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Michael Sponseller (Harpsichord)

Born: USA

The American harpsichord, Michael Sponseller, holds degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the Royal Conservatory of Music in The Hague. He studied harpsichord with Professor of Harpsichord Lisa Goode Crawford. He was winner of the American Bach Soloists Competition International Harpsichord Competition in 1998, and won first prize at the 2002 Jurow International Harpsichord Competition, sponsored by the Southeastern Historical Keyboard Society and held in March 2002 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He also holds the distinction of being a two-time prize-winner at the prestigious Festival of Flanders International Harpsichord Competition in Bruges, Belgium. His other awards include the First of America Young Artists Competition (Kalamazoo), and second prize in the Concours International de Clavecin in Montreal, Canada.

After making his debut at the Berliner Tage für Alte Musik in 1995, Michael Sponseller has appeared throughout Europe and North America with critical acclaim as a soloist, conductor, and chamber musician. His recitals, which favor the French "clavecinists" and English virginal repertoire, have been heard at the Smithsonian Institution, Saint Cecilia's Hall, Alliance Française and at festivals such as Boston, Berkeley, and Edinburgh. Following his return to the USA in 1999, he has performed and recorded frequently with the Handel and Haydn Society, Smithsonian Chamber Players, American Bach Soloists, New York Collegium, and Appolo’s Fire. He performs in partnership with leading artists such as Catherine Turocy, Emyln Ngai, Derek Lee Ragin, Malia Bendi Merad, and Sarah Freiburg and performs with numerous ensembles such as La Luna, Aradia, and Rhetoric.

Michael Sponseller's passionate interest in 17th and 18th century opera led to making his conducting debut in 2000 with Dido and Aeneas of Henry Purcell. Since then he has performed and been assistant conductor in a wide range of repertoire, including Castor et Pollux, Ariodante, Amadigi, Alcina, Cephale et Procris, and Les Arts Florissants. In 2000, he became a research assistant at the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles, working with Lisa Goode Crawford on the operas of Joseph Nicolas Pancrace Royer (1705-1755). This work culminated in 2002 in the modern-day premiere of Royer's Le Pouvoir de l'Amour with the New York Baroque Dance Company, Oberlin College, and the Centre de Musique Baroque de Versailles, which received recognition and praise from the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Opera News. He can also be heard on several recordings from Electra, Vanguard Classics, Naxos and Centaur.

In 1999, Michael Sponseller was appointed at the Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory of Music and recently was appointed on staff at Boston University.

Source: American Bach Soloists Website; Oberlin Backstage Website (2003); Mount Union College Website
Contributed by
Teddy Kaufman (December 2006)

Michael Sponseller: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works

Links to other Sites

Michael Sponseller (American Bach Soloists)
Michael Sponseller (Oberlin Bachstage)

Michael Sponseller to Present Harpsichord Recital at Mount Union College

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Last update: ęDecember 16, 2008 ę10:16:45