Michael Betz (b. 1992) is a composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist from Mason City, IA, currently based in the Twin Cities, MN. His compositions are not limited to the concert stage and have appeared in a variety of media, including Android apps by developer Nathan Tornquist and the YouTube series Chadtronic. As a keyboardist, he is comfortable in a variety of musical contexts and maintains an active performance schedule as a jazz pianist, collaborative pianist, and sideman (currently playing with the Fringe Pipes). He also performs as a solo improvisational synthesizer player and has played Twin Cities experimental music series such as Drone Not Drones, the Tourniquet Noise Series, and Khyber Pass Thursdays. Betz enjoyed his time as a percussionist in the St. Olaf Band and Orchestra, and currently sings bass with Magnum Chorum, MPLS (imPulse), and Aliro Voices. He teaches beginning piano, violin, and guitar lessons through the Minnetonka Music Academy.
Betz is a recipient of the American Composer Forum’s Jerome Fund for New Music grant. He has received commissions from the Source Song Festival, Magnum Chorum, St. Olaf College, and Mason City High School, among others. His orchestra work Enclosure was awarded Honorable Mention in the Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute. Three of his chamber works have received finalist designation in the ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards. He has also received recognition in calls for scores from the Solo and Chamber Timpanist’s Initiative and Symphony Number One. His music has been performed across the Midwest and in Twin Cities venues such as Westminster Hall, Antonello Hall, Studio Z, the Baroque Room, and the Schubert Club Courtroom Concert Series. Performers of his music include Aliro Voices, RenegadeEnsemble, Neoteric Chamber Winds, flutist Joshua Weinberg, the Vine Orchestra, the St. Olaf Band and Orchestra, Una Vocis Choral Ensemble, the Mason City High School Symphonic Band and Concert Choir (IA), and chamber ensembles from the University of Iowa and Roseville Area High School (MN).
Betz holds a B.M. in Theory and Composition from St. Olaf College, where he studied with Timothy Mahr and Justin Merritt. He studied composition with David Conte at the EAMA-Nadia Boulanger Summer Institute and has received additional coaching from Libby Larsen through the Source Song Festival. Betz is a member of ASCAP and the American Composers Forum.