Michael Abels – News

composer, Michael Abels


Abels: “Borders” Premieres

On September 23, 2022, soloist Mak Grgić, premieres composer Michael Abels’ Borders, Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra, with ROCO (River Oaks Chamber Orchestra) in Houston, TX. Mei-Ann Chen guest-conducts. The two-movement, 17-minute concerto was commissioned for Grgić by ROCO and the Quad City Symphony Orchestra (Iowa). The concert will be live-streamed, and will receive a […]

Abels: Bringing OMAR to Life

On May 27, 2022, Spoleto Festival USA presents the world premiere of the opera Omar, co-composed by Grammy-winner Rhiannon Giddens, and two-time Emmy nominee and Subito composer Michael Abels. The opera features a libretto written by Giddens; and, the production will be directed by Kaneza Schaal. John Kennedy conducts the eight-member cast (and chorus) which […]

Abels: Frederick’s Fables

“Fables are stories that contain a life lesson or a moral.” — Michael Abels On March 12, 2022, Michael Abels joins the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra for a performance of his work Frederick’s Fables, conducted by Stilian Kirov. Scored for narrator and orchestra, the 37-minute, four-movement piece showcases fours texts by celebrated children’s author and illustrator […]

Abels: Emerge Premieres at NJ Symphony

“For our first public subscription concerts since the COVID-19 shut down, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra wanted to project a sense of catharsis, healing, joy, and wonder.” — Patrick Chamberlain As the 2021-22 performance season begins and the concert world returns to live music, Patrick Chamberlain — NJSO Vice President of Artistic Planning — comments […]

Abels: “desert in” operabox.tv

“In a mysterious motor lodge…along a desolate stretch of highway in the American desert, customers pay for the usual amenities — a room, a pool, a lounge. But here, they also pay to be reunited with lost loves of all kinds…” June 2021 brings the premiere of “desert in,” a new, operatic television miniseries featuring […]

Abels: Composers Corner Q&A

Welcome to “Composers Corner,” Subito’s series of composer talks…a way to better get to know our composers. During this unsettling COVID-19 pandemic, they’ll share how — as creators — they’ve been affected by it, what projects they’ve been working on, along with some of their personal interests. They’ll offer a glimpse and some insight into […]

Abels: Falling Sky Premieres

February 5 brings the world premiere of Michael Abels’ first ballet Falling Sky, which features choreography by international dancer and choreographer Patrick de Bana. Commissioned by Butler University (Indianapolis, Indiana), the four-movement, 20-minute work is scored for concert band and will be performed by the Butler Ballet. Col. Michael Colburn conducts six spotlighted performances as […]

Abels: An Advocate for Liquify

“I am an advocate of Michael Abels’ music; and, I try to program and perform it whenever and wherever I can.” As the Richmond Symphony’s July 30 performance of Abels’ Liquify approaches, guest conductor Mark Russell Smith talks about Liquify and his long-standing relationship with the composer’s music. Smith — music director of the Quad […]

Abels: The Legacy of Dr. King

“It’s an intimidating assignment to write a piece on the legacy of Dr. King.” Michael Abels offers some insight into his popular work Dance for Martin’s Dream, which is featured on the Minnesota Orchestra’s July 13 Sommerfest concert, led by music director Osmo Vänskä. Co-commissioned by the Houston and Nashville Symphonies, Dance for Martin’s Dream is […]

Abels: A Great Job

“Global Warming does a great job of musically addressing the issues embedded within the title.” And so, conductor Tobin Stewart highlights the core of Michael Abels 8-minute orchestral work as Stewart joins the Montana State University Symphony for the orchestra’s May 2019 South American tour to Chile. Stewart will conduct concerts in Ovalle, Santiago, and […]

Abels: Eerie, Empathetic & Compelling

It’s April 2019, and award-wining composer Michael Abels has done it again – created an eerie, empathetic, and compelling film score for Oscar winning-director Jordan Peele’s second record-breaking film “Us.” Released back in March, “Us” premiered at SXSW to strong critical reviews. In its national release, it shattered box-office records raking in over $70 million […]

Abels: Exciting Winged Creatures

“[I was] reminded of the flight of a butterfly — exciting, graceful, but also uneven and frenetic.”  — Michael Abels On the eve of its June 14 premiere, Michael Abels shares the inspiration behind his newest work Winged Creatures. Written for soloists Anthony and Demarre McGill, the 13-minute double concerto was commissioned by Cedille Records. […]

Abels: Audiences Truly Enjoy It

“Audiences truly enjoy it!” Conductor Guy Victor Bordo shares his enthusiasm for Michael Abels’ Global Warming as he prepares for The University of Akron Symphony Orchestra’s performance on December 7. Commissioned and premiered by the Phoenix Youth Symphony in 1991, Abels’ ever-popular 8-minute work was inspired by the historic events of the end of the Cold […]

Abels: A Compelling Kaleidoscope

“Delights and Dances is a compelling kaleidoscope.” As the Sphinx Virtuosi return to Carnegie Hall on October 13, Afa S. Dworkin, President and Artistic Director of the Sphinx Organization, celebrates its own commissioned-work written by Michael Abels. The New York performance is just one concert among many of the ensemble’s 2017 fall tour which began last month […]

Abels: A Message of Hope & Optimism

“When I first heard Michael Abels’ Dance for Martin’s Dream shortly after its premiere, I was immediately struck by Michael’s choice to make it a celebratory work (as opposed to most tributes, which are elegiac). While it is often performed around MLK Day or Black History Month, I think it has a more universal ‘message’ […]

Abels: “Get Out” & See It!

