Biography (576 words / updated on 12-15-15)
[please click here for short bio]
Described as "flashy" and "exciting" (The American Organist, 2012), concert organist Michael Hey increasingly visible on concert stages across the country. In 2010, he made his New York City debut in Alice Tully Hall performing Handel’s Organ Concerto No. 1 with the Juilliard Orchestra under Nicholas McGegan. Of that performance, Stan Metzger of Seen and Heard International remarked, “Mr. Hey performed admirably, playing without a score in front of him and making the music seem improvisatory in a way that Handel might have played it.” In the fall of 2013 he participated in a performance of Wagner’s Ring Cycle, arranged for brass, organ, and percussion, with the New World Symphony, under the baton of Ian Bousfeld.
Mr. Hey’s musical output is greatly inspired and informed by numerous other art forms, especially by classical and modern dance. In 2014 has was featured as organ soloist in the New York City Ballet’s newly commissioned work Acheron. Set to the music of Francis Poulenc’s Organ Concerto, Michael's performance at its premiere was "vividly played" (The New York Times). He is now in the second season of performing with the Orchestra of St. Luke and the Paul Taylor Dance Company at Lincoln Center.
Michael has been invited to perform at the Lincoln Center (New York), Carnegie Hall (New York), the Kimmel Center (Philadelphia), and the Kennedy Center (Washington D.C.). During the summer of 2012 he played at the American Guild of Organists’ national convention in Nashville and in 2013, Michael performed at the National Association of Pastoral Musicians’ national convention in Washington, D.C. He has been featured on Hawaii Public Radio and has been heard on Minnesota Public Radio’s Pipedreams playing his transcription of Smetana’s Overture to ‘The Bartered Bride’ at Alice Tully Hall. He was a finalist in the 2016 Longwood Gardens International Organ Competition.
Not exclusively a solo organist, Michael enjoys a widely varied career playing that includes collaborations with instrumentalists, recitals for solo piano, vocal collaboration, and transcribing for organ and other instruments. In March 2015, he performed with renowned soprano Renée Fleming, tenor Matthew Polenzani, and mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard. In April 2015 he recorded songs of Robert Franz with Grammy Award-winning baritone Tim Krol. His transcription of the Passacaille from Maurice Ravel's Piano Trio can be heard on the new album Divine Splendor, recorded by Ray Nagem on the organ of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City released on the Pro Organo label.
A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Michael Hey graduated in 2014 from the five-year degree program at The Juilliard School where he received both his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in Organ Performance under Paul Jacobs. Within one year of his graduation from Juilliard, he was appointed Assistant Director of Music and Organist of the famed St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, where one of his first major tasks was to perform, as one of three organists, for Masses at St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Madison Square Garden for the first U.S. visit of Pope Francis.
Michael Hey is represented exclusively by Phillip Truckenbrod Concert Artists, LLC.