- Adjunct Faculty, Music — Viola
Michael Lieberman, violist, pursues a busy and varied career as a chamber musician, orchestral player, and teacher.
During the 2000-01 season, he performed for the World Premier production of Philip Glass’s opera, “In the Penal Colony” written for a single string quintet that was on stage and in costume during the entire performance.
With over a hundred performances in New York, Chicago, and Seattle, the production was reviewed to critical acclaim. In 2007 Michael was the violist and music director for “Tempo of Recollection,” an innovative collaboration of chamber music, dance, drama, projected images, and sound set in a 1920s Prague dance-hall bringing to life the music of Czech composer and Holocaust victim, Erwin Schulhoff.
From 2011 to 2013, he was the assistant music director and violist for Cirque Du Soleil’s “IRIS” at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. With the musical score written by Danny Elfman, Michael is featured as the solo violist on the soundtrack recording. The production ran for over 500 performances including an appearance on the Tonight Show.
Since 2013, Michael has been composing, arranging, writing, and performing as an original member of Wet the Hippo. Wet The Hippo, nominated for Best Comedy in the 2013 Hollywood Fringe Festival, is a collection of Los Angeles’s most twisted and uncontrollable performers in sublimely irreverent and beautifully chaotic live performances.
Throughout 2016, Michael composed for and performed with “The Simple Simples” which performed throughout Los Angeles and Chicago. He was also the music director, composer, and violist for “The Captain and the Squid” which had a sold-out run in Los Angeles.
From 2016 to 2018, Michael toured the country performing with the Chicago-based chamber music group, Fifth-House Ensemble.
Michael has performed with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Milwaukee Symphony, Joffrey Ballet, Chicago Philharmonic, Los Angeles Opera, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Oregon Symphony and has played principal viola with the Santa Barbara Symphony, Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, and Opera Santa Barbara among many others.
For 10 years he was violist in the Saint Helen’s String Quartet with performances in every major venue, on television and radio throughout the Pacific Northwest including a residency at Cornish College of the Arts. The Saint Helen’s String Quartet released its debut recording in fall 2015.
Michael has taught at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle and Westmont College in Santa Barbara. Michael studied at the Peabody Conservatory and currently lives on Chicago’s North Shore. For more information, visit www.mdlieberman.com.
- Undergraduate studies at the Peabody Conservatory of Music, Baltimore.
- Bachelor’s of Arts, Magna Cum Laude, University of Washington, Seattle
- MUS 0550 Private Instrument Viola
Michael’s arrangement of Frank Bridge’s Romance was published by Stainer and Bell and recorded by Helen Callus.
He was the co-editor of Helen Callus’s One-Step Scale System recently published by Carl Fischer.