Photo by Edward Small

Photo by Edward Small

Michael Small is an English-born composer.

His works often draw on visual or literary sources and seek to place the listener’s imaginative journey at the heart of the work’s narrative. Dreams, hallucinations, memory, flight, and surreal landscapes are recurring themes and inspirations.


Michael is looking forward to a busy summer as a teaching fellow at the Bowdoin International Festival of Music where he will be mentoring a group of undergrad and grad composition students as well as having a few of his own works featured. In August, he will be in Granada, Spain for the premiere of his new work Jali, for Oboe and String Quartet at the International Double Reed Society conference. His tribute to Steven Stucky, Debussy Window will soon appear on Gloria Cheng’s forthcoming release on Bridge Records.

Circling the Waves has just been scheduled for a further two outings with the incomparable Michiko Theurer. On April 3rd, 2017, Michi will perform it at Stanford, CCRMA Stage, and on April 5th, she will perform it at the University of Montana, in Missoula, MT. 

Michael recently founded a podcast of interviews with composers called Composers' Notes, which you can listen to here.

Gloria Cheng premiered Debussy Window, as part of a series of tributes to Steven Stucky in New York on November 11th. The entire project, "Garlands for Steven Stucky" will be released on disc in mid-2018.

Michael's White Space received its US Premiere at the 3rd Momenta Festival on October 1st 2017. You can read about the festival and the other performances here.

Earlier in 2017, Michael had a very memorable week at the Weekend of Chamber Music Festival in the Catskills, NY. He worked with three young players (violinist and two cellos) to produce a short piece, and workshopped his new piano étude with Gloria Cheng.

Memory Palace (2015) for String Quartet was recently featured on WFMT Chicago's Relevant Tones music podcast. You can check out the episode here, which also features music by Anthony Cheung and Augusta Read Thomas. 

Michael's How fair, how strange for solo violin received its UK premiere on June 30th, at the International Virginia Woolf Conference in Reading. The work was commissioned by Michiko Theurer as part of an innovative project relating the music of six composers to paintings informed by Virginia Woolf's seminal novel, The Waves. You can read more about it at our website.

Michael is also composing a new work for Oboe Quintet to be premiered by the Liverpool Oboe Quintet in early 2018.