Described as an artist who “within one keystroke, creates gem tones, backlit primary colors, that can decay into pastel at his whim” (Sean MacLean, Classical KING FM 98.1), Michael Refvem enjoys a multifaceted career as recitalist, chamber musician and concerto soloist. Festival appearances include the Miami Music Festival, Prague Music Performance Institute and Festival, Icicle Creek Center for the Arts Winter Piano Institute, Marrowstone Music Festival, and Bellingham Festival of Music. Performances with the Bellingham Festival of Music have included solo recitals and collaborations with artists including saxophonist Jeffrey Siegfried and international violinist Stefan Jackiw. In Prague, he collaborated with members of the Prague Philharmonia in the Brahms Piano Quintet, and his gala performance of Ravel’s infamous Gaspard de la nuit was even attended by the legendary Alfred Brendel. His performances have been heard on prominent stages in New York City (Lincoln Center Rose Studio, Manhattan School of Music’s Greenfield Hall), Chicago (Chicago Cultural Center, PianoForte Foundation), Montréal (la cathédrale Christ Church), Seattle (Town Hall, Steinway Piano Gallery), and Prague (Martinu Hall, Convent of St. Agnes, National Gallery).
Mr. Refvem recently made his Chicago solo recital debut on the roster of artists in the prestigious Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts, which was also broadcasted live on 98.7 WFMT (Chicago). He also recently collaborated with Jeremy Berry, violist of the acclaimed Calidore String Quartet, in a series of duo recitals and on Classical KING FM 98.1 (Seattle). As a soloist, Michael has performed with orchestras at the Marrowstone Music Festival and Western Washington University. Notable upcoming performances include a 2017/18 season performance of Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 with Lake Union Civic Orchestra (Seattle) under the direction of Christophe Chagnard.
With a wide array of musical interests, Michael has performed repertoire ranging from Byrd and Rameau to Adams and Rzewski. He has made it his mission to increase the exposure of new music and is especially committed to spreading the music written by his colleagues. Recently, he gave the New York City premiere of Roger Briggs Impromptu at Manhattan School of Music’s Lives of the Piano lecture/concert series. On the early end of the historical spectrum is Michael’s additional passion for harpsichord performance, which has included solo recitals and a performance of J.S. Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 at the Marrowstone Music Festival.
Mr. Refvem holds degrees from Western Washington University (Bachelor of Music) and Manhattan School of Music (Master of Music). Principal instructors have included Jeffrey Gilliam, Zenon Fishbein and André-Michel Schub and he has also received additional training with Heasook Rhee (instrumental collaboration), Jocelyn Stewart (harpsichord) and David Dubal (performance seminar). In addition, he has participated in master classes with Andrei Gavrilov, Paul-Badura Skoda, Stephen Hough, Gilbert Kalish, Jeremy Denk, Margo Garrett, Yoheved Kaplinsky, Anton Nel, Stephen Drury, Di Wu, Frederic Rzewski and Kurt Muroki. Michael recently moved to Montréal, where he enjoys walks in the old town and maintains his new blog, Musings of the Musical Life, in his spare time. As a member of the American Council of Piano Performers, he is also a contributing writer for the organization’s new quarterly publication, Piano Performers Magazine.