps from Hell (Illinois Wesleyan University)
  • When Hell Freezes Over (MCBDNA consortium: Midwest College Band Directors Association - 11 university bands)
  • Prayer (Butler University)

Schelle has received composition grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Arts Council, American Symphony Orchestra League, the Rockefeller Foundation, IRCAM, League of American Orchestras, the Welsh Arts Council (Cardiff), the New England Foundation for the Arts, Pennsylvania State Arts Council, Indiana Arts Commission, Great Lakes Arts Alliance, Arts Midwest, "Meet the Composer", many others, and has held extended residencies at numerous colleges, universities and new music festivals across the country and at the Spoleto USA (Charleston, SC), the MacDowell Colony (NH) and the Wolf Trap Center for the Performing Arts (VA).

Works for Winds