1. Faculty

Michael Gilbertson

Music Theory and Musicianship

Courses Taught

  • Music Theory
  • Musicianship
  • Music History (20th Century)


  • MM, Yale University
  • BM, The Juilliard School


  • San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, Composer-in-Residence

Awards and Distinctions

  • Pulitzer Prize for Music, Finalist
  • Musical America Magazine, New Artist of the Month
  • BMI Student Composer Award
  • American Academy of Arts and Letters, Charles Ives Scholarship

What is your hometown?

Dubuque, IA

What is your favorite recording?

Earl Wild Plays Gershwin.

What are you passionate about outside of music?

American history and tennis.

Who were your major teachers?

John Corigliano, Christopher Rouse, and Aaron Jay Kernis.

What is a favorite quote that you repeatedly tell students?

I love Kurt Vonnegut's eight rules for writers, the most important being rule #1: "Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted."

What was a turning point in your career?

Teaching with Joan Panetti in the Hearing and Analysis program at Yale.

If you could play only three composers for the rest of your life, who would they be?

Gershwin, Prokofiev, and Mozart.

From a music history perspective, what year and city are most important to you?

Paris, 1928.

What are your most important collaborations?

Caroline McGraw (playwright), Kai Hoffman-Krull (poet), and Daniel Baker (choreographer).

Who have you had the privilege of teaching?

Michael Blume, who is now a touring pop star!

What recordings can we hear you on?

Messages to Myself, Musica Sacra, MNR Classics

Celebrating the American Spirit, Essential Voices USA, Sono Luminus