It’s March 2017, and by now, you’ve all heard about this season’s critically acclaimed, groundbreaking comedic, suspense-thriller “Get Out,” directed by Emmy-winning actor and comedian Jordan Peele. However…did you know that Subito’s own Michael Abels wrote the score for this hit film? “Get Out” is Abels’ first feature film and what a way to say hello […]

Abels: Always A Joy

  “It is always a joy for me — and I use that word very deliberately — to collaborate with Michael Abels.” Mark Russell Smith, music director of the Quad City Symphony Orchestra, shares his enthusiasm about working with Abels again for the orchestra’s February 4 & 5 world premiere of Liquify. The 9-minute work was […]

composer, Michael Abels
Abels: Well-Crafted, Graceful & Virtuosic

On July 28, the Del Sol Quartet performs Michael Abels’ Delights and Dances with the Bear Valley Music Festival Orchestra, led by music director Michael Morgan. Commissioned by the Sphinx Organization for the 10th anniversary of its Sphinx Competition, Delights and Dances is a 13-minute work that was originally scored for full orchestra with a […]

Abels & Sierra: Cosmic Convergence

The Chicago Sinfonietta rounds out its season on May 21 and 23 with its “Cosmic Convergence” program, which features the music of two Subito composers: Michael Abels’ Global Warming and Roberto Sierra’s Jubilo. Music director Mei-Ann Chen offers some insight into the ensemble’s season finale. “[This last performance] of our season is entitled ‘Cosmic Convergence’ […]

composer, Michael Abels
Abels: Inventiveness and Drive

On March 19 and 20, the Spokane Symphony performs Michael Abels’ classic work Global Warming, as music director Eckart Preu leads the orchestra in its “Symphonic Dances” program. Inspired by the historic events of the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War era, Global Warming was commissioned and premiered by […]

Abels: One of the Finest

On February 9, the Indianapolis Symphony performs Michael Abels’ orchestral work Global Warming. Chelsea Tipton II conducts the ensemble as part of the symphony’s Black History Month celebration. Written around the time of the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War era, Global Warming was commissioned and premiered by the […]

Abels: A Connection to this Music

  They’re at it again! The Altius Quartet likes Michael Abels’ Delights and Dances so much that, last summer, they performed it at the Music in the Mountains Festival in Durango, CO. This season, they’re performing it again on March 12, as part of their Graduate String Quartet Residency at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Music […]

Abels: Fresh, Fun and Unique

If you’re in Mobile, AL on November 15 and 16, head on over to Saenger Theatre for the Mobile Symphony’s performances of Michael Abels’ Delights and Dances, featuring the Harlem String Quartet. Scott Speck conducts these performances as part of the orchestra’s “Beethoven and Blue Jeans” series. Harlem String Quartet violinist Melissa White comments, “Delights […]

Abels: High Octane Effervescence

  Called “an energetic arrangement [incorporating] jazz, blues, bluegrass and Latin dance elements” (New York Times), Michael Abels’ Delights and Dances is his ever-popular work for string quartet and string orchestra. This summer, audiences in Durango, CO will hear it on July 25 as part of the Music in the Mountains Festival. Christopher James Lees […]

Abels: The Perfect Piece!

Michael Abels begins 2014 with three (!) performances of his acclaimed orchestral tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. — Dance for Martin’s Dream. Co-commissioned by the Houston and Nashville Symphonies, Dance for Martin’s Dream received a partial premiere in Houston in June 1997 (conducted by Stephen Stein), followed by Nashville’s premiere of the complete […]

Abels’ Captivating and Exciting Music!

“I’m excited about Michael Abels’ music!” So notes conductor Kevin McBeth, when on February 22, he leads the Saint Louis Symphony in a performance of Abels’ works Dance for Martin’s Dream and Outburst. The concert is part of the orchestra’s 2013 Black History Month Celebration. McBeth continues, “I really enjoy Michael’s music. While the Saint […]


Concert: Abels: DANCE FOR MARTIN’S DREAM, OUTBURSTDate: 2013-02-22Location: St. Louis SymphonyLink: http://www.stlsymphony.org/calendar/view.aspx?id=3577Concert Information: Kevin McBeth, conductor No related posts.

Abels (arr): MARY HAD A BABY

Concert: Abels (arr): MARY HAD A BABYDate: 2012-12-08Location: Sheboygan SymphonyLink: http://sheboygansymphony.org/concerts-events/list-of-concerts/christmas-treasures/view/2012-12-08Concert Information: “Christmas Treasures” Concert Kevin McMahon, conductor Sheboygan,WI No related posts.

Abels: Spectacular with a Jazzy Grooviness!

Did you know that Chicago is the place to be on June 16th? If not, and you’re in town then, you’re in luck—the Chicago Sinfonietta will perform Michael Abels’ Delights and Dances, joined by the acclaimed Harlem Quartet. Abels will be in residence as music director Mei-Ann Chen leads the performance at the Wentz Concert […]