MFA in Music Composition

Michael Early / Faculty

Michael Early, VCFA Music Composition Program

Michael Early makes music at the elusive borders of the classical, the popular, the traditional, and the avant-garde. He will happily use any technique or tradition he can wrap his head or hands around. Particularly interested in the intersections between Western concert music and Rock music, as well as between acoustic and electronic instruments, he is also inspired to create music especially suited to the physicality of particular performers and instruments.

Early has written music for traditional Western orchestras, electronic laptop orchestras, acoustic chamber groups, percussion, cello with electronics, and electric guitars. He has worked with many outstanding performers and ensembles, including percussionist Samuel Solomon, cellist Benjamin Schwarz, CATCH electric guitar quartet, NOW Ensemble, members of New Millennium Ensemble, the Nash Ensemble of London, the Princeton Laptop Orchestra, and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Early’s music has been performed in New York City at Le Poisson Rouge, Galapagos Art Space, and the MMIX festival, in Amsterdam at the OUTPUT guitar festival, at the Aspen Music Festival, and at The Center for New Music and Audio Technologies at UC Berkeley, among other venues.

Also active as a performer, he plays electric guitar and writes music for the duo X10. He also performs and makes new music with the electronic band Sideband. As ThreeAcrePlot, he creates and records songs for his voice and a variety of instruments. Early has received awards and grants from ASCAP, the Percussive Arts Society, the OUTPUT guitar festival, the MIT Council for the Arts, the USC Thornton School of Music, and Yale University. He was a fellow at the Composition Master Class at the Aspen Music Festival in 2007, and holds degrees in composition from Yale University and USC Thornton School of Music. He is currently completing his doctorate in music at Princeton University, where he was recipient of the Roger Sessions University Fellowship in Music.

To listen to more of Michael Early’s music, visit his sound gallery here.