Michael J. Schumacher is a composer working with all manner of instruments and styles, including symphonies, song cycles, works for solo piano in the minimalist/avant-garde, rock, and ambient styles. He works with electronics, specializing in computer generated sound and processing of acoustic instruments. He uses many instruments including prepared electric guitar, piano, and lap-top computer. Many of his pieces are presented as “sound installations,” a style between composition and sculpture.


The Juilliard School, New York, NY 1983-88 DMA in Composition, 1988 

MM in Composition, 1985
studies with Vincent Persichetti, David Diamond and Milton Babbit

Queens College, Forest Hills, NY 1985
electronic music studies with Hubert Howe

Massachussetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 1984 summer intensive in C-Sound with Barry Vercoe

Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 1979-82 BM in Composition, 1982 

Composition studies with Bernhard Heiden and John Eaton Piano studies with John Ogdon and Shigeo Neriki

Private music lessons with Stan Applebaum, Giampaulo Bracali and La Monte Young, composition Seymour Bernstein, piano


Polytechnic University, teacher, Introduction to Audio 2005-present Bard College, lecturer 2005
UCSD, lecturer 2005
Columbia University, lecturer 2004 

The New School, lecturer 2000
The Juilliard School, teaching assistant 1988
The Center for the Media Arts, instructor 1985-1987
Private instructor in composition, electronic music, music theory, ear training, piano, 1982-present


Ear training as applied to contemporary technology, music and sound art.
Computer music composition, with an emphasis on algorithmic composition.
Aesthetics of Sound Art. Theory and Analysis of contemporary electronic music. General use of the computer as a musical tool, i.e. recording, analysis and processing.


Experimental Television Center Finishing Fund Grant, for Five Sound Installations (described below), 2006 CEC ArtsLink Award, for a month-long residency in Estonia, 2005
New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, 2004
RPI iEAR Residency, for the creation of a 5.1 DVD, 2002 

Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts Fellowship, 2001 Meet the Composer Composer’s Performance Fund Grant, 1990, 95 Harvestworks Artist-in-Residence Programming Residency, 1994 New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowship, 1988 

Indiana University Undergraduate Composition Competition Winner, 1982 ONGOING PROJECTS

Five Sound Installations published as stand-alone applications

The record label XI will publish five of my sound installations as applications install-able on a home computer. Once installed and opened, the pieces will play continuously, their structures generated in “real time” by computer algorithm. Projected date of publication: Fall 2006.

Living Room Pieces

A permanent sound installation in an apartment at the Hotel Chelsea that runs 24/7, enveloping the listener in a continuous flow of sound and “silence”.

Diapason Gallery for Sound

Since 1996, I have pioneered, first at gallery Studio Five Beekman and, since 2000, at Diapason Gallery located in midtown, sound art in New York City, by giving over 100 artists the opportunity to present, in environments with high quality multi-channel sound systems and free of outside noise, cutting edge installations with sound as their focus. I have produced premieres by David Behrman, David First, Tetsu Inoue, Ron Kuivila, Steve Roden, Marina Rosenfeld and Stephen Vitiello, to name a few. Diapason is still the only space in New York City, and one of only a handful in the world, devoted to the regular presentation of works of sound art.

A complete listing of past presentations and upcoming events is viewable online at www.diapasonarchive.org.


In November 2002 I founded the group Strata, with Tim Barnes, percussion, Kato Hideki, bass, Toshio Kajiwara, turntables and myself on piano and electronics. With this group, which has performed at The Kitchen, La Mama etc. and Merkin Concert Hall in New York, I have added a live, improvisatory element to my sound installations. The group’s premier concert, at Diapason Gallery, lasted six hours. The group has continued to evolve and presented four 6 hour concerts at Diapason in February 2004. Performers included Joan La Barbara, James Fei, Christopher McIntyre, “Blue” Gene Tyranny and Peter Zummo.


Untitled, collaboration with Stephen Vitiello, group exhibition with Emilio Prini, Vito Acconci, Dan Graham and others, curated by Mario Pieroni, Diapason, NYC, 2006 

Room Pieces Rome 2006, solo exhibition: The Sound Art Museum, Rome, Italy, 2006 

Unintending, 8 channel sound installation, Artefact Festival, Leuven, Belgium, 2006 

Room Piece Polli Talu 2005, exhibition with Ursula Scherrer, video: Polli Talu, Ramä, Estonia, 2005 

Room Piece London 2005, solo exhibition: MOT, London, UK, 2005 

Steiner Suite, solo exhibition: )toon festival, Haarlem, The Netherlands, 2005 

Alley, group exhibition: “In Practice” Sculpture Center, Queens, NY, 2005 

Still Life, solo exhibition: Deep Listening Space, Red Hook, NY, 2004 

Sill Life South of Italy, solo exhibition: CCNOA Gallery, Brussels, Belgium, 2004 

Rock’s Role, group exhibition: Art in General, NYC, curated by Ron Kuivila, 2004 

Still, group exhibition: Sound Cube, The Kitchen, NYC, curated by Charles Morrow and The Kitchen, 2004 

A Realization of Earle Brown’s Dec. 1952, group exhibition: Treasure Maps, Apex Art, NYC, and Untitled Space, New Haven, curated by Janine Antoni, 2004 

