Photo: Tessa Updike

Photo: Tessa Updike


Michael Kropf is a composer whose work deals with hidden emotions and evocative places. He has collaborated with Marin Alsop, the Telegraph Quartet, the San Francisco Conservatory Orchestra, and the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble. In 2016, Michael was commissioned by the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, in partnership with John Adams and Deborah O'Grady's Pacific Harmony Foundation, to write a new orchestral work called "Spinning Music.” The work was later described as "a brilliant, rapid fire stretch of perpetual motion," by the SF Chronicle's Joshua Kosman. Recent projects include a collaboration with the Apple Hill String Quartet, as well as a piano quartet for the 2018 Aspen Music Festival.

Michael completed his Master’s degree in Composition at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 2016, where he won First Prize in the Highsmith Orchestral Composition Competition, the Bienial Art Song Composition Competition, and the Telegraph Quartet Composition Competition, as well as Third Prize in their Biennial Choral Competition. In 2014, his composition for chamber ensemble “Kinesthesia” received an honorable mention at the ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composers Awards.

He served as Co-Director of the Hot Air Music Festival, a daylong marathon of new music which takes place annually at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He is also a Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the Dynamic Music Festival, a two day concert-series in New York City focused on creating a dialogue between student composers from different schools in and around the Tri-State area. He has taught composition and musicianship at the Walden School in New Hampshire and the San Francisco Conservatory Pre-College.

Michael was born in Danbury, Connecticut and received his Bachelor of Music degree from New York University. His teachers and mentors have included David Conte, John Adams, Justin Dello Joio, Luboš Mrkvička, and Youngmi Ha. He will be beginning a doctoral degree in music composition at the University of Michigan this fall.