Associate Professor of Keyboard (Organ and Harpsichord)
CCM Organ and Harpsichord -
Originally from Toronto, Canada, Michael Unger is a multiple award-winning performer who appears as a soloist and chamber musician in North America, Europe, Japan, and South Korea. Since 2013, he is Associate Professor of Organ and Harpsichord at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He is a First Prize and Audience Prize winner of the National Young Artists’ Competition of the American Guild of Organists (NYACOP), a First Prize winner of the International Organ Competition Musashino-Tokyo, and a Second Prize and Audience Award winner of the International Schnitger Organ Competition on the historic organs of Alkmaar, the Netherlands. Recent solo recitals include performances for national conventions of the American Guild of Organists, Organ Historical Society, and Historical Keyboard Society of North America; ‘Five Continents – Five Organists’ Festival at Seoul’s Sejong Center; International Festival of Organ, Choral and Chamber Music Gdańsk; Internationale Orgelwoche Nürnberg – Musica Sacra; and numerous international and regional recital series. In 2018, he premiered two Preludes and Fugues by American composer Henry Martin for the national convention of the American Guild of Organists in Kansas City, Missouri. Recent orchestral appearances include Camille Saint-Saëns’ Symphony No. 3 (“Organ”) and Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 (“Symphony of a Thousand”) with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Other organ and harpsichord collaborations include Cincinnati May Festival, Cincinnati Opera, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Collegium Cincinnati, Catacoustic Consort, and Publick Musick, with repertoire that includes Johann Sebastian Bach’s complete Brandenburg Concertos and Sonatas for Viola da Gamba and Harpsichord. He received favorable international reviews for his debut solo recordings under the Naxos and Pro Organo labels, and his performances have been broadcast on North American and European radio, including syndicated programs Pipedreams and With Heart and Voice. He was a guest faculty at the 2015 and 2016 Smarano International Academies in Trentino, Italy, the 2019 Colorado State University Organ Week, and has given masterclasses at several North American universities and conservatories, including residencies with cellist Adriana Contino.
Michael Unger holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts with Performers’ Certificate from the Eastman School of Music, where he was a student and teaching assistant of David Higgs and William Porter, and recipient of the school’s Jerald C. Graue Musicology Fellowship. He is also a Gold Medal graduate of the University of Western Ontario, where he studied with Larry Cortner and Sandra Mangsen, and his post-graduate teachers include Roberta Gary in Cincinnati and Jean-Baptiste Robin in Versailles, France. Formerly the Director of Music at the Lutheran Church of the Incarnate Word in Rochester, New York, he currently serves as organist of Cincinnati’s historic Isaac M. Wise – Plum Street Temple, and is a volunteer chorister in the choir of Cincinnati's Christ Church Cathedral (Episcopal).
BM: University of Western Ontario London, Ontario, Canada,
MM (organ), MM (harpsichord), Performers' Certificate (organ) and DMA: Eastman School of Music Rochester, NY,