Electronic Music Archive, group exhibition, Kunsthalle St. Gallen, CH, curated by Norbert Möslang, 2003 Room Piece Cork 2002, Triskel Arts Center, Cork, Ireland, 2002 

Room Piece Lyon 2002, group exhibition: New York: New Sounds, New Spaces, Museum of Contemporary Art, Lyon, France, curated by Stephen Vitiello, 2002 

Maspet, sound for a video by Alan Michelson, The Queens Museum, New York, 2001
Untitled ‘99, group exhibition: Volume: Bed of Sound, PS 1, Long Island City, NY, curated by Elliott Sharp,

MAKMix, group exhibition: Museum fuer Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany, 2000 

MARTE Festival, Malaga, Spain, with Stephen Vitiello and David Tronzo, 2006 PS 122, with Sally Silvers and Dancers, 2005 

The Stone, NYC, solo piano, 2005
The Stone, NYC, with Anthony Burr and David Shively, 2005
UC San Diego, with Charles Curtis, 2005
)toon festival, Haarlem, solo laptop, 2005
La Mama, etc., Sounds Like Now Festival, NYC, w/ Kato Hideki, Chris McIntyre and Rich O’Donnell, 2004 Parochial Kirche, Berlin, with Kaffe Matthews, 2004
Diapason, NYC, with Joan La Barbera, “Blue” Gene Tyranny, Peter Zummo, and others, 2004
Merkin Hall, NYC, with Tim Barnes, Kato Hideki, Toshio Kajiwara, 2003
Engine 27, New York, with Kato Hideki and Jim Pugliese, 2003
Podewil, Berlin, with Ensemble Zeitkratzer, 2001
Transmissions IV Festival, Chicago, solo laptop, 2001
Roulette, New York City, solo laptop, 2000
GaleGates, Brooklyn, NY solo laptop, 2000 

Stories, electronic music, Quecksilber, Berlin, 2004 

The Other Boulez, on “A Call for Silence”, compilation published by the Sonic Arts Network, curated by Nic Collins, 2004 

Room Piece, on An Anthology of Noise and Electronic Music Vol. 3, sub rosa, Brussels, 2004 Room Pieces, electronic music, XI, New York, 2003
Four Stills, electronic music, Sedimental, Boston, MA, 2002
01-01-18, An Improvisation, improvised computer music, Quakebasket, NYC., 2001 

Guitar Electrica, music for prepared electric guitar, Quakebasket, NYC., 2000
Untitled 2000, “State of the Union” CD produced by Elliott Sharp, EMF, Troy, NY, 2000 Fidicin Drones, prepared electric guitar, Colorful Clouds for Acoustics, Philadelphia, 1999 Room Piece, a 71 minute computer generated composition, self-produced, 1998 


Piano Piece Schaffhausen, 1998
Trio, for clarinet, violin and piano, 1997
Piano Piece Berlin, 1992
Duos, Trios and a Quartet, for Piano Quartet, 1994 Symphony in 3 Movements, 1988
12 Inverted Canons, piano solo, 1986
String Quartet, 1982
Phases, piano solo, 1981 


RAI SAT Television, Rome, interview with Maya Constantini, 2006 

Blow Up magazine, interview with Daniela Cascella, 2005 

Resonance Supplement, interview with Tobi Meier, 2005 

Wikipedia article, unknown authorship

The Wire Magazine, numerous reviews, interviews and profiles, 1999-present

WKCR, New York, on Federico Marulanda Rey’s “Live Constructions” program, 2000, 2002, 2003 

ARTE, France: Television program devoted to performances on the neo-Bechstein, for which I was asked to compose a work, 2002 

WFMU, Live broadcast of a performance with Dean Roberts, Christoph Charles and Heimo Lattner, 2000 WFMU, a two hour interview/performance on “The Stork Club”, 2000
Perfect Sound Forever, e-article on Sound Art, 1999
WKCR, an hour long show devoted to my music, on Susie Jae’s New Music program, 1998 

Mantra TV, New York, an interview with Jung Hee Choi, 1998 


Something is Missing-Utopia in the 21st Century, organized by the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, at The New School, scheduled for September 2006 

Murmurs, a conference on Sound Art, organized by Sofia Hernandez, Anthony Huberman and myself, at Columbia University, 2004 

For a long time…, a symposium on Sound Art, organized by Ron Kuivila, at Wesleyan University, 2004 Das (Un)mögliche Klangkunst Museum, a conference on Sound Art, KHM, Cologne, Germany, 2003 


Ursula Scherrer, Chika, video; Elizabeth Gerring, Sally Silvers, dance; Bruce Andrews, poetry Kato Hideki, Jane Rigler, Peter Zummo, Ed Tomney, Christopher McIntyre, Charlie Morrow, Charles Curtis, Donald Miller, Stephen Tunney, Stephen Vitiello, Anthony Burr,
David Shively, James Fei, David First, musicians


Born 1961 in Washington, DC; raised in Elizabeth, NJ; married, one child; fluent in German; lived in Berlin 1992-93, traveled throughout Europe, USA, Canada, and Taiwan; a resident of New York City since 1983.