Michael Thurber, composer

Hometown: LaSalle, Michigan

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Michael Thurber is a current board member of From the Top, and has recently been composing for off-Broadway productions. Check out his website (currently under construction).

Meet Michael

Michael performed most recently on Show 303, recorded in Interlochen, MI, on March 13, 2015. He has also appeared on Show 125, recorded in Winona Lake, IN, on June 18, 2005; and on Show 142, recorded in Granville, OH, on April 7, 2006.

In 2015, Michael was featured in The Boston Globe!

Check out the piece Michael wrote for Show 303 in Interlochen! Learn more.

2015 bio:

Michael Thurber (composer/bass) is perhaps best known as the co-founder and music director of CDZA, a YouTube-based music collective that features over 100 young, conservatory-trained performers. Using popular culture as its base, CDZA translates and remixes the familiar into one-take music performance videos. In 2013, CDZA performed at TED@nyc and Google/YouTube took them on the road, performing at over a dozen live events. This culminated in a featured performance at the first ever YouTube Music Awards, headlining alongside Lady Gaga, Arcade Fire, Eminem, and MIA. T-Pain, Walk Of The Earth, and Tay Zonday all made cameos during CDZA’s set. CDZA’s performances led to Thurber stepping out on the other side of the stage to consult with YouTube’s event teams as Music Director, creating live, multi-media performance experiences that feature mainstream stars and YouTube celebrities at venues including Madison Square Garden and The Kennedy Center. He made his international theater debut writing the music for Antony and Cleopatra, a co-production between The Royal Shakespeare Company (Strafford, UK) and The Public Theater (New York, New York).  Michael’s musical Goddess was accepted into The Eugene O’Neill Musical Theater Conference. He composed original music and lyrics for the show, working alongside his two collaborators, Saheem Ali (director) and Mkhululi Mabija (book writer/lyricist). In 2014, Michael decided to return to his classical roots by accepting a commission to write his first full orchestra piece.  In March 2015, the piece received its world premiere with the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra during a recording of NPR’s From the Top. The piece is a four-instrument concerto based on the story of The Three Musketeers. The performance featured soloists Kris Bowers (piano), Charles Yang (violin), Mark Dover (clarinet), and Thurber himself on bass. As a bassist, Thurber has been featured on NPR’s From the Top in a duo performance with banjo virtuoso Béla Fleck.  He also appeared on PBS’s Emmy Award winning TV show From The Top: Live from Carnegie Hall. He studied music at The Juilliard School, where he became the first undergraduate in the school’s history to be accepted into both the Classical and Jazz Divisions.

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