Michael Gustav Miller (b.1968) began studying piano in 1973 with Sandra Renegar in Ida Grove, Iowa, including theory, composition, and wind instruments, and organ with Phyllis Schultz. He continued with Arne Sorensen in Sioux City, Iowa.
Early concerto appearances included Beethoven second in Sioux City, and Saint-Saëns second in Valparaiso, Indiana, as the first winner of the Lutheran Summer Music Program national academy’s concerto competitions, in 1983. He served as organist at several churches in his hometown during middle and high school, and also at churches in Iowa City while at college.
Michael attended the University of Iowa in Iowa City as one of only ten Presidential Scholars, studying piano with noted pedagogues John Simms and Kenneth Amada, oboe with James Lakin, and composition with Richard Hervig and William Hibbard, graduating Summa Cum Laude in 1988. At the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Michael studied with many extraordinary artists, including members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Further appearances with orchestra included works of Bach and Cage in Boston. Michael has been heard live on WGBH radio in Boston playing works of Rameau, Harbison, and Etler. He can be heard as soloist with orchestra on John Cage’s unusual Ryoanji on a CD issued by Mode Records. John Cage described Michael’s playing as “extraordinarily beautiful”. Michael received the Master of Music degree from New England Conservatory in 1991.
Michael returned to University of Iowa for further work in music composition and collaborations with fellow artists while on staff of the University’s Dance and Music Departments. After working with various churches, orchestras, theater, and ballet companies in the Midwest and New England, he settled in the Chicago area to work full-time as an independent artist as a teacher, composer, and performer. He teaches at Access Contemporary Music in Ravenswood (Chicago), and is Organist/Choirmaster at Concordia Lutheran Church (on Seeley) in North Center (Chicago).
Recent compositions include Enambered, for the Chicago Bass Ensemble, Byzantine Fantasy, for English horn and harp, Heart of Tungsten for cello and piano, and Caduceus Fantasy, for the International Museum of Surgical Sciences.