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Michelle Lou


Bassist and composer MICHELLE LOU has had her music presented by ensembles such as the Arditti Quartet, ensemble ascolta, Ensemble SurPlus, the Argento Chamber Ensemble, sfsound, Earplay, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Talea Ensemble and the JACK Quartet.  Her work has appeared at events such as the Donaueschinger Musiktage, Wien Modern, MATA Festival, Schloss Solitude Summer Academy, the Darmstadt Ferienkurse and the Festival for New American Music.  Her primary teachers are Chaya Czernowin, Brian Ferneyhough, and Steven Kazuo Takasugi.  Michelle holds both a B.A. in Bass Performance/Composition and an M.A. in Composition from the University of California, San Diego and a D.M.A. in Composition from Stanford University.  Additional studies include time at the Conservatory of Music in Piacenza, Italy and the University for Music and Performing Arts in Graz, Austria, the latter as a Fulbright Fellow.

She was selected by the JACK Quartet as first place in the 2012 Finale/American Composers Forum Composition Contest and was a recipient of a 2013-2014 Radcliffe Fellowship at Harvard and a 2018-2019 Rome Prize at the American Academy in Rome. 

As a performer, she has been involved in many contexts from classical and contemporary orchestral and chamber playing to salsa, latin jazz and free improvisation. She’s worked with Graeme Jennings, sfsound, Doug Beavers, the Arneis Quartet, Talea Ensemble and Hotel Elefant among others and has most recently played at the Beijing Modern Music Festival, MATA Festival (NYC), the Qubit Noise Non-ference (NYC) and mikromusik (Berlin). Her instructors include Bert Turetzky, Mark Dresser, Leonardo Colonna, and Bruce Moyer on the double bass with John Dornenburg on the viola da gamba.